County run­ners fin­ish on top of the state

SMAC claims seven ti­tles at 1A/2A in­door track and field meet; West­lake boys take 2nd, McDonough boys and Lackey girls 3rd

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

LAN­DOVER — While team ti­tles for the var­i­ous South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence schools that par- tic­i­pated in Mon­day’s Class 1A and 2A state in­door track and field cham­pi­onships at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports and Learn­ing Com­plex proved elu­sive, sev­eral run­ners de­parted with in­di­vid­ual hon­ors.

Head­ing into the fi­nal event of the af­ter­noon — the girls 1,600-me­ter re­lay — the Lackey High School girls were still in con­tention for the Class 2A state ti­tle. When ju­nior Do­minique Jef­fery took the ba­ton from Des­tiny Thomp­son for the an­chor lap and out­kicked Here­ford ju­nior Tori White to seal the ver­dict, the Charg­ers had tem­po­rar­ily been launched into first place for the over­all team ti­tle.

But Lackey’s lead proved to be short-lived. Im­me­di­ately af­ter the race, Charg­ers head in­door track and field coach Ji­mari Jones was in­formed by track­side of­fi­cials that the re­lay was dis­qual­i­fied for an in­frac­tion dur­ing the third leg of the race. Jones im­me­di­ately ap­pealed the de­ci­sion, but, af­ter a brief in­quiry, the judges opted to up­hold the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

When the dust set­tled, Lackey’s girls fin­ished third with 66 points be­hind cham­pion Here­ford of Balti- more County (89.50) and Friendly of Prince Ge­orge’s County (73).

“I re­al­ize there might have been con­tact dur­ing the race,” Jones said. “But I thought the con­tact was inci- den­tal. In th­ese in­door meets you’re go­ing to have some in­ci­den­tal con­tact. I didn’t think it would war­rant a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion. We were not go­ing to win the team ti­tle, but we would have fin­ished sec­ond.”

The be­lated dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, how­ever, could not have di­min­ished the per­for­mance that Jef­fery de­liv­ered dur­ing the meet. The Charg­ers ju­nior cap­tured the 300 state ti­tle (40.46), fin­ished third in the 500 (1:19.23) and fourth in the 55 (7.37). Jef­fery capped her out­ing by an­chor­ing the 1,600 re­lay only to see that vic­tory elim­i­nated by the judge’s blade.

“Win­ning the 300 re­ally meant a lot to me,” Jef­fery said. “That was my first in­di­vid­ual state ti­tle. We won the team ti­tle in out­doors last year, but that 300 was my first in­di­vid­ual ti­tle. I thought I ran well in the 55 and the 500. Now I can fo­cus on help­ing us win an­other out­door ti­tle.”

Lackey se­nior Syd­ney Wil­liams was sec­ond in the 55 hur­dles (8.193) and

300 (40.81) and was fifth in the 55 (7.39). Wil­liams led through much of the 300 be­fore fi­nally be­ing over­hauled by team­mate Jef­fery and bat­tled with Friendly se­nior Kar­ryn­g­ton Har­ri­son in the 55 hur­dles ev­ery step of the way be­fore be­ing edged at the line by one one-thou­sandth of a sec­ond.

“Now I’m go­ing to fo­cus on the hur­dles for the out­door sea- son,” Wil­liams said. “In the 300, I wanted to get off to a re­ally fast start and I felt pretty good, but Do­minique got me. I’m still un- de­cided on col­lege next year. I have a few more vis­its be­fore I de­cide, but I’m look­ing for­ward to out­door sea­son and bring­ing the hur­dles ti­tle back.”

Lackey ju­nior Court­ney Haw- kins fin­ished sec­ond in the girls shot put with a throw of 37 feet 10 inches, while Charg­ers se­nior team­mate Elysse John­son took third (35-0). Lackey se­nior Wil- liam Cham­bers placed fifth in the boys 55 hur­dles (8.17) and was part of the 1,600 re­lay (3:36.16) with ju­niors Joshua Red­den and Demetrius Sims and se­nior an- chor Jonathan Wood that placed fifth. The Charg­ers 800 re­lay of Justin Green, Tevin Thomas, Tre Gul­ley and Wood fin­ished fourth (1:32.75).

The West­lake boys also set­tled for mi­nor spoils in the chase for an­other team ti­tle, fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Cen­tury of Car­roll County with 65 points. Cen­tury scored 69.50.

Wolver­ines se­nior Will Moten cap­tured the 300 (34.85) by nearly a full sec­ond and ju­nior Jay Hall pre­vailed in the 3,200 (9:41.99) by more than 13 sec- onds. Hall was also sec­ond in the 1,600 (4:30.01) and Wolver- ines se­nior Thomas Al­corn was sec­ond in the 500 (1:07.30).

