Debbie Snyder is in one of her slow seasons.
Take a recent performance by the Glenelg shot put and discus star. In a dual meet against Oakland Mills, she won the shot put, but had a "horrible" discus throw, she said, finishing second to Lauren McHargue at 87 feet, 2 1/2 inches, almost 16 feet short of her personal best.
Glenelg girls track and field coach Bill Godwin says, in part, she's suffering from "senioritis."
But with a habit of peaking at the right time, Snyder's semi-slump is probably temporary. County, regional and state competition is the important time for the senior, a three-time Howard County champ and one-time state champ in the shot put.
"I've been real inconsistent lately, and I guess you could say I'm probably not working as hard as I should," Snyder said. "But I end up doing my best during the time of counties, regionals and states."
Godwin said: "A lot of people don't function until the pressure's on. But when you get to the counties, the adrenalin's up and the competition's stiffer."
As a sophomore, Snyder won the county, regional and state Class 2A shot put titles. She also placed third in the state in discus. As a junior, Snyder was county shot put champion, along with state finishes of second in shot put and third in discus.
L Now, she's again vying for statewide acclaim in both events.
Shot put and discus aren't even Snyder's favorite sports. The three-sport star also played volleyball and basketball for three seasons and will head to Loyola College next year on a partial volleyball scholarship. Snyder never competed in indoor track and field because basketball occupied her time.
With spring 1993 being Snyder's 10th season in varsity sports, she
nevertheless doesn't feel overwhelmed. The one-time National Honor Society student has a 3.7 grade-point average.
"I like keeping active, and I'd probably get really bored if I didn't play sports," she said. "It didn't get out of hand. I enjoyed playing."
During the years, Snyder has acquired a stronger liking for the discus over shot put. For the most part, throwing a 1 1/2 -pound discus requires finesse, while throwing the 8-pound shot put requires power. Snyder prefers the discus because it's a more "graceful" exercise.
"There's a certain way of doing [discus] . . . the right hand angle, your arm has to be the right height, it's a lot of everything," she said. "With the shot put, you just have to tough it out. There's a lot more strength involved, where in the discus, there's a lot more technique."
Godwin said: "She has a little bit more trouble with the technique in the discus. It's a little bit more complex than the shot put."
Snyder has the school record in shot put (36-6 3/4 ), which she set finishing second in last spring's state meet. Godwin hopes she'll begin throwing 37-plus as the Gladiators approach the county meet at Oakland Mills on Wednesday and Thursday. Her personal discus record is 103 feet, and "we're going for the school record" of 108 feet, Godwin said.
In addition to Godwin, Snyder works closely with Glenelg boys coach Roger Volrath.
"He knows the throwing events pretty good," she said of Volrath. Godwin, waiting for Snyder to come into postseason form, is optimistic that it will be soon.
"She's usually pretty enthusiastic about shot put and discus," he said, "but she's now suffering from a little senioritis like everybody else. I'm going to have to do a little con job to pick her
up. I expect her to rebound by the big meets."