Lackey, Westlake claim team titles at SMAC track and field meet
Lackey girls, Westlake boys grab SMAC track and field meet crowns
To say to Sydney Williams’ 17th birthday would be one she would remember for a long time would be a gross understatement.
The Lackey junior won the 200-meter dash, the 300-meter hurdles and was a member of the 400-meter relay along with Amber Conyers, Dominique Jeffery and Lauryn Young. Williams also placed second in the 100 hurdles, all during Day 2 of the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference track and field championships Thursday at Great Mills High School.
“[The 200] was a hard race coming right off the [heels of the] 300, so I had to mentally prepare myself and ice myself and get myself ready,” Williams said of the sprint, which she won in 25.08 seconds, barely ahead of runner-up Mallorie Smith of North Point (25.27). “I could hear Mallorie coming beside me, so I had to pull [away] at the end of the race.”
In the 300 hurdles, Williams clocked a time of 45.14 seconds to edge out second-place finisher Erianna Gudger of Huntingtown (46.05).
“That was even harder because [the event] is more of a mental thing, so I had to prepare myself right away,” said Williams, wearing a Birthday Princess button. “My competitor from Huntingtown was right next to me, so I knew I had to pull and get over the hurdle quick.”
Williams’ performance also helped the
Lackey girls win the team title with 139.20 points, well ahead of runner-up North Point (89). Northern was a point back at 88 and Huntingtown tallied 81.20 points. Leonardtown wrapped up the top five with 55.20.
“We tried to switch it up a little bit to make sure we could prepare ourselves to be versatile for regionals and states and we did that,” Lackey head coach Jimari Jones said of the team’s second straight title. “It’s a long time coming to reap the benefits of all the hard work but it’s really exciting.”
Westlake’s placed first, second or third in seven events on Thursday to wrap up the team title on the boys side with 108 points.
“We’re really excited,” Westlake head coach Beth Shook said of her team’s second straight SMAC title. “This is step one, so now we have regionals and then states. They know where they need to be at the end of the year so that’s what they work for and that’s what they did. I knew after Day 1 [we had a chance] because we didn’t have many points in the finishers in Day 1; our points all came in the sprints, which is Day 2.”
Huntingtown was runner-up with 96.50 points and Northern grabbed third with 89. La Plata was fourth with 72 points and Great Mills finished fifth with 70.
Williams was helped by Jeffery, who won the 100 (12.68) and was second in the 400 (57.78) and Courtney Hawkins, who claimed the shot put (38 feet 1 3/4 inches). Hawkins won the discus on Day 1.
Annie Imhof was a double winner for Great Mills after winning the 800 and 1,600 runs. She clocked 2 minutes 19.15 seconds in the shorter event and 5:07.96 in the 1,600.
“It feels great. I had great competition and they pushed me to a PR last year and again this year,” Imhof said of the 800, in which she lopped off three seconds. “You can never really strategize, but I have run with these girls before so you get a feeling of how everyone runs. I wanted to lead and have the flexibility to push and pull the pace where I needed to and then when it came time I wanted to be able to open it up and sprint to the finish hard. That’s a great time, but I’m looking to drop more time in the next two weeks.”
Other winners were North Point’s Smith (400, 56.80), Huntingtown’s Harleigh White (200, 25.69) and La Plata’s Lillian Reese (100 hurdles, 14.64). The Eagles won the 1,600 relay.
Many boys winners
In boys, Matt Bennett of Northern was the meet’s only triple winner after claiming the 800 (1:59.38) and 1,600 (4:24.24) to go along with his 3,200 title two days earlier.
“I was alone there [in front], but I was trying to run a good time so it was OK,” said Bennett of the 1,600, which he won by more than three seconds. “I think when there’s no one challenging you you start to ease up a little but so it’s a little harder to push.”
The only SMAC record to fall was that of the 110 hurdles, which Great Mills’ Casimir Tawiah toppled with a time of 14.19. The old mark of 14.37 was set in 2013 by Quajae Jones of Huntingtown.
“It feels great. I’ve been running the hurdles since I was a freshman and I’d look up to the seniors and think, ‘Wow they’re running 14.37’ and now I’m like, ‘Hey, I broke that record,’” said Tawiah, a senior who will attend Troy University in Alabama on a track scholarship. “I’ve always seemed to have a talent for it. I’m tall, I’m quick and once I started getting the gist of it it just became natural. I’ve been really practicing my seven-step approach and that really helped me even though my competition really pushed me but in the middle of the race I just broke away.”
Dajon Wiseman of Huntingtown won the 100 in 10.98 seconds, just one-tenth of a second ahead of runner-up Will Moten of Westlake. The roles were later reversed when Wiseman placed second to Moten in the 200. Moten’s 21.94 was nearly four-tenths of a second faster than Wiseman.
“I had a pretty bad prelim, so I was in Lane 1 and I had a pretty bad start and by the time I glanced to my right I saw I was in third so I just picked it up,” Wiseman said of not getting the favored Lanes 3 to 5. “It’s just hard to see your competition [from Lane 1] but at about the 60-meter mark I started my full stride.”
Thomas Alcorn of Westlake brought home the 400 in 49.74 seconds.
“My race was pretty good, it could have been better because I think I got out too fast and towards the end I started dying out,” said Alcorn, who ran the 400 just minutes after a fifth-place finish in the 200. “But the fact I got out fast was kind of good because it got me that great lead. I know I didn’t run as well as I expected to place as high as I expected but I know I got some points for our team and that’s all that matters, running for the team.”
Mike Williams of Northern won the triple jump (41-5), North Point’s Braxton Hammock won the 300 hurdles and La Plata’s Alexander Devine wrapped up his domination of the throwing events with a toss of 162-11 1/2 to win the discus.
“I’m extremely excited about that race [because it’s my] first year of 300 hurdles,” Hammock said, “And to come out here my senior year and win a SMAC title is an amazing feeling.”
Westlake won the 400 relay and North Point took the 1,600 relay in 3:29.56.
“I’m pretty happy, especially with the way I ran first,” Hammock said, “which is probably the most important leg of the relay for being the person that gets you as close to the front as you can and that’s what I did.”
“I knew Lackey had a good team coming so I knew coming around the curve I’d stay close to [their runner] and pass him when I got the chance,” said Darrien McIntosh, who ran the second leg. “I passed him and heard him coming a little bit down the homestretch, but I just went for it and tried to get the freshman the baton.”
“I ran the 800 just before but I was really excited since it’s freshman year so I wanted to come out and give my best,” said Austin Geier, the team’s third leg. “And a special shout out to Darrien MacIntosh for being a leader all year.”
“The lead they gave me was pretty good,” said Kendal Hammock, who ran the anchor leg, “and I was just trying to hold it off and finish strong.”
The Lackey girls celebrate their team title at the SMAC track and field championships Thursday at Great Mills.
The Westlake boys track and field team celebrate their team title at the SMAC track and field championships Thursday at Great Mills.
Lillian Reese of La Plata, right, soars over the hurdle on her way to winning the 100-meter event in 14.64 seconds to nudge out runner-up Sydney Williams of Lackey (14.77), left, at the SMAC track and field championships Thursday at Great Mills.