The state's best track and field athletes will converge on Westminster High starting tomorrow afternoon.
With the Western Maryland College stadium unavailable because of graduation, the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association decided to keep the state track and field championships in the neighborhood.
Westminster High coach Bill Hill offered, and the MPSSAA accepted.
But a little of the luster will be tarnished for the Owls, who have lost two of their top runners for violations of school policy.
The meet starts with Class 3A and 4A events beginning at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Class 1A and 2A events at 4 p.m. Friday and completion of all meets starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Because the meet cannot interfere with normal school activities, some of the Thursday and Friday events will be at night.
The Westminster girls will be without senior Stephanie Morningstar in the state meet. Morningstar was expected to finish in the top three in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
The boys, meanwhile, will be without distance runner Dion Stanton.
Without Morningstar, the girls have six qualifiers in the Class 4A meet. Kenya Warfield, who won region titles in the high jump and high hurdles, leads the way for the Owls. Hill is looking for the boys to finish in the top five with Bowie the team to beat.
The Owls have 14 qualifiers and three region champions competing, though the loss of Stanton could cost the team points in the middle-distance races.
Steve Kahler (800 and 1,600) and Matt Knights (triple jump) were the region winners on Friday.
The Francis Scott Key boys have a good shot at repeating as Class 1A state champs.
Key coach John Seaman said his Eagles should get a challenge from Milford Mill, Wilde Lake, Smithsburg and possibly Boonsboro.
Key also will be missing distance specialist Jim Clarius in individual events -- he missed last weekend's regional qualifier meet due to illness, but is eligible for relays.
L Smithsburg will be tough to beat in the girls Class 1A meet.
Seaman was extremely pleased with the Key girls' second-place showing in the Class 1A Region II meet Friday at Catoctin. He said sixth or better in the state meet would be a tremendous finish.
Senior Dani Deeds will lead the way for the Eagles. She had what Seaman called "an absolutely perfect meet" Friday in the region championships, winning the 100, finishing third in the 200 and anchoring a pair of winning relay teams.
Another standout senior is Liberty's Julie Cox, who will be gunning for three state titles after winning the 100- and 200-meter events along with the intermediate hurdles.
In other sports this week:
* Five Carroll County seniors will participate in the Lacrosse for Leukemia tournament Friday at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
North Carroll attacker Danielle Miller (41 goals and 17 assists during the regular season) and Liberty teammates Val Swomley (39 goals and 17 assists) and defender Erin Myers were selected to compete in the girls game at 6 p.m.
Liberty's John Monar (29 goals and 19 assists) and Andy Manley of South Carroll will compete in the boys game slated for 8 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $6 each. All proceeds will be used to support researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
* The Carroll-Howard girls senior all-star game will take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow at North Carroll High School in Hampstead.
All the senior lacrosse players from Westminster, South Carroll, North Carroll and Liberty will be in action.