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Warriors have history on their side at state track meet

May 25, 2011|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com

Fourteen of the last 15 Maryland Class 1A girls outdoor track and field state team titles have been won by Washington County schools.

If the county’s going to make it 15 of 16 this weekend at Morgan State University in Baltimore, the Boonsboro girls are the ones to do it.

The Warriors convincingly won the Class 1A West region title last week with 188 points. Smithsburg, last year’s state champion, was a distant second (75 3/4).

“To do that well in our region does give us some confidence going in,” Boonsboro coach Becky Walter said. “But it’s going to be tough. I went through it and scored it a few different ways — based on region results, based on season PRs and based on what I see happening — and I see about 10 points separating the top three teams.”

She expects stiff competition from both Western Tech and Harford Tech.

“I told the girls that they can win it, but that they could also be second or third,” Walter said. “They’ve had a great year, and I know they’ll give me 100 percent. And whatever happens, happens.”

The North Hagerstown girls finished second to Boonsboro at both the MVAL Antietam and Washington County championships and then finished second to Liberty at last week’s Class 2A West meet.

The Hubs are hoping to finish first for a change this weekend, and that might not be too far of a reach. After all, they are the defending 2A state champs.

“I’ll tell you what, we couldn’t be more excited,” North coach Robert Waugh said. “We’re peaking at the right time. ... It’s going to be a crap shoot between Liberty, Hammond and us.

“Most of our girls are veterans. They’ve been on the big stage, and they know what it’s about and what’s at stake and how to get it done.”

The state championships begin Thursday for classes 1A and 2A, while classes 3A and 4A start Friday. The meet concludes Saturday with all four classes.

There are several big questions waiting to be answered. The short list:

* Will Boonsboro sophomore Abby Duncan finish the season unbeaten in the 100, 200 and 400? She’s the defending state champ in the 100 and 200.

* Will Smithsburg senior Jonelle Jerwick win her first state title in the pole vault? She’s the all-time Tri-State record holder in the event (11 feet).

* Will North senior Anthony Winter prove to be the strongest and fastest in 2A again? He won state titles in the 55 dash and shot put indoors this year, and now will try to duplicate those feats in the 100 and shot put.

* Will Coby Gussio lose his claim at being the best athlete in county history to never win a state title? The Boonsboro senior, who owns more than a half-dozen state silver and bronze medals, will go for gold in the 100, 400 and long jump.

* Will Williamsport junior Evan Hardy finally defeat Allegany’s Ian MacFawn on the big stage? MacFawn finished behind him in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the 1A West meet last weekend. But that was regions, and this is states.

“It will be interesting,” Walter said. “It could be a good weekend for Washington County. I’m nervous, but I’m excited.”

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