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Prep Track & Field: Warriors girls complete 1A title sweep

Boonsboro edges Western Tech by one point to add to cross country, indoor track crowns

May 25, 2013|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Boonsboro's Maggie Sullivan leaps a hurdle on the way to winning the Class 1A girls 100 hurdles title Saturday at the Maryland State Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

BALTIMORE — For the 17th time in the last 18 years, the Class 1A girls title went to a Washington County team at the Maryland State Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

And for the third straight year, the champion was Boonsboro. The Warriors edged Western Tech 112-111 to capture another title Saturday at Morgan State University.

“That was definitely the closest. My heart’s still racing,” Boonsboro coach Becky Walter said. “It was tough. Western Tech has an outstanding team, and I knew it would be close. The girls knew what they had to do.”

Walter's Warriors also won 1A girls state titles this school year in cross country and indoor track.

On Saturday, Maggie Sullivan won the 300-meter hurdles, Kortney Cunningham won the 1,600 and, most importantly at the very end, the Warriors held off North Carroll by less than a second to place third in the 4x400 relay.

Heading into the 4x400 — the final event — Boonsboro led Western Tech 106-101.

But it quickly became apparent that the five-point lead wouldn’t be enough as Western Tech blazed away from the field in the 4x400, seemingly assured of the 10 points awarded for the victory.

The Warriors needed to place at least third (six points) to secure the team title. And that’s what they did, as Boonsboro anchor leg Emily Cronise brought the baton home for relay bronze and team gold.

“I was a nervous wreck,” Walter said. “I was screaming at the top of my lungs.”

Boonsboro’s day was filled with ups and downs.

Even after winning the 300 hurdles (45.96), Sullivan still was upset about her fourth-place finish earlier in the day in the 100 hurdles.

In that race, Sullivan seemingly had the victory, as well as a personal-best time, locked up — until she tripped on the final hurdle and crashed to the track. While she impressively got up and finished fourth, she clearly was devastated.

“It was just heartbreaking, it really was,” Sullivan said. “I did my best and things happen and I have to accept that, but I just feel like all the work I did wasn’t proven.

“It was probably the best hurdles race I’ve ever run — until the end.”

But she didn’t let that setback affect her race in the 300 hurdles.

“The worst thing that could happen had already happened,” said Sullivan.

She then capped her day with a second-place finish in the high jump (5 feet) in the next-to-last event to give the Warriors the 106-101 lead.

A couple of hours after the Boonsboro trio of Sarah Zielinski (11:13.18), Haley Wright (11:34.02) and Kortney Cunningham (11:34.86) finished second, third and fourth in the 3,200, the three were back on the track for the 1,600.

“I said at the start that one of us had to win it,” said Cunningham, who finally emerged from the shadow of her teammates.

“That was my goal, to stop being a shadow,” she said.

Cunningham pulled away from the pack in the second half of the race and then held off Mountain Ridge’s Erica Wilson by four-hundredths of a second for the win in 5:24.21. Wright was fourth (5:27.85) and Zielinski was fifth (5:30.36).

“With the wind, I just tucked in behind people, and then I knew I had to get out of the pack and pick it up because my pace needed to be faster,” Cunningham said.

In the 3,200 (which was postponed Thursday due to weather), Zielinski led the entire way — until the final few meters.

Zielinski, the defending state champ in the event, looked stunned as she decisively was passed at the end by Manchester Valley’s Abby Culp, who had been lurking 10-20 meters behind her for most of the race.

“She came out of nowhere. I didn’t even hear her footsteps,” Zielinski said. “And then I was like, ‘What are you doing there?’”

Other medal winners for the Boonsboro girls included Lashanta Tonsil, who placed second in the long jump (16-8 1/2), and Cronise, who took third in the 800 (2:25.94).

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