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Indoor Track & Field: Warriors have eyes on another state title sweep

December 05, 2012|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Washington County Preps Previews
Washington County Preps Previews

The Boonsboro girls indoor track and field team won the Maryland Class 1A state title last winter, while the Boonsboro boys were state runners-up.

The Warriors are aiming for the title sweep this season, like they accomplished last month in cross country.

“We want more,” Boonsboro coach Becky Walter said. “We want to come home with two state trophies again. It was a nice bus ride home from the state cross country meet, and we’d like to repeat that again. We definitely have the potential.”

Sarah Zielinski (distance), Abby Duncan (sprints) and Maggie Sullivan (hurdles, high jump, sprints) led the Warriors to the girls team title last winter. While they were without Sullivan in the spring, they still managed to win the outdoor state title.

This season, they’ll have to get the job done again with only two of their big three — a trio that combined to win four gold medals, one silver and four bronzes at states last winter.

Zielinski, a senior, is back, as is Sullivan, a junior, who has recovered from the foot injury that sidelined her last spring. However, Duncan, a senior, is out, recovering from a torn ACL in her right knee, which she suffered early in the soccer season this fall.

“(Sullivan) is definitely back at full strength, if not better,” Walter said. “And (Duncan) is still at practice, helping in every way possible. I think we’ll have her back midway through outdoor, if not sooner.

“We’ve got to pick up some points there, but it’s easily doable with the depth that we have at distance.”

The Warriors’ other distance standouts include Kortney Cunningham, Ella Hawkins and Sam Smith. They also will be counting on big contributions from Emily Cronise (middle distance), Lashanta Tonsil (sprints), Courtney Rose (jumps, sprints) and Emily Moats (pole vault).

From 500 meters up, the Boonsboro boys should more than hold their own with a roster that includes Sean Snyder, Ethan Allnutt and Josh Testa.

“We’ll definitely be led by the distance guys,” Walter said.

They also have Gerick Allen in the shot put, Vaughn Wallace in the hurdles and Nick Seabright in a little bit of everything.

Seabright, a senior, was a state champ in the pole vault and a state placewinner in the high jump last winter. He also is a standout hurdler and perhaps a difference maker in a relay.

Numbers are what the Warriors also have. They’re nearly 100 strong.

“We have about 40 to 45 girls and the rest are boys,” Walter said. “We’re out of uniforms completely. We’ve gone to throwbacks.”

Williamsport

The Class 2A Wildcats return several of their major contributors from last season’s boys team that ran away with the county title.

Nick Berchock was the county champ in the pole vault, Cody Bowman won the 1,600, Cody Grams won the 3,200 and the Zeger twins, Jesse and Kevin, cleaned house in the 55 hurdles and high jump.

Now they’re all seniors.

“I have a lot of seniors, about a dozen senior boys,” coach Teresa Weaver said. “I’d like to think the guys will come back just as strong and want it just as much.”

For now, in the county, the Williamsport boys still seem like the team to beat.

“I’d like to think so, but that puts a big target on our back,” Weaver said. “The Boonsboro boys are going to give us a run, and you can never count Smithsburg out.”

The Williamsport girls return four of their five all-county selections from last winter — first-teamers Meggan Grams (distance) and Morgan Oyster (shot put) and second-teamers Andrea Nunnally (hurdles) and Lizzy Willis (middle distance).

Also back is senior Lauren Johnson, who missed last indoor season after winning a state title in the 300 as a sophomore.

“We’re young, we have a lot of freshmen, but we’re going to be in there fighting,” Weaver said of her girls team. “If we can keep things going, we should do pretty well.”

Smithsburg

The Smithsburg boys are the defending Class 1A state champions.

“It’s going to be interesting,” coach Ray Shriver said. “We lost a lot of points from last year’s team, but we still have a lot of state qualifiers back.

“We’re going to make another run at it. We hope to be right in the thick of it. It all depends on how Boonsboro does. We’re the defending champs, but they might be the team to beat. They finished a real strong second last year.”

Returning all-county selections include first-teamer Zane Gardenhour (sprints, middle distance) and second-team sprinters Caleb Cardone and Brandon Athey.

