Key girls, Westminster boys still at front of the pack

March 26, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Nothing much has changed in Carroll County track and field circles since last spring.

The Francis Scott Key girls are still the most celebrated team in the county, and the Westminster boys still can blow away the opposition with sheer numbers.

The mere mention of the Ryer twins (Carrie and Laurie), Stacey Greene, Ali Jones and Jen Moorman returning to the Key girls squad is enough to conjure up memories of the 1A Eagles blitzing the 4A Owls, 123-88, in the county championships last season.

Those five athletes are ready to pick up where they left off, and Lisa Turner and Christine Harner are back to join Moorman and Jones on the 1A state champion 3,200 relay team.

They all were part of a Key drive to a second-place finish in the state 1A championships last season, and now they are poised for a run at No. 1 in the state.

There is so much talent on the Key girls team that most observers say the Eagles can overcome the departure of coach Tom Hill, who is now assistant principal at Sykesville Middle School.

Hill was the Girls Coach of the Year in Carroll County last season. He has been replaced by Angie Green, who was an outstanding sprinter at Key in her junior and senior years.

The Westminster girls had a huge turnout of 70, but the Owls do not appear to have the talent to climb back to the top spot in the county.

Like Key, the Owls girls will have a new coach.

Shirl Dorsey replaces Dale Fogelsanger as head coach. Dorsey holds the Westminster High and county girls record in the shot (44 feet, 3 inches) and she held the state record in the discus (147-9) from 1986 to 1993.

South Carroll, Liberty and North Carroll will continue to chase Key and Westminster.

In the boys county championship competition, Westminster is favored to make it 17 straight county titles even though the Owls have lost All-County performers Matt Knights, Kenny Roe and Steve Kahler.

Westminster has junior standout distance runner Mike Recek back, along with senior middle distance runner Nate Shank.

Recek was a first-team All-County choice last spring and he won the state 4A cross country championship race last fall. Shank finished sixth in the state 4A 800 run last spring and was a honorable-mention All-County track and field choice.

Owls' coach Jim Shank likes his team's depth but does not see the squad having enough top performers to challenge for the state 4A title. Westminster was tied for eighth with Suitland last spring.

Shank said Westminster's run of seven straight Central Maryland Conference championships is in jeopardy. He sees Linganore and Frederick as the favorites for the CMC title.

Francis Scott Key, with first-team All-County choices Steve Wright and Bobby Bollinger back, looks like a solid second-place squad in the county.

The Eagles could close a little ground on Westminster, which finished 79 points ahead of Key last year, but they still figure to be far back.

South Carroll has lost Haven Barnes (Boys Performer of the Year in Carroll County last year) to graduation but still should have enough talent to take third place, leaving Liberty and North Carroll to battle for fourth.

Liberty has been hurt by senior distance runner Joe Ledda's decision not to run.

"Joe was almost a guaranteed first-place finisher in the two-mile run," said Lions coach Dan Jones.

Here's a closer look at each team:

Francis Scott Key

Boys -- Wright, a senior, is the defending state 1A high jump champion with a leap of 6-6, and Bollinger, a sophomore, won the county shot put championship last year and finished fourth in the 1A regionals with a throw of 47-3.

The Eagles took fourth in the state 1A championships last year. Gone from that squad are first-team All-County selections Josh Crone and Jason McCarley.

Crone was a two-time state 1A pole vault champion and McCarley was the state 1A runner-up in the 300 hurdles last year.

Top members back are seniors Damon Battaglia (distance), David Lookingbill (distance) and John Shorb (middle distance) and sophomore Casey Norris (middle distance).

The most intriguing newcomer is senior football and basketball standout Chris Richardson, who will be a sprinter and jumper.

Juniors Cortney Howard and Cortney Woodyard will compete in the hurdles and middle-distance events, and junior Tony Cahoon is set for the pole vault.

Five freshmen are expected to help the Key cause. They are Brett Ebersole (distance), David Higgs (distance), Sean Deal (distance), Aaron Howard (middle distance) and Chet Brownley (distance).

Girls -- The only important member missing from last year's state 1A second-place team is distance runner Shannon Hugg.

The Carroll County Girls Performers of the Year, the Ryer twins, are back. Carrie and Laurie each won four gold medals in the county meet last season and combined to win three silver medals in the state meet.

Carrie took a silver in the triple jump, Laurie a silver in long jump, and they both ran on the second-place 400 relay team.

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