Shining at states
North Point girls tie for ninth at 4A state indoor meet
LANDOVER — While neither of the trio of Southern Mary- land Athletic Conference teams that competed in the Class 4A classification were ever in serious consideration for a team title on Tuesday afternoon at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, several athletes from those squads per- formed exceptionally well.
North Point High School’s girls tied for ninth, best among the SMAC 4A teams, with Old Mill of Anne Arundel County with 18 points. C.H. Flowers of Prince George’s County claimed the girls title with 95.
Eagles senior Mallorie Smith finished third in the 500 (1:17.12) and ran the opening leg of the 800 relay (1:45.55) and 1,600 relay (4:04.87), which both took home fourth-place finishes. Senior Lia Willis and sophomore Lauryn Lewis were on both relays as well, while sophomore Jasmine Forbes anchored the 800 relay and Eagles sophomore Gabrielle Collins ran the last leg of the 1,600 relay. Willis also finished seventh in the 300 (41.63).
“Mallorie had a terrific final indoor meet,” North Point head coach Debbie Hall said. “She ran exceptionally well in the 500 and was part of two really good relays. I was really happy with both relays finishing fourth. The 800 relay won the second heat easily and I thought that would get us in the top five overall.”
North Point senior Rachel Nueslein, who also ran cross country for the Eagles and will next participate in the outdoor season, finished 12th in the 1,600 (5:36.82), one spot ahead of Leonardtown’s Raquel Drexel (5:41.56). Nueslein, who narrowed her college choices this fall down to the University of Maryland and Towson
University, was content with her indoor season and eager to get back outdoors.
“Overall, I thought the indoor season went well,” said Nueslein, who sports a 4.4 grade point average and plans to major in Bi- ology in college. “I am really looking forward to the outdoor season. I had been working really hard in practice to get ready for these last few indoor meets, but now I’m ready to get back outdoors. I plan to focus on the 1,600 and maybe the 3,200, but my main goal is to get down around 5:20 for the 1,600.”
Leonardtown High School finished 14th among the boys and girls, respectively with the boys scoring 15 points and the girls 11.50. Northwest of Montgomer y County was the boys champion with 81.50 points.
Leonardtown senior Ethan Aus captured a state title in the boys shot put with a throw of 47 feet 8 inches, by more than a foot over Paint Branch senior Ajani Grant. North Point senior Joshua Smith finished eighth (42-0 1/2) and Chopticon junior Zachary Wolfe was 11th (39-11).
The Leonardtown girls quartet of senior Liana Foianini, freshman Emily Snyder, sophomore Kristina Kowalik and senior Karson Harris finished fourth in the 3,200-meter relay in 9 minutes 58.49 seconds. Harris would later finish 12th in the 800 (2:28.55) and will now focus her attention on playing lacrosse for the Raiders this spring, having already signed to play for Division-I Drexel the following season.
“I really enjoy compet- ing in the 800,” said Har- ris, who has played soc- cer, run indoor track and played lacrosse at the var- sity level since her freshman year. “It really helps get me in shape for the lacrosse season. Running the 800 is a lot like play- ing midfield for lacrosse. You’re always running sprints. This was my last indoor event ever and I just kept telling myself to push harder and leave it all out there. Now I’m really looking forward to lacrosse and collecting 12 varsity letters.”
While Harris will focus her attention this spring on lacrosse, Foianini will again look to have an impact in the outdoor meets, especially in the distance events and the 3,200 relay.
“I’m really going to focus on the 800 and the 4-by-800 relay during the outdoor season,” Foiani- ni said. “Today’s event was really good. I know we came in here more focused on placing high than focusing on the time. All of the girls real- ly ran well. I was glad to see the way that Karson finished the race know- ing this was her last track meet of any kind.”
Chopticon finished 29th among the 33 boys teams which scored with 4.5 points, one spot ahead of North Point (4).
The Braves’ Isaiah Smith accounted for all of the boys points by finishing tied for fourth in the high jump (5-10). North Point sophomore Kendel Hammock was sixth in the 55 hurdles (7.96) and Smith’s eighth-place finish in the shot accounted for the Eagles’ points.
In the 3A state competition, St. Charles’ girls scored five points to place 19th overall. Franklin of Baltimore County was the champion with 73 points, while Northern had the SMAC’s best showing with a third-place 59.
Junior Madisyn Clark was fourth in the girls high jump (5-0) and Spartans junior Kieran Booker was 10th in the boys 500 (1:09.82). St. Charles did not have a boys participant finish in the top eight to score a team point. Oxon Hill of Prince George’s County was the boys champion with 61 points.
North Point’s Mallorie Smith finishes the girls 500-meter run at the Class 4A state indoor track and field championships on Tuesday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center in Landover. Smith finished in third place in 1 minute 17.12 seconds.