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Indoor Track: County championship meet set for Saturday in first leg of championship season

Carroll County boasts state-wide talent in indoor track, and athletes from the county’s seven public high schools are set to compete against one another Saturday in the first leg of championship season at the county meet at Hagerstown Community College.

Century’s boys and South Carroll’s girls have reigned supreme in recent years — the Knights have won eight straight county titles, and the Cavaliers have won the last two championship meets.

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Former Knights coach Tony Griner led the program to their first six county titles and a pair of state titles in 2011 and 2013 until Dyron Johnson and Chris Mead took over for Griner prior to the 2016-17 season. The team continued to find success, and won back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018. Johnson has led the program as a solo head coach since the 2018 season.

Century senior Tyler Dregely, Francis Scott Key senior Cole LaPierre, and South Carroll senior John Kettula made the Times all-county first team last winter. Dregely, whose 500-meter dash and 800 run times are currently second across Class 2A (according to athletic.net), won the 500 at last year’s county meet.

His 500, 800, and 1,600 times are the best in those events for all of Carroll County this winter, according to carrollcountyrunning.com.

Kettula won the 1,600 county title last winter, and he anchors the Cavaliers’ 4x400 relay team that holds the fourth fastest time across 2A this season.

Knights junior Hayden Hebert, the 2019 Times Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, ran a 9:43.09 in the 3,200 at the Howard County Winter Festival on Dec. 21, good for second in 2A.

Look for a little competition between Century senior Chett Brunner and Liberty junior Mason Breeze in shot put. Brunner threw 52 feet, 4 inches at the Frostbite Invitational on Dec. 30, which leads 2A. Breeze is second in 2A — he threw 48-7.25 at the Montgomery Invitational on Jan. 11.

South Carroll’s Patrick Tunkel and Peyton Thomas lead 2A in pole vault — both athletes vaulted 13-9 at the Frostbite Invite to share the top height in the state.

The Knights graduated Jalen Stanton, the two-time Times Indoor Track Athlete of the Year who won three individual county titles, four individual 2A West titles and four individual 2A state titles as a senior last winter. He set personal records in three of his four events at the state meet to help the Knights finish second to Oakdale. Stanton still holds the county meet record in the 55 dash (6.62 seconds).

South Carroll’s girls won last year’s county meet with 111 points, 17 points ahead of second-place Century. The Cavaliers faced significant turnover in depth with the graduation of first-team all-countians Grace Fipps, Sarah Langille, Megan O’Neill and Lexi Winkler. Fipps is the reigning Times Girls Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.

SC senior hurdler Brooke Flanigan returned from last year’s all-county team and holds the fifth fastest time in the 55 hurdles in 2A this winter (9.17 at the Warrior Invitational on Jan. 11.) Flanigan won the 55 hurdles at last year’s county meet.

Grace Siehler, the 2019 Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year, leads the county and 2A in the 1,600 with a personal record time of 5:14.81. She has the second-fastest time in the 800 in 2:25.02 and holds the fastest county time in this event as well. Siehler also anchors the Cavs’ 4x800 relay team that leads 2A in 10:11.03.

Siehler and Winters Mill junior Kathryn Hopkins should provide a solid distance competition, considering how close the two athletes competed during cross country season. Siehler won the county and 2A West cross country meets, Hopkins finished second in both, and Hopkins edged Siehler at the finish line to take second at the state meet by .2 seconds.

Hopkins holds the second-fastest time in the 1,600 in 5:25.68 across 2A.

Century boasts three of the county’s top sprinters — Jasmine Stanton (55 dash), Caroline Mastria (300), and Anna Hackett (500) — two of the fastest relay times, and the top high jumper in senior Ally Everton.

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Manchester Valley sophomore Rubie Goffena’s 3,200 time of 11:20.11, a personal record, is the third-fastest in 3A and she leads the county in the same event. Westminster senior Katie Devilbiss threw 39-2.5 at Dickinson College on Jan. 11, good for the best throw in 3A. Francis Scott Key junior Elizabeth Mahoney is second in 2A with a personal-record throw of 35-5.

The 2A West meet takes place at Hagerstown Community College on Feb. 1 and the 3A West meet is slated for Feb. 6 at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex at 4 p.m.

All four classifications compete at the state meet Feb. 17-18 back at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex.

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