West­lake boys sweep open­ing track & field meet

West­lake boys sweep open­ing quad meet; Stone’s Peter­son wins

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

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).

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

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.

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