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Hereford's Wesolowski, Collins are North County News Female Co-Athletes of the Year

Hereford's Kelly Wesolowski has no nearby competitors on her way to winning the girls 3,200 meter run during the Baltimore County Track and Field Championships at Dulaney High School on May 13.
Hereford's Kelly Wesolowski has no nearby competitors on her way to winning the girls 3,200 meter run during the Baltimore County Track and Field Championships at Dulaney High School on May 13. (Brian Krista/BSMG)

When Hereford High senior Kelly Wesolowski finished the 3,200-meter run at the Class 2A state championship track meet in a time under 11 minutes she wasn't satisfied.

Hereford coach Brad Duvall noted her time of 10:56.85 was her fastest of the season and is a special accomplishment.

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"It was just an incredible group of kids that she was competing against," said Duvall, noting Patuxent's Haley Jackson (10:21.73) and Catoctin's Julien Webster (10:37.35) finished ahead of her.

"She was upset about it and I just told her you are still one of the top 10 all-time in the classification, it just happened that three of those girls are the same year as you," Duvall said.

Wesolowski rarely lost to anyone during her senior year and that earned her the selection as the North County News Co-Female Athlete of the Year.

She shares the honor with Hereford High's Erin Collins.

In her final outdoor season, Wesolowski won a Baltimore County championships in the 3,200 (11:15.12) and was third in the 1,600 (5:17.02) in rainy and windy conditions at Dulaney High.

She followed that by doubling up with wins in the 1,600 (5:19.13) and 3,200 (10:58.66) in the Class 2A North Region championship meet.

At the state meet, she also ran in the 1,600 and set a personal record (5:12.52), while placing sixth.

She didn't stop there.

Wesolowski travelled to North Carolina in mid-June and competed at the New Balance Nationals where she ran the 5,000 meters and placed eighth (17:29.28).

It was the first complete outdoor track season for Wesolowski.

As a freshman in outdoor track she ran her personal best time of 10:47.16 in the 3,200 and set a Hereford school record.

But, a serious toe injury prevented her from completing the outdoor track season.

Her diagnosis was Freiberg infraction and after playing soccer as a freshman and sophomore her plan to switch to cross country as a junior was shelved because of surgery.

"The bone in my toe was collapsing, so they had to take the dead bone out and they took a bone graph from my heel," said Wesolowski, after placing second in September at the Barnhart Invitational — her first cross country invitational.

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About a year after her surgery, on Oct. 8, she won the Gettysburg Invitational in a time of 18:07, breaking the course record by 17 seconds and beating the runner-up by 34 seconds.

"I haven't had many kids that are more determined than she is and a lot of them wouldn't have been able to overcome those things and come back in the amount of time that she did," Duvall said. "That's what separates her is that determination."

She also won the Spiked Shoe Invitational and was second at the Class 2A state cross country championship meet in a time of 18:42.2.

She was one of three in the top 10 for the state champion Bulls. The others included Emily Konkus (fourth) and Kelly Shearer (seventh).

Indoors, Wesolowski, who will attend Delaware University in the fall, won Baltimore County and regional titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 and was second in the state meet in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600.

Duvall praised her endurance and was especially impressed with her in longer runs.

"The longer the race the better. She would win a lot of those," Duvall said. "If we had a 10K in high school I don't think she would be beat because she is just able to maintain that tempo for so long."

Erin Collins was dandy on the diamond and court

North County Female Co-Athlete of the Year Erin Collins will play softball at Rutgers University after a phenomenal spring season.

Collins batted .656 with 42 RBIs and 29 runs scored and eight home runs.

She ended her prep career with a Hereford school-record 24 homers.

She batted for the cycle against Kenwood and didn't strike out the whole season.

On the mound, she went 15-3 with wins over Eastern Tech and Lansdowne.

In the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs she struck out 17 and pitched a no-hitter against Loch Raven.

In 108 innings she had a 1.08 earned run average and struck out 181.

"Erin is the type of player who makes others around her better," coach Laura Blama said. "She mentors younger players, showing them how to perfect their footwork, play a bad hop, or improve their bat swing."

She was an All-County first team selection for all four of her varsity seasons.

In volleyball, Collins helped the Bulls win four straight regional titles and she played in four state semifinals.

"She was probably the most significant player we had all-around on our volleyball team," coach Dave Schreiner said. "She was our our outside hitter and she led us in serving percentage, so we depended on her for points there and we also depended on her for her hitting."

She had eight kills in the Bulls loss to Rising Sun in the 2016 state semifinals and averaged 4.65 kills and 2.45 aces per match.

C.J. Doon contributed to this story.

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