BALTIMORE — Neither Scott Boetig nor his younger brother, Brad, expected to be cast in their respective roles at Wednesday's Region IV Class 4A Indoor Track Meet at the 5th Regiment Armory.
The elder Boetig envisioned leading Old Mill in the distance runs, but was reduced to being a spectator due to a case of mononucleosis.
And back in November, Brad Boetig visualized helping Old Mill's wrestling team to an unprecedented fourth straight state Class 4A-3A title, but a transfer student from Gilman erased his hopes of representing the Patriots in the 160-pound class.
"Our wrestling team is so competitive, I really didn't have anywhere to go," said Brad Boetig, who surrendered his spot on the mats Jan. 3 to junior Marc Procaccini, ranked sixth in the state by the Maryland State Wrestling Association at 160 pounds with a 14-2-1 record. "There just weren't any spots open."
Cutting weight wouldn't have helped. Junior Todd Hultgrenoccupies the 152-pound weight class and is 18-3-1, while senior JohnBliss (145) is 19-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state by the MSWA.
Had he chosen to put on pounds and move up to the 171-pound class, Boetig would have faced senior Brian Layman, last year's 160-pound state champion who is 18-2 and ranked fourth by the MSWA.
So, instead ofwrestling on the junior varsity or as a practice partner, the juniorfocused on distance running, which he had done in past years as a member of the outdoor track and cross county teams.
"When you wrestle, you're in a different kind of shape. You're in shape, but not in racing shape. It's completely different," he said.
"In wrestling, you have weight-cutting and other things that affect your running. When I cut weight, my running goes straight down. Now, I have one goal and that's to run fast. That's it, that's all I worry about now."
With the bulk of the competition having nearly a two-month jump on him, Boetig says he finds himself playing a game of catch-up. After settling for second place in the 3,200-meter run at last month's county meet, the muscular runner showed what a difference two weeks can make when he chopped 11 seconds off his time and finished with a region-best 10:15.6.
"Every single meet that I've run the two-mile (3,200),I've cut at least eight seconds off of my time," said Boetig, who also competed on the Pats' 3,200 relay that qualified for the states with a fourth-place finish. "I wish the season was longer and that the county's regions and states were still far away. I just wish I had more time to train.
"For me, it's more of a race against the calendar than a race against the clock. I'm crossing off the days on the calendar of how much time I have left to train."
With the states taking place next Wednesday in Baltimore, time is of the essence for Boetig and the Patriots.
Old Mill, which swept the boys and girls teamtitles in last month's county indoor track championships, took a broom to the competition again on Wednesday, finishing ahead of Meade toclaim both the boys and girls titles.
The Patriots' boys team scored 106 points, 20 better than runner-up Meade and 43 ahead of third-place Severna Park.
Old Mill's girls tallied 84.50 points, easily surpassing the Mustangs (69), Chesapeake (52.5) and Severna Park (41).
"I think everyone we needed qualified, and that's the important thing," said Old Mill coach Ron Evans, whose squad will be represented in 23 of 25 events at the state meet. "When you have all these kidsin so many events, you're never going to be totally happy, but we should be happy for the kids who did qualify.
"Right now, it's toughto estimate where we fit in with the other teams around the state, because we're racing on three different tracks. So, we'll study it as best we can, make some scratches and some changes, load up and go with what we got."
Naturally, Meade coach Jay Cuthbert would have liked to have seen his Mustangs defend their boys and girls region titles, but found it tough to complain after his team qualified for the states in 17 of 25 events.
"I told my team coming up here, 'You guyshave been here long enough, and you know what the deal is, so just do what you're capable of doing,' " said Cuthbert, who spent more timecoordinating the meet than he did coaching his own athletes. "In theregions, you're jockeying for position in the state meet.
"Sure we would like to win (the region title), but if you put too much emphasis on winning it, you can hurt your chances at the states. We have to look one step beyond and see where we think we can score in the state meet and then place our people accordingly."
REGION IV CLASS 4A
INDOOR TRACK MEET
Girls team results:
1. Old Mill 84.50; 2.Meade 69.00; 3. Chesapeake 52.50; 4. Severna Park 41.00; 5. North County 32.00; 6. Queen Anne's 24.00; 7. Annapolis 22.00; 8. Broadneck 21.00; 9. Glen Burnie 15.00; 10. Northern 7.00; 11. Arundel 2.00; 12. LaPlata 1.00.
Girls events results (state qualifiers)