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Track and Field Notebook

Strong Relays Lead Arundel to Victory

By Dave Yanovitz
Special to the Washington Post
Thursday, April 14, 2005; Page AA22

Five Anne Arundel County track teams took part in last week's Evans/Luce Invitational at Arundel High, named for former Arundel track coaches Ron Evans and Ralph Luce.

The host Wildcats won the girls' meet going away, defeating second-place Old Mill, 211-125, and sweeping the relays. Chesapeake was third, followed by Northeast, Bowie and Severn.

Cynthia Windesheim is picking up where she left off in the high jump. (Don Wright For The Washington Post)

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In the 4x100 meter relay, Arundel's Alessa Hardin, Brianna Owens, Cori Otey and Krystal Casiano won in 51.6 seconds, less than two seconds ahead of Old Mill.

In the 4x400 relay, the Wildcats' quartet of Sarah Atkinson, Lindsay Frostbutter, Ashley Armstead and Brittany Watts won by 6.4 seconds over Northeast. Arundel also won the 4x200 meter relay.

"We got some girls off the basketball team and added to the strength" of the team, said Arundel Coach Ira Queen. "They scored 211 points, which was outstanding. And we were covering all the events. We scored in every event that we were in."

Individual winners for the Wildcats included Hardin in the triple jump (31 feet 7 ½ inches), Casiano in the 100 hurdles (17 seconds), Armstead in the 400 meters (1 minute 1.03 seconds) and Marissa McPhail in the 1,600 meters (5:26.1).

Arundel hasn't won a girls' county championship in Queen's four years -- their best finish was second -- and Queen estimated it has been nearly two decades since the Wildcat girls' last outdoor title. But Arundel is strong across the board, Queen said, and this could be the year.

"I hope so. . . . It's giving me a clear picture," he said, acknowledging that Severna Park will be tough to beat. "The jumps, long and triple. We've got two good pole vaulters, and the hurdle events and middle distance [are solid]."

Old Mill won the boys' meet, besting second-place Chesapeake, 168-133, and the Patriots also won the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays, the former in a meet-record time of 42.4 seconds. Old Mill senior Chris Bryant set a meet record in the pole vault, clearing 13 feet. Arundel finished third, followed by Northeast, Bowie and Severn.

New Heights

North County sophomore Cynthia Windesheim, who won the 4A East Region high jump title as a freshman last May by clearing 5 feet, is looking to greater heights, so to speak. She's cleared 5-foot-6 in practice twice (but only 5-4 in competition) this spring, and hopes to go a couple inches higher by the county championships May 11.

"Hopefully, I can get up there and jump 5-8 in a meet and be nationally ranked," said Windesheim, who won the county indoor title with a jump of 5-2.

Windesheim is first and foremost a field athlete, but Knights Coach Ed Harte is mentoring her in the 100 hurdles. She beat Broadneck speedster Robin Yerkes in the event twice in the past two weeks. This afternoon she'll go up against hurdlers from host South River, Chesapeake and Glen Burnie.

We're still experimenting with her," said Harte. "You see, the problem with track is there's no little league [feeder system before high school]. When you start teaching people technical stuff it takes a lot of time. You're sort of playing a game to see what they will do well.

"She's a high jumper, but we're trying to spread her out in several areas."

Windesheim was new to track when she joined the team last spring. Now, she runs summer track at North County.

Windesheim takes three steps between hurdles in that dash to the 100 finish line, and she says her form allows her to beat faster runners.

"I wouldn't be very good in an open 100. My running form is not very good," she said. "But in hurdles, I three-step. You could have the best sprinter next to you and can beat her with that form."

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