Pan­thers en­ter state meet with un­fin­ished busi­ness

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Last spring, the Perryville girls’ track and field team won the re­gion cham­pi­onships in lop­sided fash­ion, top­ping run­ner-up Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester by more than 100 points to en­ter the 1A State Meet as one of the heavy fa­vorites to win it all.

But a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the 4x200-me­ter re­lay and a mis­take in the 4x100-me­ter re­lay cost the squad valu­able points and re­sulted in a third-place fin­ish. They ended the week­end just 11 points shy of the first team state crown in pro­gram his­tory.

One year later, the Pan­thers once again en­ter the state meet in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion. The team will travel to Mor­gan State Univer­sity in Bal­ti­more on Thurs­day for the two-day tour­na­ment hop­ing to cash in on a tri­umphant 1A North Re­gion Cham­pi­onship in which it de­feated run­ner-up Pat­ter­son Mill by 102.5 points.

“The girls made some

PERRYVILLE

mis­takes last year and I think they know what it is they need to do to win this year,” Perryville coach Raissa Moore said. “They just need to go out there and be as com­pet­i­tive as they have been all sea­son.”

At the North Re­gion Meet this past week­end, the Pan­thers cap­tured first place in both the 100-and 200-me­ter re­lays. They pro­duced five in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­ons in eight dif­fer­ent events. They also added a sec­ond-place re­sult in the 4x100-me­ter re­lay and reg­is­tered sec­ond place fin­ishes in six other in­di­vid­ual events.

The re­sult was the team’s fifth-straight re­gion crown and third North cham­pi­onship.

“It’s pretty awe­some. It feels great and I’m proud of all of us. We worked hard for it,” said Perryville’s Brooke Doane, who placed first in both the triple jump and the long jump and added a third­place re­sult in the 300-me­ter hur­dles. “It payed off.”

In ad­di­tion to Doane, the Pan­thers were led by wins from Au­tumn Estep (100-me­ter- and 300-me­ter hur­dles), Jarah Ce­vis (shot put and dis­cus), Alysa Con­way (400-me­ter dash) and Paiton Kelly (pole vault).

Now the team will turn its at­ten­tion to its fi­nal task of the sea­son: Tak­ing care of un­fin­ished busi­ness at the state meet.

“We have to lit­er­ally just give it ev­ery­thing,” Doane said. “We can’t mess up our hand­offs like last year. We have to just to do ev­ery­thing right.”

Af­ter a suc­cess­ful show­ing at the 2A East Re­gion Meet over the week­end, the Elk­ton boys’ team will also at­tempt to main­tain their mo­men­tum at Thurs­day’s state meet sim­i­lar to the Perryville girls.

Be­hind a win in the 4x100me­ter re­lay, in­di­vid­ual vic­to­ries from Zyphere Ruf­fin (400-me­ter dash) and Raiquon Estep (triple jump) and sec­ond-place re­sults in five other in­di­vid­ual com­pe­ti­tions, the Golden Elks cap­tured sec­ond place over­all at re­gion­als. An im­pres­sive dis­play at the state meet will put an ex­cla­ma­tion mark on the Elks’ strong reg­u­lar sea­son that fea­tured tri­umphs in both the Cecil County In­vi­ta­tional and the Susque­hanna Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­onships and the county’s top fin­ish in the UCBAC Meet.

“We over­achieved in terms of what we have to work with. In the be­gin­ning of the year, I talked about just get­ting into re­gion­als and see­ing what we could do,” Elk­ton coach Paul Rig­gio said. “We lost a lot of peo­ple along the way but that core that was strong at the be­gin­ning of the year is still strong at the end of the year. I’m ex­cited to see what they can do at the end. It’s amaz­ing that we were able to send a few peo­ple to in­di­vid­ual events [at States] as well [as the re­lay teams].”

In other 1A ac­tion, Bo­hemia Manor’s Tara McDon­ald (1,600-me­ter run) and Gil­lian Crid­dle (high jump) will at­tempt to win state ti­tles af­ter plac­ing first at the re­gion meet. On the boys’ side, Perryville’s Ben Kuhn (dis­cus), Joe Rine­hart (shot put) and Cage Jones (pole vault) and the Ea­gles’ 4x800me­ter re­lay team and Justin Pritch­ett (high jump) will look to cash in at the state meet af­ter they also earned top scores at re­gion­als.

In 2A com­pe­ti­tion, North East’s Sarah Ku­bat will travel to Mor­gan State hop­ing to win a state ti­tle af­ter plac­ing first in the re­gion meet. Her team­mate, Ko­bie Matthews, will com­pete for a state ti­tle on the boys’ side af­ter he placed first in the 100-me­ter dash.

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CECIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

The Perryville girls’ track and field team will aim to cap­ture the pro­gram’s first-ever state crown when it com­petes at the 1A State Cham­pi­onships at Mor­gan State in Bal­ti­more this week­end.

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