Wildcats won't be going away

December 05, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

All those seniors who helped lead the Williamsport boys indoor track team to its second straight Washington County title last winter ... well ... they're gone.

But don't count the Wildcats out just yet.

"We're definitely not going to wave any white flags," coach John Bailey said.

Teams like Williamsport tend to reload rather than rebuild.

"We have a big group again, about 45 boys," Bailey said. "We definitely have enough kids. We just have to find the right places for them."

Attracting new athletes never seems to be an issue with the Wildcats.

"You have kids come out because they see you winning, and they want to join," Bailey said. "That's a winning program. It's nice to have."


The top returnee is senior Justin Bowie, the defending state champ in the Class 1A 55-meter hurdles. Senior Danny Quinn, a member of last season's state-winning 4x800 relay, also is back.

The key newcomer is sophomore Evan Hardy, who led the Wildcats to county, conference and region team titles in cross country this fall.

"We're just going to try to put together the best team we can," Bailey said. "We hope to be in there. We hope to challenge everybody."


"This is definitely a rebuilding year," coach Becky Walter said. "We had 15 seniors on the boys team last year. And this year, between boys and girls, we have four."

The Warriors have one returning all-county first-team selection in junior Coby Gussio (sprints), while junior Kenny Kopp (high jump, hurdles) and sophomore John Lowery (shot put) were second-team selections last winter.

Junior Evan Moser, who didn't compete indoors last winter, leads the distance squad. He was the county runner-up in cross country this fall.

Clear Spring

Of the 29 boys on the Blazers' roster, 14 are returnees from last season, including junior Devin Repp (middle distance) and sophomore Scott Hovermale (distance), who were both all-county second-team members.

"We have enough returners that we have strong leadership, but enough newcomers that it makes it confusing as to what lies ahead," coach Jaime Mason said.

Presently, she likes the speed she sees.

"Some football players have come out who are a lot faster than I expected," Mason said. "We usually have good distance runners, so I'm excited to finally have some speed."


The Panthers have 11 boys on their roster, including three who were on the team last winter.

"We just want to see them get better each meet," coach Paul Norris said.

He said junior Tanner Dobrzanski (middle distance) is a runner to watch.

"He has the potential to make states," Norris said.

North Hagerstown

The Hubs had four all-county first-teamers last winter, and they're all back -- seniors Malick Nguema (high jump), Frederick Owusu-Ayim (sprints) and Dominic Sink (pole vault) and junior Anthony Winter (sprints, shot put).

Winter, a football star and the county champ in the 100 dash last spring, has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain he suffered in the last game this fall. But first-year coach Brian Myers said he should be able to start training later this month.

North finished third behind Williamsport and Smithsburg at last season's county championships.

"I have high expectations that the team will be better than we were last year," Myers said.


The Leopards, the defending 1A West region champs, return two of their six all-county first-teamers from last season -- seniors Sawyer Gardenhour (sprints) and David Wilson (distance).

Last month, Wilson became the county's first boys state cross country champ in 12 years.

Seniors Jacob Hutchison (hurdles), Casey Rowland (shot put) and Jacob Shriver (distance, pole vault) were on the all-county second team last winter.

The Leopards began the season with 53 boys on their roster.

"A little bigger than normal," coach Ray Shriver said. "A lot of new faces. I'm still learning names."

South Hagerstown

In the spring of 2008, Dwayne Freeman, in his third year as coach, guided the South boys team to its first outdoor county title since 1970.

Now, Freeman, in his first year as indoor coach, will try to turn the Rebels into contenders. South and Hancock are the only boys teams which have never won county indoor titles.

The Rebels have one returning all-county selection from last winter -- first-teamer Jordan Alston. The junior is the defending county champ in the 300.

Seniors Sam Johnson (hurdles, high jump) and Sam Jones (distance) are two key additions.

"We have a lot of freshmen, a lot of new people," said Freeman, who has 30 boys on his roster. "We have a youth movement, and I'm pretty pleased with the potential."

Washington County Indoor Track

Boys to Watch

Jordan Alston, South Hagerstown

The junior is the defending county champ in the 300.

Justin Bowie, Williamsport

The senior is the defending 1A state champ in the 55 hurdles.

Evan Hardy, Williamsport

The sophomore, who didn't compete indoors last winter, placed third at the 1A state cross country meet last month.

Evan Moser, Boonsboro

The junior, who didn't compete indoors last winter, placed fourth at the 1A state cross country meet last month.

Malick Nguema, North Hagerstown

The senior was the county runner-up in the high jump last winter.

Frederick Owusu-Ayim, North Hagerstown

The senior was the county champ in the 55 last winter and the 2A state runner-up in the 100 last spring.

Danny Quinn, Williamsport

The senior was the county runner-up in the 800 and 1,600 last winter.

Dominic Sink, North Hagerstown

The senior was the county champ and 2A state runner-up in the pole vault last winter.

David Wilson, Smithsburg

The senior won the 1A state cross country title last month with the fastest time of all four classes.

Anthony Winter, North Hagerstown

The junior placed third in the county shot put last winter and was the county champ in the 100 last spring.

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