All-County Boys Track & Field: Hardy, Lowery both sensational
Williamsport's Evan Hardy and Boonsboro's J.R. Lowery are The Herald-Mail's 2012 Washington County Boys Track & Field Co-Athletes of the Year. (By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer / June 14, 2012)
Hardy won Maryland Class 2A state titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, while Lowery was a Class 1A state champ in both the shot put and discus throws.
They are The Herald-Mail’s 2012 Washington County Boys Outdoor Track & Field Co-Athletes of the Year.
But they don’t plan to rest on those laurels. The next chapters of their athletic careers will begin this fall on a pair of college campuses in Pennsylvania.
“It’s not going to be easy,” said Hardy, who will run track and cross country at the NCAA Division I level for Lehigh University. “I’ll have to adjust, and hopefully I can build up and run some good times there too. I just can’t wait to be in a pack again and have to work my way up.”
Lowery is set to compete for Kutztown University in Division II, hopefully in football as well as track.
“I’m ready to get started at the next level,” said Lowery, who was The Herald-Mail’s Washington County Football Defensive Player of the Year last fall as a defensive end. “I’m the big fish here at Boonsboro and in Washington County, but I’m going to go to Kutztown and be a small dog again and work my way up.
“I’m walking on in football and I got a scholarship for track, so we’ll see how that turns out. If they cut me, I’ll just focus on track.”
Lowery certainly was a big dog in high school. His winning and personal-best throw of 56 feet, 11 1/2 inches in the shot put at states was the top mark in Maryland this spring, of all classifications in any meets.
This weekend he’ll try one more time to break the all-time county record in the shot put when he competes at New Balance Nationals in North Carolina. The mark of 57-10 1/2, set by Smithsburg’s Jim Rodgers, has stood since 1979.
“It’s the only goal that I have left,” Lowery said. “I just have to do it.”
Hardy also will be competing at the national meet this weekend and chasing an even older county record — the 9:18.14 Terry Baker ran for 2 miles (3,218.7 meters) for Williamsport in 1973. (Baker’s time converted to 9:14.44 for 3,200 meters, which also is the county record for that distance.) Hardy’s race at nationals also will be the full 2 miles.
“It’s going to be tough,” said Hardy, who set the county record in the 1,600 (4:17.82) at the state meet after winning the 3,200 title in 9:22.15. “I feel like I already peaked, but we’ll see if I can push through for this last one meet.”
Joining Hardy and Lowery on the all-county first team are:
Gerick Allen, Boonsboro
The junior was the county runner-up and a 1A state placewinner in both the shot put and discus.
Nick Berchock, Williamsport
The junior was the county champ and a 2A state placewinner in the pole vault.
Luke Daigneault, Smithsburg