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
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).
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.