Westlake boys sweep opening track & field meet
Westlake boys sweep opening quad meet; Stone’s Peterson wins
Thursday afternoon’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference outdoor track and field meet at Westlake High School was contested 48 hours later than initially scheduled and the delayed start actually forced participants to battle through much cooler temperatures than they would have encountered two days earlier.
When the SMAC quad meet finally concluded just past 8 p.m. Thursday, the host Westlake boys (3-0) defeated Leonardtown (2-1), 83.5-52.5, Great Mills (1-2), 87-49 and Thomas Stone (0-3) 121-11. The Raiders beat the Hornets 82-54 and Stone 111-20. Great Mills picked up a 110-25 win over Stone.
The Leonardtown girls (30) swept Great Mills (2-1) 8354, Westlake (1-2) 109-24, and Thomas Stone (0-3) 114-16. The Hornets defeated the Cougars 99-24 and the Wolverines 83-41. Westlake knocked off Stone, 73-24.
Following a superb indoor season, the Westlake boys quickly picked up where they left off. Junior distance specialist Jay Hall won the 800- (2 minutes 10.4 seconds), 1,600(4:45.0) and 3,200 (9:59.3) meter runs, senior Thomas Alcorn captured the 200 (22.1) and 400 (49.6) and fellow senior Will Moten won the 100 (11.0) and was second to Alcorn in the 200. All three prevailed on the track and against the elements.
“Normally between my events, I sit in the stands and cool down,” said Alcorn, a University of Houston recruit. “But today my coaches kept telling me to stay loose and stay in the infield and stay warm. That’s what I did, so it wasn’t so bad. But it was a lot colder at the end of the meet than it was when we got here right after school.”
Hall, among the top SMAC indoor distance specialists and one of the better cross country runners, he kicked off the spring season in promising fashion. He coasted home in the 1,600 and 3,200, but trailed for the first half of the 800 before gaining command with a quarter-mile remaining en route to completing his triple.
“It was definitely colder at the end of the meet than it was at the beginning,” Hall said. “So you just had to keep moving and stay warm. I was happy
with all three of my events. I really just wanted to get the outdoor season off to a good start, so I’m happy with the first meet. There’s a lot of good competition in SMAC in my events, so I’m looking forward to facing those other runners.”
For the Leonardtown girls, junior Leya Essex played a key role in the sweep. Essex, who competed for the Raiders during the indoor season after occupying the role of team manager for cross country, won the 100 (12.5), 400 (59.5) and anchored the 400 relay that easily prevailed in the final event of the day.
“I was really hoping to break a minute in the 400,” Essex said. “That was my first goal coming in here. I’m really focused on the sprints and the indoor season helped keep me in shape for the outdoors. Even next year [as a senior] I doubt that I will run cross country. I enjoy being the team manager and I can’t imagine trying to run three miles outdoors.”
Leonardtown freshman Emily Snyder finished second in the 1,600 in her first attempt at the mile. Snyder played soccer for the Raiders in the fall and had primarily focused in sprints and relays during the indoor season, but she made a quick adjustment to the 1,600 thanks to staying mentally relaxed throughout and she vowed to compete in the event as often as possible at future meets.
“That was my first time running the mile and I loved it,” Snyder said. “I kept singing Katy Perry’s ‘Fireworks’ in my head while I was running. I didn’t know if I would like it, but I loved running the mile. I want to do it at every meet if I can.”
Less than one week before her 18th birthday, which happens to be today, Great Mills senior Annie Imhof kicked off her final outdoor season with the Hornets by capturing the 800 (2:36.1) and 3,200 (11:42.3), which was contested as a combined event for boys and girls as was the 400 relay. An accomplished cross country runner and distance specialist during the indoor season, Imhof seemed content with her spring debut last Thursday.
“I was really hoping to have someone to run with in the 3,200,” Imhof said. “But after a couple of laps I really found myself out there running by myself. I was pleased with the way both events went. We have a busy schedule to start the season, so I’m only doing two events at each of the first three meets.”
For the Cougars, senior Mone’t Peterson pulled away from Snyder and Great Mills sophomore Emily Imhof, who missed much of the indoor season with an ankle injury, to capture the 1,600 (5:39.2).
Westlake High School junior Jay Hall leads the field to the finish of the boys 1,600-meter run on Thursday afternoon. Hall won the 1,600 in addition to the 800 and 3,200 in the Wolverines’ first outdoor meet against Great Mills, Leonardtown and Thomas Stone.
Thomas Stone High School senior Mone’t Peterson leads field past the halfway point of the girls 1,600-meter run on Thursday afternoon at Westlake High School. Peterson captured the event by nearly 10 seconds and was the bright spot for the Cougars who were swept by Great Mills, Leonardtown and Westlake in boys and girls team scores.