“They’re going to score a lot of points,” Shriver said. “We just have to find some others to support them to have any kind of a chance.”

The Smithsburg girls return four of their all-county selections from last season — first-teamer Emma Gerhold, who was the county champ and 1A state runner-up in the pole vault, and second-teamers Mia Cardone (sprints), Dominique Dilandro (hurdles) and Sarah Thompson (middle distance).

“That’s a nice nucleus,” Shriver said. “We are still really young, but we have lots and lots of new talent. A lot of soccer girls have come out. They’re going to play lacrosse in the spring and want to get in shape, but it’s going to help us now.”

South Hagerstown

Speedsters Hayley Freeman, Elizsha Streeter and Kiona Mency have collected numerous all-county accolades in their track careers.

Now they’re seniors, with nearly all the makings of a potentially sensational 4x200 relay and more.

While all three are standout sprinters, Freeman also is a top-notch hurdler.

“I expect the girls team to be pretty strong,” coach Dwayne Freeman said. “We should be pretty competitive. It’s going to come down to how much we can improve in the distance events. We have a lot of freshman girls, and most of them are distance runners. I’m definitely looking to see some improvement in that area.”

The South boys have three returning all-county selections from last winter — first-teamer Daniel Hockensmith (middle distance) and second-teamers Isiaha Smith (sprints, shot put) and Dan Stokes (shot put).

Smith, a junior, set a single-season county record this fall with 2,005 rushing yards as the star of the Rebels’ football team. Now he’ll try to unleash that speed and strength at track meets.

“He’s still a work in progress, but he should be right up there,” Freeman said. “He works hard and always wants to be better. The sky’s the limit.”

North Hagerstown

Emily Ward was the 3A state runner-up in the 1,600 last winter, Michey Moody was the 3A West region champ in the 3,200 and Christine Randall was a solid performer in the sprints.

All three are now juniors and ready for more for the North girls team, which still has some growing to do.

“We have about 30 or 35 girls, but only one senior. Our bulk is freshmen and sophomores,” coach Brian Myers said. “We’re a very young team, but we do have a few standouts. I just don’t know much about the other ones. We have a lot of first-timers. We’ll see what we’ve got. Hopefully we can develop the kids and have a good season.”

No much is known about the North boys team either, other than “Diamond Campbell is going to be our workhorse,” Myers said.

Campbell, a senior, will compete in the sprints, hurdles, middle-distance events and high jump.

“He picked up some speed in the offseason, and we’re going to try to work him in as much as we can,” Myers said.

“We have a lot of new kids,” he added. “You never know, we could have some surprises this season. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Clear Spring

Jonas Horst and Jaime Mason have switched coaching positions at Clear Spring this season. Horst is now the head coach, while Mason is an assistant.

They have about a dozen boys and a dozen girls to work with, but just one senior — Tori Albert, who was a 1A state placewinner in the shot put last winter.

“We’re just feeling it out right now,” Horst said. “We only have a handful of kids returning, and we have a lot of younger athletes who are trying to find their niche.

“I think we’ll have our challenges, but I think we’ll have some events that we’ll be able to hold our own in.”

He said he’s hoping for big things from junior Juan Resendiz (middle distance).

“I think he’s really going to be a standout,” he said. “And I think the guys are also going to have some fairly decent relay teams.”

Hancock

The Panthers also have a new coach as Elizabeth Rau has replaced Paul Norris, who spent the previous eight years at the helm.

“I’m excited and the kids are excited. They’re working hard,” Rau said. “Coach Norris did a great job of building the program. We just hope to continue to keep building and keep working hard and having fun.”

While Hancock only has six girls on its roster, two are standouts.

Senior Sydniy Mabey was the county champ in the high jump last winter, while senior Ally Childers was a state placewinner in the 300 hurdles last spring.

Of the 13 boys on Hancock’s roster, eight are freshmen.

Liam Faith, a senior, was an all-county second-team jumper last spring.

“We have a lot of underclassmen with room to grow and a lot of leadership from the upperclassmen,” Rau said. “They’re all just very excited.”

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