Athletes shine at Penn Relays
Lackey, Westlake track teams compete with nation
Competing alongside some of the best high school athletes in the nation, Southern Maryland track and field athletes more than held their own at a rainy and cold Penn Relays held April 28 to 30 at University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
On the boys side, Westlake’s turned in a Southern Maryland-best eighth-place finish in the 1,600-meter run. Competing in Event 440, the foursome of Ja’Len Elliott, Will Moten, Tobias Hurley and Thomas Alcorn finished in 3 minutes, 23.97 seconds. Kingston College from Jamaica won the race in 3:15.95.
Elliott found himself in sec- ond place but a restart halted the race. On the ensuing start, Elliott found himself boxed in, but that ended up being the least of his problems.
“He was trying to get out the whole time and on the third turn he tried to pass on the inside, hit rail and turned his ankle,” Westlake head coach Beth Shook said.
Elliott finished the final 100 or so meters with a badly sprained ankle, though Shook said he “really didn’t lose any ground.”
Shook held Elliott out of practice on Monday, but added she was hopeful he would be ready for the SMAC and regional meets.
The Wolverines foursome also added a 19th–place finish in the small schools 400 dash when it finished in 43.27 seconds. St. Jago, also from Jamaica, took first in 41.33 seconds.
“They did very well,” Shook said. “It was cold, it was rainy and they actually missed their heat. Their time was good.”
Shook said the team has developed good chemistry.
“They really, really work well together as a team and spend a lot of time together in and out of school,” Shook said.
“They did well,” Lackey head coach Jimari Jones said. “They’ve been working on their handoffs, and they came together at the meet.”
The same foursome also placed 13th in the 1,600 run after clocking 3:46.84 in the open class event 413. Mahwah of New Jersey won the race in 3:30.77.
“I’m happy with their performance,” Jones said.
In the large schools 400 Jamaica College from Jamaica won the race in 40.87 seconds, just five one-hundredths of a second off their record of 40.92 set in 2014.
On the girls side, Lack- ey’s 1,600 team of Sydney and Taylor Williams, Dominique Jeffery and MacKaiya Cherry won open event 137 in a time of 4:00.73.
“We went in there and we were prepared to run fast,” Jones said of the foursome, which won the Class 2A indoor state title this past winter. “We were excited about our prospects and what they could do up there and they came through.”
Despite losing a shoe early, Sydney Williams set the tone with a lead lap of 58.65 seconds and, after No. 2 runner Taylor Williams clocked 59.36, Jeffery and Cherry brought home the win.