Lackey, West­lake claim team ti­tles at SMAC track and field meet

Lackey girls, West­lake boys grab SMAC track and field meet crowns

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

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.”

PHOTO BY ANDY ROPER

The Lackey girls cel­e­brate their team ti­tle at the SMAC track and field cham­pi­onships Thurs­day at Great Mills.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

The West­lake boys track and field team cel­e­brate their team ti­tle at the SMAC track and field cham­pi­onships Thurs­day at Great Mills.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

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.

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