Shin­ing at states

North Point girls tie for ninth at 4A state in­door meet

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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.

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