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Shirk regains winning form at right time

May 28, 2010|By ANDREW MASON

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    BALTIMORE -- Paige Shirk is one tough girl to beat.

    When there's a state title on the line, forget about it.

    The Clear Spring senior won her third straight title in the Class 1A discus during Day 1 of the Maryland State Track & Field Championships on Thursday at Morgan State University.

    "I've been struggling all season with the discus. I just haven't been coming through," Shirk said. "Today, I just tried not to think about my technique too much. I just tried to take it slow and not really focus on much but the release."

    Shirk took the title with a personal-best throw of 126 feet, 6 inches. Smithsburg's Colleen Black, the Washington County and West region champ in the event, was the runner-up at 111-4.

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"Coming into the meet I was a little nervous because I hadn't won in about three meets, and I was starting to have doubts," Shirk said.

On Saturday, when the meet resumes, she'll try to add to her stash of gold in the shot put. She's won two state shot put titles outdoors, and another two indoors.

"I'm looking forward to Saturday," Shirk said. "A PR in shot put would be a good way to top off my career."

While Shirk was the county's only girls champion Thursday, there were a few exceptional second-place finishes.

North Hagerstown's Corie Anderson, Imani Carter, Katie Ritter and Renee Phillips -- who combined to break Jefferson's 30-year-old Tri-State record in the 4x200-meter relay earlier this season with a time of 1:43.40 -- shattered that mark Thursday with a 1:41.48.

Digital Harbor, however, edged the Hubs by six-hundredths of a second, winning in 1:41.42, as both teams went under the previous 2A meet record of 1:41.8.

"You couldn't ask for any more from our girls," North coach Robert Waugh said. "They couldn't have run any better."

Smithsburg's Jonelle Jerwick also had a big-time performance in the 1A pole vault, placing second with a Tri-State record jump of 11 feet. There was a three-way tie for the previous mark at 10-6.

"I don't know. It's crazy," said Jerwick, whose previous best was 10-3. "It was hot today, which helped a lot because the pole bends a lot easier."

Through six of 18 events, the Smithsburg girls are in first place in the team standings with 45 points. Bohemia Manor is second (28).

"I've always said that to win a state title, it's a lot easier if you win some events," Smithsburg coach T.J. Hood said. "But this team is showing that depth can work just as well."

Sara Rishell (34-6 3/4) and Cierra Green (34-3 1/4) took second and third in the triple jump for Smithsburg, while Erika Gerhold was third in the pole vault (9-0) and the Leopards' 4x200 team was second (1:47.66).

"It's going to be a battle on Saturday," Hood said.

Through five events in 2A, the North girls are in second place with 21 points, trailing Century by eight.

"We're doing OK," Waugh said. "Actually, we're doing pretty good."

Raven Jackson placed second in the triple jump for the Hubs with a personal-best leap of 36-8 1/2.

Maryland State Championships

Day 1 at Morgan State University

Winners and Washington County results

Girls Class 1A

3,200 -- 1. Cleary (Bohemia Manor) 11:26.56; 4. Julia Price (Williamsport) 12:31.26; 6. Sarah Zielinski (Boonsboro) 12:40.45; 8. Johnson (Smithsburg) 12:52.49; 9. Delosier (Smithsburg) 13:16.42.

4x200 -- 1. Harford Tech 1:46.36; 2. Smithsburg 1:47.66.

4x800 -- 1. Western Tech 9:46.24; 4. Williamsport 10:06.18.

Triple jump -- 1. Desirae Diamond (Harford Tech) 36-0 3/4; 2. Rishell (Smithsburg) 34-6 3/4; 3. Green (Smithsburg) 34-3 1/4.

Pole vault -- 1. Smallwood (Pikesville) 11-6; 2. Jerwick (Smithsburg) 11-0; 3. Gerhold (Smithsburg) 9-0; 4t. Deckert (Boonsboro) 8-6; 8. Ebersole (Williamsport) 8-0.

Discus -- 1. Shirk (Clear Spring) 126-6; 2. Black (Smithsburg) 111-4; 5. Young (Boonsboro) 95-8.

Girls Class 2A

3,200 -- 1. Linde (Century) 11:24.57.

4x200 -- 1. Digital Harbor 1:41.42; 2. North Hagerstown 1:41.48.

4x800 -- 1. Century 9:41.41; 7. North Hagerstown 10:12.86.

Triple jump -- 1. Smith (Patuxent) 37-5 3/4; 2. Jackson (North Hagerstown) 36-8 1/2; 6. Elliott (North Hagerstown) 35-3 1/2.

Discus -- 1. Shirley (Middletown) 112-4.

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