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Simple is big key for Hubs girls

May 23, 2010|By ANDREW MASON

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- North Hagerstown's formula for winning track and field meets seems so simple.

"We've had the same game plan every week: Come out, run hard, turn left, jump as far as you can and things usually work out for us," Hubs coach Robert Waugh said.

The North girls -- champions of the MVAL Antietam and Washington County -- made it look that simple again at the two-day Maryland Class 2A West championships, which concluded Saturday at Winters Mill High School.

The Hubs ran away with the team title, outscoring runner-up Liberty 162-104. Century, which edged North by 2 1/2 points for the indoor state title three months ago, was third (83).

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"I definitely didn't expect to win by that margin," Waugh said. "It's a pleasant surprise."

North's sprinters dominated, taking three of the top four places in each the 100- and 200-meter dash, with Renee Phillips winning both in 12.77 and 26.09 seconds. The Hubs also won the 4x100 relay (50.26) after winning the 4x200 (1:43.62) Thursday, when the meet began.

"We're just trying to make the year as great as possible and run as hard as we can," said Phillips, who anchored both winning relays.

Beth Wagner had another huge day for the Hubs, winning the high jump (5 feet, 5 inches) and 300 hurdles (48.35), placing second in the 100 hurdles (17.30) and contributing to the second-place 4x400 (4:14.65).

The surprise winner of the 100 hurdles was North's Kendra Smith, who clocked a personal-record 17.04.

"It's huge, definitely unexpected. Anything can happen on any day," Smith said. "(Wagner) is a monster. She just had a bad race. But she still got second and is going to states, so she can redeem herself there."

The top four finishers in each event automatically qualified for the state championships, which begin Thursday at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Hubs newcomer Raven Jackson said advancing to states was her only goal. The sophomore did that and more, as she continues to improve by leaps and bounds. Jackson won the long jump (17-7) Saturday after winning the triple jump (36-4 3/4) Thursday.

"This is my first year doing track, so this has all been a learning experience," she said.

"She's only been jumping for a month. It's crazy," Waugh said. "You've got to be kidding me."

North senior Katie Ritter showed some toughness, racing through severe pain in her lower back, the result of a weight-lifting injury last month.

Ritter, who was the defending region champ in the 100, 200 and 400, was second in the 100 (13.14) and third in the 200 (26.51). She failed to qualify for states in the 400, the event she won a state title in last year in a Tri-State record time (57.08).

"Things happen," said Ritter, who's set to play soccer at Seton Hall University next school year. "It's frustrating, but I still have my soccer to look forward to in the fall, which is my passion."

Amber Elliott was second in the long jump (16-11 1/2), third in the triple jump (34-7) and fourth in the pole vault (8-1) for the Hubs, while Corie Anderson took third in the 400 (1:01.24) and Imani Carter was fourth in both the 100 (13.36) and 200 (27.18).

The North boys, who finished sixth, got their lone win from Rico Johnson, Frederick Owusu-Ayim, Matt Toth and Anthony Winter in the 4x100 (43.84). Winter also was second in the 100 (11.26) and fourth in the 200 (23.01), while Owusu-Ayim was third in the 100 (11.53), third in the 200 (22.95) and fourth in the 400 (50.57).

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