Westminster seeking to take 2nd bow, with outdoor title

4A-3A indoor title in hand, boys `upbeat' about double

Track And Field

March 20, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SUN STAFF

Fresh off their first state title in school history, the Westminster Owls enter this spring looking for a rarity in high school track and field.

An encore performance.

After capturing the Class 4A-3A indoor championship last month at the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore, the Owls are full of confidence and ready to make a run on the ultra-competitive outdoor circuit, according to their coach.

"The kids are really upbeat," said Westminster coach Jim Shank. "Attitude-wise, it helps a lot. Of course, any edge we gained could be brought right back once the meets start."

Leading the way will be seniors Jesse O'Connell and Jared Craig, The Sun's Carroll County co-Top Performers this winter.

O'Connell, the area's top middle-distance runner, claimed an indoor state title in the 800 (1 minute, 59.8 seconds) and took second in the 500 (1: 07.9), also capturing Central Maryland Conference titles in both events.

Craig, perhaps the area's top all-around athlete, claimed an indoor state title in the high hurdles (7.51) and last week finished fourth in the pentathlon at the National Scholastic Invitational in New York, in an event that encompasses the high jump, long jump, shot put, 1,000-meter run and high hurdles.

Also returning for the Owls are high jumper/hurdler Troy Borneman, pole-vaulter Andy Kuchera, thrower Adam Ridgway and distance standouts Josh Davis, Tristan Gilbert and Kevin Pool.

Though Westminster appears to be significantly above the rest of the county, its top competition may come from South Carroll. The Cavaliers will be a force in the distance events, returning every top runner from last fall's cross-country team, which finished second at the Class 3A state meet.

Leading the way will be All-County performers Bobby Mead and Matt Adami, both of whom can excel in everything from the 800 to the 3200. Others to watch are Jason Colvin (800), Adam Hollenberg (800, 1600), Sean Hollars (3200) and freshman Dan Reedy (3200).

Josh Rodriguez (sprints) and Steve Grant (200, 400, jumps) should also play key roles.

"I've got all my kids from cross country coming back," said South Carroll coach Rob Pennington, whose team features just two seniors. "We're young, but not really inexperienced."

A young, though much-improved Liberty squad also could make some noise. The Lions are led by indoor All-County selections J. D. Egolf (long sprints) and Rocco Pugliese (throws), and also features distance standouts Mark Buschman, Justin Gardner and Jason Hammond, sprinter and jumper Marc Falcone and a pair of promising newcomers from lacrosse, John and Shawn Moxley (middle distance).

John Kinch (sprints), Ryan Ford (jumps), Mike Bowers (400) and Andrew Cooke (pole vault) could also make some noise within the county.

Bowling Brook, which finished second to Calvert Hall at last year's Private Schools state meet at McDonogh, knocking off such powers as Gilman and Mount St. Joseph along the way, should again have several to watch. They include shot-putter Mike Price, sprinter Mike Taylor and jumper Jesse Corley.

Since the school normally has students for only 10 months, it is in a constant state of rebuilding.

North Carroll will be young, but will get an exciting addition in football standout Steve Suter (sprints). The Maryland-bound senior had one of the fastest times in the 40 at a Baltimore-area football scouting combine, and is being coached by Panthers assistant Rob Palmer, himself a former college track and field standout.

The team also features three top distance runners in Justus Getty, Ken Lynch and J. T. Potter (800 to 3200).

At Francis Scott Key, the theme is rebuilding, though the Eagles do feature a pair of All-County performers in Ed Seeley, a sprinting standout this winter despite wearing a cast on his right arm, and sprinter and high jumper Sam Becker.

Girls

Westminster is again the team to beat.

The Owls will rack up big points in the throws, where senior Kiara Adams recently took third place in the shot put (41 feet, 10 inches) at the National Scholastic Track and Field Championships in New York. Adams, The Sun's Top Performer in Carroll County over the winter, will lead a pack that also includes top throwers Emily Hester and Katie Selby.

The cast also includes indoor all-county picks Tara Callegary (distance), Kristen Gombeski (long sprints), Alyssa Huver (pole vault) and Mandy Komar (middle distance).

North Carroll, however, will be a top challenger.

The Panthers, who won a regional championship this winter without Carroll County Cross Country Runner of the Year Colleen Lawson (knee) are again loaded.

With several weeks of rest under her belt, Lawson will attempt to come back, and will be joined by All-County team members Anna Korovina (hurdles, shot put), Aislinn Sowash (hurdles), Katie Walker (pole vault) and Cheryl Williams (distance).

Katie Riley, one of the area's premier sprinters, plays softball in the spring.

Others to watch are senior Laura Fisher (throws) and junior Sarah Myers (300 hurdles).

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