Lackey girls, Westlake boys seeking state track titles
Lackey girls, Westlake boys track and field teams looking to repeat
Bolstered by their dominance in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference during the recent indoor track and field season, the Lackey High School girls and Westlake High School boys will be difficult to upend as respective Class 2A state outdoor track and field champions this spring.
Lackey won the girls title last spring thanks largely to the efforts of Sydney Williams, who won the 200-meter dash as well as the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles to complete a rare triple as a junior. The Chargers senior, joined by junior Dominique Jeffery and Nikiya Mitchell, Erin Pearson, Destiny Thompson and Taylor Williams, give Lackey talent and depth in individual events and relays.
“I’m really focused on the hurdles again this spring,” Williams said at the conclusion of the indoor season. “I would like to be able to maintain the state title in both the 100 and the 300, but my main goal is the 300. We have a lot of good girls on this team and we always push each other to work harder and go faster.”
Mitchell, Pearson, Thompson and Taylor Williams will likely comprise the 800 relay and 1,600 relay quartets, while Sydney Williams and Jeffery could occupy the top two spots in the 200 this spring after they took first and third, respectively, in last year’s state championships. Mitchell will also prove formidable in the 100 hurdles where she finished fourth last spring.
“I know we wanted the indoor title, but that got away from us at the end,” Jeffery said. “But our main focus now is getting the outdoor title again. We have a lot of the same girls back that won last year, including myself and Sydney. We’re all looking forward to going back there and doing just as well as we did last year.”
Lackey junior Courtney Hawkins will also be called upon for valuable points in a pair of field events where she performed very well last spring. At the 2A state championships, Hawkins finished third in the girls shot put and fourth in the discus and has every right to improve those positions this spring.
The Chargers are scheduled to begin the 2017 SMAC schedule with a tri-meet at Chopticon
that also includes Patuxent at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The Westlake boys ascended to the head of the class among 2A squads last spring and return all but one of the runners responsible for that success, having graduated Jalen Elliott. But the Wolverines return dual state champion Will Moten (100 and 200) and Thomas Alcorn, who won the 400 and was second to Moten in the 200.
Westlake won the boys 800 and 1,600 relays last spring, but graduated two members of the 800 and one from the 1,600. Nevertheless, Alcorn, Moten, Tobias Hurley and Anthony Johnson were superb all winter in those events during the indoor season and that quartet will prove difficult to beat during the outdoor season, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Tuesday when the Wolverines host Great Mills, Leonardtown and Thomas Stone.
“All of us constantly push each other to get better,” said Alcorn, a University of Houston recruit. “We try not to look at the team totals until the meet’s over. We know if we all go out there and do what we’re supposed to do in our events, we can win the state title. But it’s not something that we always look at right away. We want to get faster and we push each other in practice to get faster and the results take care of themselves.”
North Point senior Mallorie Smith will head into the spring season as the defending 4A state champion in the 400 and will seek to improve on her third-place finish in the 200, while senior Rachel Nueslein will look to maintain her status as one of the county’s top distance specialists. Lackey’s 400 relay of Dion Yelder, Tevin Thomas, Tre Gulley and Demetrius Sims combined to place third last spring in the state finals and that entire quartet returns for a potential title bid.
“We had 68 girls come out for the outdoor team,” North Point head coach Debbie Hall said. “We had 30 freshmen girls try out and some of them are going to have an impact at the meets right away. Mallorie is really excited to get back outdoors and defend her title in the 400. She wasn’t among the top seeds last year and she had to climb her way through the slow heats to win it all.”
North Point is scheduled to host Calvert, La Plata and Northern at 4 p.m. Tuesday in its Southern Maryland Athletic Conference season opener for all three squads and Hall is already looking forward to the occasion. Northern’s girls have set the bar high for the SMAC squads the past two seasons and the Patriots will arrive as the favorite, something that Hall relishes.
“That should be a very good meet for all four teams,” Hall said. “I’m very excited to see how this group of girls does on the track and in the field events. We’re young, but we have proven talent in Mallorie and Rachel and we have some freshmen and sophomores that are going to surprise some people this spring. I’m really looking forward to the meet.”
Westlake High School senior Thomas Alcorn, pictured here winning the 300-meter run during the indoor season, will play a key role in the Wolverines’ Class 2A state title defense this spring as the outdoor track and field season gets under way.
Lackey High School senior Sydney Williams, pictured here competing in the 55-meter hurdles during the indoor season, will look to defend her 2A state title in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and 200-meter dash during the upcoming spring outdoor track and field season.