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Liberty boys dominate indoor track county meet, end rival Century’s run of 10 straight titles

Trent Taylor has plans to continue his running career next year at Frostburg State University in western Maryland, so cold temperatures and snow-covered ground at Saturday’s Carroll County Athletic League championship meet was merely something he’ll be getting used to in the future.

Taylor won a pair of gold medals and led Liberty to a boys team title at Century High School, where the host Knights had dominated the county’s indoor track scene for the last decade.

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The Lions finished with 145 points and won their first outright county championship since 2006 while preventing the Knights from claiming an 11th consecutive team title. Taylor took first in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, both in comfortable fashion.

The senior said it felt fulfilling to be able to compete for a championship given the last month of uneven workouts and regular-season meets at either Century or Manchester Valley high schools.

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“Finally getting to run races has just been great,” said Taylor, who tries to stick to 40 miles per week to build his distance base. “We’ve been running since June, basically, just getting up in mileage. ... I’ve been trying to get acclimated to the weather.”

Westminster's Jack Heefner, left, and Century's Hunter Rose compete in the final of the boys 55 meter dash during the Carroll County indoor track meet held on the outdoor track at Century High School on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.
Westminster's Jack Heefner, left, and Century's Hunter Rose compete in the final of the boys 55 meter dash during the Carroll County indoor track meet held on the outdoor track at Century High School on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Liberty added county championships from Mason Breeze (shot put) and the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams. The Lions went 1-2-3 in the 3,200, and Taylor enjoyed a post-race photo with teammates Davis Trump and Luke Petenbrink in which they flexed their muscles for the camera.

Runner-up Westminster earned golds from Jack Heefner (55 and 300 dashes), Ian Mullen (500), Cameron Rucker (55 hurdles), and Justin Condon (high jump). The Owls totaled 117.5 points and were going after their first boys team county title since 2003.

Century won the 4x200 relay, Manchester Valley had a county champion in Carter Knox (800), and South Carroll also had one in Peyton Thomas (pole vault). But Liberty piled up enough points to celebrate, and coach Sarah Sheetz said Saturday was the result of a lot of dedication.

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“They’re a great group of boys,” said Sheetz, who took over solo this year as varsity coach after several years with co-coach Amanda Milewski. “Very motivated. They have goals. It’s been a good opportunity.”

Westminster's Justin Condon attempts a try in the boys high jump competition as piles of snow are seen adjacent to the event area during the Carroll County indoor track meet, held on the outdoor track at Century High School on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021.
Westminster's Justin Condon attempts a try in the boys high jump competition as piles of snow are seen adjacent to the event area during the Carroll County indoor track meet, held on the outdoor track at Century High School on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Sheetz, who spent 20 years coaching in Baltimore County prior to her joining Liberty, said she felt proud that indoor track kept from having to shut down during the winter for any major COVID-19 issues.

“We should feel fortunate,” Sheetz said. “Thank you to the ones who pushed to bring us the sports and give the kids the opportunity, because it means a lot to them. It’s game-changers.”

TEAM SCORES

1. Liberty 145, 2. Westminster 117.5, 3. South Carroll 79, 4. Century 77.5, 5. Man Valley 34, 6. Francis Scott Key 30, 7. Winters Mill 7

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

55 dash: 1. Jack Heefner (W) 6.98, 2. Hunter Rose (C) 7.06, 3. Douglas Brian Diethrich (SC) 7.14

300 dash: 1. Jack Heefner (W) 37.88, 2. Hunter Rose (C) 38.23, 3. Jesse Jason (L) 38.37

500 dash: 1. Ian Mullen (W) 1:11.68, 2. Cameron Grier (L) 1:12.33, 3. Ryan Sien (C) 1:14.69

800 run: 1. Carter Knox (MV) 2:06.76, 2. Seth Lassiter (L) 2:10.04, 3. Anders Madsen (W) 2:12.64

1,600 run: 1. Trent Taylor (L) 4:49.91, 2. Luke Petenbrink (L) 4:56.01, 3. Ryan Von Stein (C) 5:13.02

3,200 run: 1. Trent Taylor (L) 10:34.1, 2. Davis Trump (L) 10:37.78, 3. Luke Petenbrink (L) 10:47.8

55 hurdles: 1. Cameron Rucker (W) 8.54, 2. Joseph Zolkiewicz (SC) 8.95, 3. Colin Apellainz (L) 9.05

4x200 relay: 1. Century 1:38.57, 2. Westminster 1:38.78, 3. Liberty 1:40.37

4x400 relay: 1. Liberty 3:55.82, 2. Westminster 4:00.36, 3. South Carroll 4:02.38

4x800 relay: 1. Liberty 9:08.2, 2. Westminster 9:38.03, 3. Man Valley 9:43.02

High jump: 1. Justin Condon (W) 5-6, 2. Zach Gaegler (W) 5-4, 3. Cameron Rucker (W) 5-2

Pole vault: 1. Peyton Thomas (SC) 10-6, 2. Nathan Kriet (MV) 10-0, 3. Matthew Williams (C) 9-6

Shot put: 1. Mason Breeze (L) 45-7.25, 2. Nathan Fields (SC) 39-0.75, 3. Christopher Marroquin (SC) 32-1

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