“I was re­ally happy to be able to win a state ti­tle,” Hall said. “I felt re­ally good the whole time in the 3,200. I was go­ing along at a good pace. I felt re­ally strong the last part of it. In the 1,600 I was go­ing pretty good for the first half of the race, but I didn’t have enough kick at the end. I was done be­fore the 800.”

Patux­ent se­nior Hay­ley Jack­son wowed on­look­ers when she romped home 19 sec­onds clear to cap­ture the 1,600 (4:45.55) to es­tab­lish a new state record cov­er­ing all four clas­si­fi­ca­tions. She later won the 800 (2:15.45) by more than six sec­onds that claimed a 2A state meet record.

Her two vic­to­ries pro­pelled the Pan­thers to an eighth-place fin- ish among the girls squads with 20 points.

“I was re­ally push­ing to break 4:50 to­day,” Jack­son said. “When I saw that 4:45 show up on the board, I re­ally could not be­lieve it. My last prac­tice [on Fri­day], I re­ally put more em­pha­sis on speed. I wanted to main­tain a pretty good clip from the start. I kept check­ing my stop­watch and I was sure that I was right on pace to go 4:50. But I never imag­ined run­ning 4:45 to­day.”

Calvert sopho­more Syd­ney Friedel fin­ished fourth in the girls 3,200 (11:55.31), while Cava­liers ju­nior John Dodsworth also took fourth in the boys 3,200 (10:04.55). The Calvert 3,200 re­lay quar­tet of Dodsworth and sopho­mores Justin Diehl, Liam Aris and Isa­iah Wil­lett com­bined the fin­ish eighth (8:48.00).

Calvert’s girls tied Ran­dall­stown of Bal­ti­more County for 15th over­all with nine points, while the boys tied Kent Is­land of Queen Anne’s County for 17th over­all with eight points.

West­lake girls tied with Wil- liamsport of Wash­ing­ton County and Queen Anne’s for 24th with two points as sopho­more Olivia Garner, fresh­man Janiya Green­field and ju­niors Talore For­rest and Jor­dan Davis fin­ished the 800 re­lay in sev­enth (1:51.44).

La Plata and Patux­ent tied for 28th in boys with Win­ters Mill of Car­roll County with a point each. War­riors fresh­man Stephen Cobb was eighth for the War­riors in the 500 (1:09.83) and Pan­thers ju­nior Bren­dan Jones was eighth in the 1,600 for the Pan­thers (4:53.49).

McDonough shines in 1A state meet

The McDonough boys team fin­ished third over­all with 61 points in the 1A state champi- on­ships, while the Rams girls placed eighth with 17. Boons- boro of Wash­ing­ton County won the team ti­tles as the boys scored 127 and the girls 160.

McDonough boys won two state ti­tles as se­nior Brant But­ler won the 55 hur­dles (7.98), while ju­nior Avaughn Hol­ley cap­tured the high jump (6-0). Hol­ley fin­ished third to ju­nior team­mate Hezikiah Hawkins in the 55 dash. Hawkins took run­ner-up at 6.60 with Hol­ley right be­hind at 6.61.

Se­nior Ri­cardo Oliva was third in the 300 (36.96) and Hawkins was sev­enth (37.70). Ju­nior Shane Wil­liams placed fifth in the 500 (1:11.94) with Oliva in sixth (1:13.82). Ju­nior Jonathan Thomp­son was eighth in the shot put (36-9) and ju­nior Louis Bowles ninth (36-1).

McDonough’s 800 re­lay quar­tet of Oliva, Hawkins, But­ler and Hol­ley fin­ished sec­ond (1:34.33). The same group, com­pet­ing in a slightly dif­fer­ent or­der, fin­ished sixth in the 1,600 (3:56.50).

In girls, Rams sopho­more Cheyenne John­son took sixth in the 500 (1:27.10), while Al­liyah Ot­t­ley was sixth in the 55 dash (7.78) and eighth in the 300 (44.19). Ot­t­ley, Mikayla Penny, John­son and Jor­dan Parker com­bined to take sec­ond in the 800 re­lay (1:54.47). Ju­nior Sa­vanah Pa­ton, Penny, Ot­t­ley and John­son fin­ished sev­enth (4:37.11).

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

West­lake’s Jay Hall and Calvert’s Justin Diehl run first and sec­ond dur­ing the mid-stages of the boys 3,200-me­ter re­lay at the Class 2A in­door track and field state cham­pi­onships on Mon­day at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports and Learn­ing Cen­ter in Lan­dover. Hall won the race in 9 min­utes 41.99 sec­onds, while Diehl ul­ti­mately fin­ished sixth.

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