Taking the next step
State track and field meets this weekend in Baltimore
The end of the high school track and field season is upon us and many athletes and coaches are tapering practices, letting the athletes bodies rest and rejuvenate in order to get the best results from them this weekend at Morgan State University in Baltimore, where the state track and field championships are held.
Class 1A and 2A began Day 1 on Thursday, while 3A and 4A begin Day 1 at 4 p.m. today. All classes will finish up Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
Leonardtown senior Lorina Clemence, who will compete in 4A in the 800- and 3,200-meter relays as well as the 1,600 run, said she’s ready for states, although she had a setback during the indoor season that has carried over somewhat to outdoor.
“I am definitely excited,” Clemence said. “It’s going to be a big meet and it’s going to be a culmination of everything that I’ve trained for this season, so I am definitely excited. This is my third time [in a row making it to states]. Right now we’re tapering for states so our practices are pretty easy to help our bodies recover from when we were supposed to be getting into shape. There still very structured though.”
Clemence said she’s set personal goals.
“I’m just wanting our relays to place as well as possible at states,” she said. “I know I placed seventh last year in the open 400 and when I set goals for myself it’s just for myself, so I have personal goals that I want to meet.”
Clemence said she’s battled a hamstring injury, which also means keeping in shape on her own time, so going to states as a bigger meaning for her.
“I’ve tried to figure out how to work out without using my legs, which is kind of the annoying part and so I expected my times to be better, but I’m at the point I was junior year. I was expecting to PR and improve more,” she said.
Calvert freshman Justin Diehl, making his first appearance, is thrilled with the whole experience and is ready for the next step. Diehl will compete in the 2A 3,200 race coming off a win in the 2A South Region championships last weekend with a time of 9 minutes 58.70 seconds.
“It’s going well. We’re working on our speed to get ready,” Diehl said. “It’s really cool [to go as a freshman], I was really surprised at first. It’s a really cool experience and I’m really excited. No, I’ve never been to Morgan State. The team has really helped me. They’ve encouraged me to do better and some of my teammates have really pushed me through workouts, which has also really made me better. I’ve been really lucky this year. I haven’t had any injuries or anything.
“I like to run a sub 9:40. A week before regionals, I ran a 9:46 at the SMAC championships so that’s my best time. I’ll probably go out and run a pretty fast first mile and hopefully keep up with that pace.”
Huntingtown senior Dajon Wiseman will compete in the 3A meet in the 100, 200 and the 800 relay. Wiseman said he has his radar on Oxon Hill’s Jabari Michael. Michael claimed 3A South Region championships titles in the 100 and 200 versus Wiseman
“This is going to be my second year [going to states], so I’m really excited,” Wiseman said. “Looking to end my career with a bang and hopefully winning states in one of my events. I’d like to run a 10.7 [in the 100]. Jabari Michael and I run pretty close together, like the same time. We’ve run together like four, five times now and we know each other pretty well now. We know it’s going to be pretty close.”
Wiseman said practices are going well.
“We’re working hard as always,” Wiseman said. “We’re doing a lot of stretching to limit any injuries. We’re just doing some fundamental work just so everybody has their mind set and their body right for states.”
Wiseman said it’s been a great senior year.
“I definitely didn’t expect this, but it happened. I’m not complaining,” he said.
La Plata’s Lillian Reese has reason to celebrate as well. She’s remained a top contender in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference in the high jump, long jump and triple jump this year. Reese heads to states after 2A South Region wins in all three events.
“I’m very excited for states,” Reese said. “I’ve been gearing up for it for weeks now and I’m peaking at the perfect time. Whether or not I win, my overall goal is to PR in all of my events. To win anything would be great, but my primary focus is to better my times and distances in all of my events.”