By Craig Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org
6:00 AM EST, January 20, 2014
It's hard to imagine that the seven-time Baltimore County champion Hereford girls indoor track team could get any better, but they might have done just that.
Tune in on Tuesday at the Baltimore County championship meet, at the 5th Regiment Armory, to see the Bulls as they stride for their eighth consecutive title.
The Bulls added talented freshman Kelly Wesolowski to a veteran group that won the past two Class 3A state championships and last three Class 3A Central regional titles.
Senior distance standouts Sarah Ashwood and Erin Causey have been the key performers for the Bulls the past three seasons, and this year they were blessed with the addition of Wesolowski.
Wesolowski didn't ease into the fray casually after playing junior varsity soccer in the fall.
She stormed right to the front of the pack and has already put herself among the best 3,200 meter runners in the country.
When Hereford won the 34-team Southern Maryland Invitational on Jan. 4, Wesolowski's time of 10:52.53 in the 3,200 meter run was the second fastest indoor time in the country and fastest in the state this season.
It already ranks her with elite runners, like Dulaney's Isabel Griffith, who was the runner-up last year in the Class 4A state indoor meet with a time of 11:17.80, and who won a 4A state cross country championship last fall.
Hereford coach Brad Duvall was aware of his talented freshman before she arrived at Hereford because she won several races in middle school.
He saw her training with the soccer team and knew he would be getting someone naturally gifted.
At the indoor county meet, she will run the 3,200, along with junior Meghan Anderson and sophomore Sarah Coffey.
The 1,600 meters is even more stacked, with Wesolowski, Ashwood and Causey.
Ashwood is the two-time defending state champion in the 1,600 meters.
Causey was second in the state to Ashwood indoors, and a state champion in the event outdoors.
Causey placed third in the 800 at the Southern Invitational meet with a time of 2:27.56.
"She is a jack of all trades," Duvall said. "You can put her in anything and she'll give you a top three finish."
Ashwood won the 1,600 at the Southern Invitational, while Coffey was fourth and Anderson fifth, but Ashwood hasn't even peaked since soccer season ended.
"Soccer girls take a while to get in shape," Duvall said. "She started off rough, but she is starting to come into her own."
The 3,200 relay squad, that included Morgan Oakley, Uriel Lee, Melissa Meehling and Catie Dentz, was fourth at the Southern meet and should be a threat at counties.
Senior Lacey Brown and sophomore Alicia Kozlowski should also contribute in the relays.
Dentz is dangerous in the 500 and 800 meters, and her points, along with contributions from pole vaulters Hannah Boliek and Kaity Lynch and high jumpers Megan Davis and Emily Beehan, will be critical.
The Bulls moved down to Class 2A this year and will have tough competition in the state meet with Boonsboro, Western Tech, Middletown and Largo.
But, the first priority is continuing the county title streak.
"Milford Mill is just as good as we are," Duvall said. "It will be very close."