Once Hill instilled confidence, Owls retained their lofty perch Coach of the Year 1993 ALL-CARROLL COUNTY GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD TEAM

June 11, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

This was supposed to be the year the Westminster girls track dynasty could be dismantled a little by the youth and talent at Francis Scott Key.

Owls coach Bill Hill received advice from all corners on how to survive the challenge from the Eagles.

"People were telling me we weren't that good and I should move the schedule down to build confidence," Hill said. "Even our kids Coach of the Year

didn't believe at the beginning of the year. But I decided to take the team to big meets and see if these girls could perform at high levels."

The Owls quickly began to believe in themselves after bringing home medals from meets such as the Carlisle Invitational, the Meade Stampede and the North County Invitational.

They went on to win a sixth straight Carroll County girls championship by 66 points over Francis Scott Key and finish seventh in the state 4A meet at Western Maryland College. Only eight points separated the Owls from third place in the 4A championship meet.

That's why Hill is The Baltimore Sun's 1993 Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in Carroll County.

Once the early doubts were erased, Hill said it was smooth sailing for the Owls. "The first thing I knew our girls were believing in themselves," Hill said. "When Jessie Farinholt won the discus and finished second in the shot at the Meade Stampede, it was proof to these kids they could compete at the

top levels."

Hill said his girls would have fared better in the state 4A meet "if just some of our athletes would have had stellar days."

But there are no regrets.

"We had a smart group of girls," he said. "Twenty-three of our girls had over 3.25 grade-point averages."

Hill has to fend off criticism that Westminster wins county titles because of a major advantage in numbers on the team over the smaller schools such as Francis Scott Key.

"It's not all depth," he said. "If you take the best performers from any school in the county and put our kids with them, we'd still be the best team."

Hill has been the Westminster girls and boys coach for 16 years, and he has had assistants Jim Shank and Dale Fogelsanger on a consistent basis. "We don't change coaches," Hill said. "That produces a quality program."

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