Experience gives Westminster edge Owls are positioned to sweep county track championships again


Young and inexperienced.

That will be an oft-repeated phrase in Carroll County track and field circles this spring.

Liberty, North Carroll, South Carroll and Francis Scott Key all have talent, but are young, inexperienced or a mixture of the two.

Westminster, meanwhile, stands above the rest with a combination of experience and talent and should have a good chance to sweep the county championships for the second straight year.

The Westminster boys should score plenty of points in the

sprints and distance races.

Led by Mike Recek, 1995 Runner of the Year in cross country, the Owls look strong in the distances. Recek, a senior, will run the 800 meters, 1,600 and 3,200. He won the county and Central Maryland Conference titles in the 3,200 and the CMC championship in the 1,600.

Juniors David Barnes (1,600, 3,200) and Danny Carter (800, 1,600) also should help in the distance races. Corey LaPrade, a junior, will try to defend his CMC title in the 100. He'll also run in the 200 along with senior Josh Smith (100, 200, 400), and both should run relays.

Coach Jim Shank also looks for help from hurdlers Mike Merker, a junior, and David Reazin, a senior. The biggest question for the Owls will be in the field events.

"We'll be strong on the track," said Shank. "The field events are untested. At this point we're not sure how strong they'll be."

The Westminster girls have strong points on the track and in the field. Defending county champions and seniors Kim Spencer (100) and Sherry Esposito (800) should spark the Owls, who also will be helped on the track by junior hurdler Jessie Stickles.

Coach Tom Fisher's team also has a strong corps of long and triple jumpers. Junior Jill Ibex finished second in the county last .. year in the high jump. Senior Carla Phillips, junior Anna Smith and sophomore Cindy Reese all will go in the long and triple jumps.

Senior Megan Magee will help in the shot and discus.

Francis Scott Key also looks able to score points from various places in both boys and girls competition.

For the boys, coach Rich Salkin has a very young team. Senior Tony Cahoon won the state championship in the pole vault last spring and should do well once more.

Middle distance races and some sprints look good for the Eagles. Sophomores Scott Glover (400, 800 and others), Frank Hansborough (200, 400), David Higgs (800), Aaron Howard (200, 400) and Casey Norris (hurdles, middle distances) also will help.

In addition to Cahoon, Bobby Bollinger and Cortney Howard will lead the team in the field events. Bollinger (junior) won the last two county shot put titles and Howard (senior) is set for the long jump in addition to hurdling.

The Key girls have lots of point-scoring capabilities especially from a group of four seniors.

Jamie Bailey, Karen Barnes, Stacey Greene and Ali Jones should help the Eagles gain points in running and field events.

Coach Angie Green's team lost several key people to graduation, but this group will help the Eagles fly again.

South Carroll will rely on the duo of Carrie Braun and Jill Krebs for its success this spring. Coach Rob Pennington's team has only six seniors out of its 46, but Krebs and Braun are the keys.

Krebs, a sophomore, came on late last spring and then blossomed in the cross country season. She won the county and turned in strong performances in the CMC, region and state meets was the Runner of the Year .

Braun was overshadowed a bit by Krebs in the fall, but the junior has been a strong runner for the Cavaliers throughout her career. Pennington also looks to senior Erin White (sprints), junior Becky Alvarez (400, relays) and sophomore Amy Martinez (long and high jumps plus sprints) for points.

The boys are even younger with only four of 34 being seniors. Pennington said the team has potential, but it will take time.

Juniors Dave Bly (pole vault), Pat Chichang (long, triple and high jumps) and Sean Rayford (3,200) should help the Cavaliers. Senior Bob Coffman (400, 800, 1,600) and sophomore Josh Elder (800, 1,600) also can grab some points.

North Carroll and Liberty both have a large number of untested people this spring.

The Panthers boys will use some football players to help this spring. Coach Bill Rumbaugh who also coaches football brought approximately 10 boys out for track and field.

Senior Jason Gelb (football and basketball) will work on the high and triple jumps. Junior quarterback John Etzel (junior) is set to -- do the shot put and discus, as will senior linemen Ron Schott and James Hesen.

On the track, sophomore Jeremy Cuno should be one of the county's top distance runners, especially in the 1,600 and 3,200. Senior Eric Giffi made the states last year in the 400 and will run relays and jump.

"We have older kids, but no experience," said Rumbaugh. "The key is going to be piecing some of these guys together for relays."

The North Carroll girls are even younger, with no seniors among the 28 athletes.

Coach Greg Knill said the throwing events should be strong with twins Jackie and Jamie Nave and Heather Jenness. The three juniors make up the most experienced corps of athletes for the Panthers.

Sophomores Adrienne Lee (CMC champion in 800 last year) and Katie Torsella (400, high jump) should help, as will junior Krista Summers (800, 1,600, 3,200).

Liberty has the same youth problem as the Panthers. Only 10 of the 66 Lions are seniors, and coach Dan Jones said both teams are starting to build.

The girls should be led by two-time high jump state champion Vicki Osinga. Despite having off-season knee surgery, Osinga is jumping as well as ever.

Sophomores Kelly Knutson (sprints, hurdles) and Katie Skierski (800, 1,600) should do well, along with junior Jill Ondercin (distance).

For the boys, Bobby Ward returns to defend his county title in the 1,600. The sophomore will be helped by seniors Paul Swenson and Jim Redding.

Pub Date: 3/24/96

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