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Frederick County on the rise

For years, Frederick County’s girls lacrosse teams have lagged behind the rest of the state and neighboring Carroll County in particular.

But the gap is closing as two of Frederick’s best programs nearly upset perennial Carroll power and reigning Class 4A/3A state runner-up Westminster.

On Monday, Urbana, which had lost each of its previous three meetings against the Owls by at least 10 goals, fell just short, 20-19, and on April 19, Middletown lost by just two, 15-13.

“We’ve had talent, but it has been more about confidence,” Hawks coach Sally Watsic said. “Against these Carroll County teams, the girls used to think they were automatic losses. … It is changing now and all we need is for a couple things to go right to start believing.

“It’s not just the top teams. The whole county is improved so much and all you have to do is look at teams like Tuscarora, Frederick and Linganore that we had tough games against. More girls are playing [recreational and club] ball. For us to be competitive is great and [out of county] teams need to think twice about us.”

Best bets

Urbana at Middletown, 7 p.m. Thursday

Wrestlers move to next level

After a successful regular season for Frederick County's top wrestlers, four seniors say they are expected to wrestle in college.

Middletown's 182-pound 2A/1A state champion Judd Ziegler plans to wrestle at Princeton University. Ziegler finished his senior year undefeated and captured the first state title during his four-year tenure.

Tuscarora's Austin Wenzlaff mirrored Ziegler's path in his senior season, winning a 4A/3A state title undefeated at 160. Wenzlaff, who plans to wrestle for Millersville University, a Division II school in Pennsylvania, won every match by major decision, technical fall or fall.

Urbana's Joe Rimel, who lost in the 4A/3A 182-pound final plans to wrestle at Loch Haven University, another Pennsylvania wrestling powerhouse.

Middletown's Dylan Herrmann plans to attend Grand Canyon University, a Division II school in Phoenix.

Tuscarora track team hits the road

It’s not uncommon for track and field teams to do a lot of traveling. Big invitational meets can sometimes be up to two hours away. Dual meets are much more rare.

But Tuscarora took it to a whole new level this weekend.

The Titans began a 354-mile journey on Thursday, traveling to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays. Tuscarora’s 400-meter relay team posted its fastest time of the year, breaking the 50-second barrier, landing in the top 10 in the state, and beating all other Frederick competitors.

After making their mark at Franklin Field, coach Chris Babb and his team packed up and traveled south 158 miles to Chantilly High School in Virginia for Cassel’s XBC Track Experience.

The Titans finished second at Chantilly behind another strong meet from Krystal Clarke, who won the 100 with a personal record, the 200, and the long jump. She also placed second in the 400.

After the Titans wrapped up at the XBC Experience, they drove 45 more miles home to the familiar scenery of Ballenger Creek.

Tuscarora logged nearly seven hours of traveling to get to the two meets.

“I like coming out there to go against 4A schools because they are supposed to be better than us,” Clarke said at the Viking Invitational a week prior to the high-mileage weekend. “I just want to improve and get better.

Oakdale softball team building for 2013

Oakdale coach Joe Whipp hoped his team would have a better record than its 5-10 mark. But his team is just as good as he hoped.

The distinction: Oakdale, which went 7-9 during its inaugural season last year, is playing a much tougher schedule as a Monocacy Valley-Piedmont member this season. The Bears have lost to Monocacy Valley foes Walkersville and Linganore twice each.

Returning pitcher/first baseman Ciara Whipp, third baseman Kayla Holman, shortstop Jess Coggins, second baseman Kelly Barnhard and catcher Tori Leggieri have lived up to Joe Whipp’s expectations, and freshman pitcher/first baseman Bridgett Holman has exceeded them.

Joe Whipp initially planned to pitch Holman only occasionally and only against weaker opponents, but she’s earned a third of the starts. She and Ciara Whipp are two big reasons Joe Whip said Oakdale is poised for a breakout season in 2013.

“I certainly think that we’ll be able to make a run at the regional championship next year,” Whipp said.

How they rankGirls lacrosse

1. Middletown Knights

Thursday’ game against Urbana could be for county bragging rights.

2. Tuscarora Titans

At 8-3, a double-digit victory total is possible.

3. Urbana HawksAlmost made history Monday, but fell one-goal short in loss to reigning state runner-up Westminster.

4. Walkersville Lions

Appear to be playing their best lacrosse at the right time with wins in four of the past five games.

5. Linganore Lancers

Have lost four straight, including two goal setback to No. 3 and 10 goal loss to No. 2. Go figure.

Boys track1. Linganore Lancers

Were the top Frederick finisher in the 400 relay at the Penn Relays.

2. Gov. Thomas Johnson Patriots

Looking forward to conference championships on Thursday.

3. Tuscarora Titans

Were the top Frederick finisher in the 1,600 relay at the Penn Relays.

4. Walkersville Lions

After a weekend off, the Lions should be ready for conference championships on Thursday.

5. Catoctin Cougars

Preparing for Frederick County championships on May 9.

Girls track1. Gov. Thomas Johnson Patriots

Tamara Ovejera outperformed all American competitors in the discus at the multi-nation Penn Relays.

2. Tuscarora Titans

Took second at Cassel’s XBC Track Experience and were the top Frederick finisher in the 400 relay at the Penn Relays.

3. Catoctin Cougars

Preparing for county championships on May 9.

4. Oakdale BearsEmma King took fifth in the pole vault at the Penn Relays.

5. Linganore Lancers

Were the top Frederick finishers in the 1600 relay at the Penn Relays.