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Around this very time last year, three days prior to be precise, Carroll County was hit with an unfriendly guest — Winter Storm Jonas.

The storm eliminated any chance of high school sports action that weekend, including the indoor track county championship meet.

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Many athletes were then forced to find other means of training in the remaining weeks leading up to the regional meets. Members of South Carroll's team got together to voluntarily shovel snow from the school's track to do so.

The county championship meet is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at Hagerstown Community College. Carroll athletes can now expect to strictly compete against familiar faces from all seven county schools.

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"I think, first of all, they're pleased," SC coach Bill Gerhold said. "The cancellation was tough on the team, especially for our seniors. It was their last chance for a county meet, so they were upset and disappointed it was canceled, but everyone is happy right now."

Gerhold added that the regional meet will be held a week following counties, a change from recent years where teams were normally given at least two weeks to train before regional competition. The Class 2A West Region meet is set for Saturday Feb. 3 at Hagerstown Community College.

"We can't get too high," Gerhold said. "We have to come right back a week later and keep a fairly even field in order to advance. With two weeks, you can make adjustments after seeing how things go at counties, but we hope to be at that level tomorrow and maintain it. We might be able to tweak few things at practice but not a whole lot. We're hoping everyone stays healthy, because that's important too."

The Cavaliers' girls team is relatively smaller in numbers this year but it hasn't kept them from maintaining a steady increase in performance. Both teams have brought on "pleasant surprises" in terms of what his athletes are capable of doing, Gerhold said.

South Carroll is looking for its first girls indoor county title.

Expect Century to contend again today at Hagerstown. The Knights boys have been 2A state runners-up for three straight seasons and have a new head coach in Chris Mead.

Century's boys have won six consecutive indoor county crowns, while the girls team claimed recent titles in 2014 and 2015.

Gerhold said he thinks this year's county meet will be relatively quick. Expect many athletes to participate in multiple events with minimal rest before they have to gear up for the next one. That kind of preparation has stuck with the Cavaliers all season, and the team is right where they're expected to be.

"It's part of what we talked about all week long, stressing and planning and time management to prepare for the next event," Gerhold said. "Forget about the previous one, prepare for the next one. They're still young, still learning."

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