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Prep Indoor Track & Field: Wildcats enjoy more ups than downs as Johnson leads qualifiers for states

February 09, 2013|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Williamsport's Caleb Buchman runs a leg of the boys 4x800-meter relay at Saturday's Maryland Class 2A West Championships at the HCC athletic complex. The relay team qualified for the state championships.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Williamsport’s athletes experienced the full range of emotions during Saturday’s Maryland Class 2A West indoor track and field championships at the HCC athletic complex.

There was the thrill of victory — which Wildcats senior Lauren Johnson experienced twice. And there was the agony of defeat — or more accurately in this case, failing to qualify for the state championships, sometimes by the slimmest of margins.

Johnson certainly had the best day of any Wildcat. It started with a thrilling victory over heavily favored Devonni Farrar of Largo in the girls 300-meter dash. Johnson, in lane 3, started fast and kept her speed going through the final turn and straight to edge Farrar, running in lane 2, by 0.03 seconds in 41.54.

“I just really wanted to have a strong start and come out of the first turn strong,” Johnson said. “I knew she was a good runner and I’d have to be strong. The last 100 meters, I glanced over and saw her shadow and knew I had to buckle down. I heard my teammates yelling for me to hold her off.”

Johnson came back later and won the 55 dash in 7.43 seconds, using a strong start to edge Liberty’s Erin Patrice by 0.04.

“That was definitely my best start of the season,” Johnson said. “My coach has been working with me every day on powering out of the blocks and through the first seven steps.”

“She stepped up,” Wildcats coach Teresa Weaver said. “She had an amazing day. I’m glad to see a senior do that.”

In all, 10 individuals qualifed for the state meet for Williamsport, in addition to the boys 4x800 relay team. In order to qualify for states, individuals or relay teams had to finish fourth or better in an event, or meet the qualifying time or distance standard in the event.

The other individuals who qualified:

* Jesse Zeger, second in boys 55 hurdles in 8.04 seconds.

* Meggan Grams, third in girls 1,600 in 5:28.41 and sixth in 800 in 2:28.55.

* Kevin Zeger, fourth in boys 55 hurdles in 8.17.

* Morgan Oyster, fourth in girls shot put in 33 feet, 5 inches.

* Cody Grams, fifth in boys 800 in 2:04.88 and sixth in boys 1,600 in 4:42.17. He beat the 800 qualifying time by 0.82 seconds and the 1,600 time by 2.29 seconds.

* Alexandria Willis, seventh in girls 800 in 2:30.04. She beat the qualifying time by 0.71 seconds.

* Brandon Kline, seventh in boys pole vault, clearing 11 feet, 10 inches.

* Andrea Nunnally, seventh in girls high jump, clearing 4-7 to meet the standard on the dot. She also qualified in the 55 hurdles, finishing 12th in 9.61 seconds to beat the standard by 0.03.

* Nick Berchock, ninth in boys pole vault in 11-4.

In addition, the boys 4x800 team finished sixth in 8:44.69, beating the qualifying standard by 2.32 seconds.

“We got a good number of individuals into states,” Weaver said. “A lot of them are seniors and we’re going to be sad to see them go, but a few are underclassmen and that’s promising for the future.”

Sadly, there were those who missed out on states in heartbreaking fashion.

It’s not possible to come closer without making it than Gabe Aldridge did in the boys 55. He clocked a personal-best 6.85 seconds, but finished fifth and his time missed the qualifying standard by 0.01.

Clay Smith ran a huge personal best in the boys 1,600, finishing sixth in 4:44.49. That was just 0.03 seconds slower than the qualifying standard.

“That’s always tough,” Weaver said. “A lot of them ran PRs, so that was great, and they came really close, but still, there’s heartbreak.”

Cody Bowman — the 2012 Herald-Mail Washington County Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year — was hampered by a knee injury and failed to make states. He settled for eighth in the 1,600 in 4:52.01, and pulled out of the 3,200.

Maryland Class 2A
West Championships
Saturday at HCC
Girls
Team scores: 1. Liberty 79, 2. Largo 75, 3. Oakdale 73.5, 4. Middletown 64, 5. Williamsport 47, 6. Frederick Douglass-PG 43, 7. Century 38, 8. Poolesville 22, 9. Winters Mill 20, 10. Walkersville 16.5, 11. South Carroll 14.5, 12. Catoctin 14, 13. Francis Scott Key 0.5.
Winners and Williamsport state qualifiers (top four places automatically qualify, other places can qualify on time/distance):
55 — 1. Johnson (Wi) 7.43.
55 hurdles — 1. Lorick (Doug) 8.31, 12. Nunnally (Wi) 9.61.
300 — 1. Johnson (Wi) 41.54.
500 — 1. Farrar (Largo) 1:19.88.
800 — 1. Rinehart (Lib) 2:26.19, 6. Grams (Wi) 2:28.55, 7. Willis (Wi) 2:30.04.
1,600 — 1. Rinehart (Lib) 5:25.20, 3. Grams (Wi) 5:28.41.
3,200 — 1. Breichner (WM) 11:26.03.
4x200 relay — 1. Largo 1:47.23.
4x400 relay — 1. Largo 4:08.89.
4x800 relay — 1. Liberty 10:00.04.
High jump — 1. Laurel (SC) 5-1, 7. Nunnally (Wi) 4-7.
Pole vault — 1. King (Oak) 11-6.
Shot put — 1. Mounts (Walk) 37-9 3/4, 4. Oyster (Wi) 33-5.

Boys
Team scores: 1. Century 123, 2. Frederick Douglass-PG 42.33, 3. Liberty 40.5, 4. Oakdale 40, 5. Catoctin 37.33, 6. Williamsport 36.5, 7. tie, Largo and Middletown 36, 9. Gwynn Park 32, 10. Winters Mill 25, 11. Walkersville 24.33, 12. Poolesville 19, 13. Francis Scott Key 6, 14. Central 5, 15. South Carroll 3, 16. Wheaton 1.
Winners and Williamsport state qualifiers (top four places automatically qualify, other places can qualify on time/distance):
55 — 1. Griggs (GP) 6.63.
55 hurdles — 1. Woods (Cent) 7.63, 2. J. Zeger (Wi) 8.04, 4. K. Zeger (Wi) 8.17.
300 — 1. Preston (Largo) 35.89.
500 — 1. Preston (Largo) 1:07.95.
800 — 1. Green (Doug) 2:01.37, 5. Grams (Wi) 2:04.88.
1,600 — 1. D. Dorsey (Cat) 4:28.96, 6. Grams (Wi) 4:42.17.
3,200 — 1. Weaverling (Pooles) 9:38.82.
4x200 relay — 1. Century 1:35.55.
4x400 relay — 1. Frederick Douglass-PG 3:33.02.
4x800 relay — 1. Century 8:26.51, 6. Williamsport 8:44.69.
High jump — 1. Rought (Cent) 6-0.
Pole vault — 1. Riley (Oak) 13-10, 7. Kline (Wi) 11-10, 9. Berchock (Wi) 11-4.
Shot put — 1. Smith (Midd) 47-10 1/2.

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