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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Carroll track athletes good as gold

  LANDOVER — In a meet dominated by teams from western Maryland and individuals from the Washington D.C. region, the girls from Manchester Valley managed to avenge a disappointing second-place finish last year, and earned a 1A team championship in the process.

Out of the four team title winners from Monday's Class 1A and 2A state track and field championshipsat Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex, the Mavericks were the only school not from Frederick or Washington counties to be crowned.

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Oakdale swept in the Class 2A boys (49 points) and girls (73) team standings, while Smithsburg nabbed the 1A boys title with 72 points.

Led by senior Katie Leisher, who took first place in the 1,600 (5:23.48) and 3,200 (11:40.40), and ran on the winning 4x800 team and second-place 4x400 team, Manchester Valley's 96 points were good enough to best Smithburg's 86.

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"We're really proud of ourselves, because we work and put so much effort in," Leisher said. "Just working together and coming together is really what it's all about."

The Mavericks only brought 11 girls to the meet itself, yet collected points from all but one of them.

Last winter, Pikesville edged Manchester Valley by just four points —an outcome that could have been reversed had a few circumstances gone the Mavericks' way.

Along with Leisher's dominance, Hailley Baughman won the pole vault (8-6), and Kayla Geho defended her shot put title with a 33-10.5 mark Monday afternoon.

However, those in the Mavericks program said the addition of athletes like Liz Leahy, who wasn't at the state meet last year, and Lizzie Colson, the reigning Times player of the year in girls soccer and girls lacrosse, made an impact this time around as well.

"I was really nervous this morning, but [Manchester Valley coach Eric] Baumgardner told me I didn't have any options, so I just had to do it and win," said Leahy, who did just that, nabbing the high jump victory with a 4-11 mark. She also finished second in the hurdles and sixth in the 55-meter dash.

That success almost never happened for the Mavericks, as Leahy debated taking part in indoor track before the season even started.

"I think it made a really big difference," she said of the new athletes as compared to last year's team. "We all specialize in different things, which I think helped. And we had more choice of different events."

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Similar to many athletes who choose indoor track as a way of staying in shape in the offseason, Colson didn't know much about the sport when she first signed up. What separates her from the rest of that crowd, however, is a competitive drive that comes from winning a state championship in the past.

Last spring, the Mavericks girls lacrosse team took home the 1A state championship.

She said it was a bit overwhelming when she first arrived Monday, and even admitted that there were teams in attendance that she didn't even know existed.

"It's kind of intimidating to come in and see all these teams here," she said. "First year, I didn't know what I was getting myself into."

Still, while indoor track is much more individualized, Colson said the team dynamic was easily comparable. It was that championship experience that she relied on to get through the day.

"I know I'm new to it, but I could just tell that everybody else wanted it so much," she said. "And that just kind of rubs off you, and you want it just as much as people like Katie who have been here doing this forever."

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Colson ran the second leg on the winning 4x800 team and anchor on the third-place 4x200 team. She was the third runner on the school's second-place 4x400 group, and even finished second to Pikesville's Senait Weaver in the 500.

"They are fantastic," Leisher said of her two teammates. "Liz Colson is just amazing. She's just a very versatile athlete, and you can just stick her in anything and she'll do amazing. She was just a great addition."

After the 1A West Region meet, when the Manchester Valley girls finished 26 points behind Smithsburg, it could have been easy to count the team out.

After all, the Leopards sending a high number of talented athletes to states, and the numbers from regionals didn't exactly do the Mavericks any favors.

Baumgardner said if any teams were thinking that way, it was a huge mistake.

"Our approach was just to come in here and win our individual events, and we started the day exactly how I told them we would," the coach said. "This is really the only meet that matters. I don't care what seed times tell you. It's all about getting here and performing when its time."

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Carroll's outdoor track state champs

Danika Ani (FSK), 2A shot put

Tevin Bailey (W), 3A high jump

Tyler Cox (WM), 2A shot put

Matthew Kane (C), 2A 1,600 run, 3,200 run

Katie Krebs (MV), 1A shot put

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Liz Leahy (MV), 1A long jump

Katie Leisher (MV), 1A 800 run, 1,600 run, 3,200 run

Nick Neral (C), 2A pole vault

Erin Sallee (MV), 1A triple jump

Leah Wolf (L), 2A discus

Century 2A boys 3,200 relay

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Liberty 2A girls 800 relay

Carroll's indoor track state champs

Tevin Bailey (W), 3A high jump

Hailley Baughman (MV), 1A pole vault

Kylie Davis (C), 2A 300 dash

Kayla Geho (MV), 1A shot put

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Nathan Gill (MV), 1A high jump

Liz Leahy (MV), 1A high jump

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Katie Leisher (MV), 1A 1,600 run, 3,200 run

Nick Neral (C), 2A pole vault

Erin Patrice (L), 2A 55 dash

Molly Walsch (NC), 1A 800 run

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Century 2A boys 3,200 relay

Man Valley 1A girls 3,200 relay

South Carroll 2A girls 1,600 relay


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