Under radar, Williams wins 500 title



Because Harford County does not recognize indoor track and field as a varsity sport, the name of Paris Williams wasn't likely on the lips of the 11 other runners who lined up in the 500-meter race for a shot at a gold medal at the Class 3A-2A state championships on Feb. 20.

And that suited Williams just fine.

The Aberdeen junior let her time speak for itself, as she crossed the finish line in 1 minute, 18.03 seconds and claimed her first state crown.

Williams, who won despite being seeded in the first - or "slower" - heat and having to wait until the second heat had been completed, said she relished her anonymity.

"I think I had a little advantage because the other schools may not have heard much about me. So when they see me at meets, I take them by surprise," Williams said. "I like being able to come in as an underdog and leave them all knowing that I can compete with the best of them."

Williams, who had opened her season with a victory in the 400 (59.80) at the Howard County Winter Trackfest, hadn't competed in the 500 until the Class 3A-2A East regional meet two weeks ago.

Eagles coach John Mobley said he has noticed a difference in Williams' attitude this winter.

"Her approach to this season was totally different from the previous two years. She is more focused and confident," Mobley said. "She actually wants to compete with the best runners."

Williams is enjoying her time in the spotlight, but said she is eager to start the outdoor season to begin working on another state title in the 400.

"I am happy I won, but I can't dwell on this victory," Williams said. "I have to keep working hard and hopefully I will win again in the spring."

State swimming

Several Harford County swimmers fared well in the second state swimming meet last week in College Park.

North Harford's Lauren Foster took second in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 200 individual medley. Teammate Arielle Webster finished third in the 50 breaststroke and fifth in the 100 freestyle.

Jeff Riley of Havre de Grace was third in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the 100 backstroke. Dan Worrell helped the Warriors with a second-place finish in the 200 freestyle.

North Harford had the county's lone victory, winning the girls 200 freestyle relay.

The meet did not have official team scoring. It's also not an official state championship event recognized by the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association because there are not enough schools that have swimming as a varsity sport.

Repeat performance

The Aberdeen boys and Fallston girls were able to repeat as the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference basketball champions last week.

Aberdeen rolled to a 65-36 win over Edgewood at Harford Tech. That was the second part of a championship doubleheader, as Fallston topped Edgewood, 39-35, to defend its UCBAC girls crown.

Fallston and Bel Air both finished 9-3 in the Chesapeake Division in the regular season, but the Cougars made the title game by virtue of a tiebreaker. They hung on for the championship as both teams struggled in the final minutes after Edgewood had pulled close.

Aberdeen, however, had little trouble in the boys title game. The Eagles scored the game's first five points in 41 seconds, forced 12 first-period turnovers and never trailed. They barely pulled out a 52-50 win when the two teams met 12 days earlier, but this time the Rams couldn't handle Aberdeen's constant defensive pressure from the guards.

But the Aberdeen boys were the only one of the four teams in the UCBAC title games to make it out of the first round of the state regional tournament.

The Eagles scored a 67-49 victory over Bel Air Friday in a Class 3A East regional game and advanced to a second-round matchup with River Hill earlier this week. Edgewood suffered a 67-56 loss to J.M. Bennett in the same region.

The Fallston and Edgewood girls also both fell in the Class 3A East region's opening round. Centennial scored a 32-26 win over Fallston, and Wilde Lake notched a 59-48 victory over Edgewood.

On the mat

No. 9 Harford Tech won the Class 2A-1A East regional crown last weekend at Stephen Decatur, beating the host school by two points.

Mike Taylor (112 pounds), Mike Long (130) and Matt Kahl (145) each won regional titles for the Cobras, who also got second-place finishes from Eric Haskell (125), Ryan Overstreet (135), Jonathan Woods (152) and Jeff Gardner (171).

In the Class 4A-3A East regional meet at Broadneck, Tommy McCord (130) from C. Milton Wright, Bel Air's Shane Correll (140) and Aberdeen's Pat Conlon (152) each finished second.


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