McDonough claims SMAC baseball title with 13-inning win
Lackey girls, Westlake boys win team titles
While the Lackey High School girls and Westlake High School boys were able to cap their respective Southern Maryland Athletic Conference outdoor track and field team titles with victories in the final relays on Wednesday at Huntingtown High School, undoubtedly the highlight of the twoday meet belonged to one senior looking to end her prep career in stellar fashion.
Patuxent High School senior Hayley Jackson has often used the SMAC championships as a springboard to region and state titles, but the premier distance runner in the conference has typically focused on two events during the postseason. This year, however, with her high school days winding to a close, Jackson has focused on attaining titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs and ended up with wins in all three with plenty to spare.
On Tuesday afternoon, Jackson won the 3,200 in 10 minutes 29.61 seconds that established a new SMAC record for that event, eclipsing the mark she set three years earlier by nearly eight seconds. On Wednesday afternoon. she proceeded to capture the 800 (2:12.79) and 1,600 (4:55.19) in meet record fashion, giving her a triple of records to go along with her medals.
“I was glad that I went out and did the 1,600 first and then came back and ran the 800,” said Jackson, who admits she plans to aim for all three titles again next week at the Class 2A South Region championships
at Westlake High School. “I wanted to break five minutes in the 1,600, but I also wanted to save some energy for the 800 and go for the record there and I was so happy to get it.”
Jackson not only won all three events comfortably, she won Wednesday’s races as if she were out for a morning stroll. Great Mills High School senior Annie Imhof finished second to Jackson in the 800 after passing several rivals on the far turn, but she admitted to having little or no chance of catching the Panthers star in the late stages.
“She’s so fast and she does it so easily,” said Imhof, a U.S. Naval Academy recruit who finished second in the 800, third in the 1,600 and fourth in the 3,200. “Everyone else is running hard trying to keep up with her and she’s just out those basically on cruise control. I was happy with my times in the 800 and the 1,600 today and in the 3,200 yesterday. I’ve been training hard, so I don’t really feel like I’m fresh right now. But I’m looking to peak for regions and states.”
Lackey’s girls actually entered Wednesday’s second day of SMAC competition in second place, 10 points behind Northern. But the Chargers again got ample stellar performances from senior Sydney Williams, a Temple University recruit, in sprints and relays and from junior Dominique Jeffery in the 200 and 400, where she and North Point senior Mallorie Smith, another Temple signee, traded first- and second-place finishes. Smith won the 200 in 24.99 and Jeffery the 400 in 56.62.
“Last week at a SMAC meet I did 11.97 [seconds] in the 100, so I wanted to come here and prove that I could break 12 again,” Williams said. “I did 12.01 in the finals, so I was happy with that. I had been coming in around 15 seconds in the 100 hurdles all season, so I was happy to go 14.7 today (final time was 14.62). Now I’m aiming for 14-low at regionals and states.”
Heading into the last event of the two-day meet, the boys 1,600 relay, Westlake had already secured the SMAC boys team title. Then heading into the last leg of the relay, Westlake senior Tobias Hurley faced a modest deficit against the North Point anchor Wesley Dogan after receiving the baton from senior teammate Will Moten, who had anchored the Wolverines’ 400 relay just minutes earlier.
Unfazed by the deficit and perhaps unaware that the Wolverines would garner the boys team title regardless of the outcome of the final relay, Hurley gradually sliced into his opponents lead and ran him down in the straightaway to prevail by nearly two lengths. Westlake won the event in 3:22.99 and claimed the team title with 105 points, with Huntingtown (90.50), Leonardtown (82), North Point (77.50) and Lackey (60) second through fifth, respectively.
“I just wanted to do what I could to help my team,” said Hurley, who plans to attend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore this fall. “I knew Will was coming back from an injury and that he gave it his all, although he was a little gassed the last part of it. They [North Point] beat us at our place last week in a quad meet, so we all remembered that. I just wanted it for my team.”
Northern’s girls were unable to maintain their lead on the second day, thanks in part to Jackson’s ability to take the distance races and Lackey’s dominance of the sprints and relays. But Patriots senior Molly Barrick was second in the 3,200, while junior Sarah Deresky was second in the 1,600 and third in the 800. Junior Abby Sweeney was third in the 3,200.
Junior Kataryna Strayer, Sweeney, senior Julia Gray and Deresky combined to take the girls 3,200 relay (9:59.71), edging the Leonardtown quartet of junior Racquel Drexel, Tyra Countiss, freshman Emily Snyder and senior Liana Foianini (10:00.27). Leonardtown junior Leya Essex finished third in the 100 and fourth in the 400.
Lackey girls won the team title with 155.50 points followed by Huntingtown (87.50), Northern (87), North Point (75.50) and Leonardtown (60.50) second through fifth, respectively.
Huntingtown’s Harleigh White set a new SMAC record in the triple jump at 40 feet 3 3/4 inches to go along with her win in the long jump (17-8).
Leonardtown senior Reed Pilkerton (2:00.81) led a Raiders sweep of the top three spots in the 800 with teammates Sam Katulich and Sean O’Roark finishing second and third, respectively.
Calvert sophomore Justin Diehl upstaged several of his older rivals when he captured the 3,200 (9:23.52) on Tuesday narrowly over Northern senior Charlie Sweeney (9:24.14), then the Cavaliers distance specialist prevailed in the 1,600 on Wednesday over Sweeney (4:28.81), with Cavaliers teammate John Dodsworth a solid third.
“That 3,200 race with Charlie was really good,” Diehl said. “I think we both did the last lap in 65 [seconds]. That whole group is such really good competition. Even having Jack [Dodsworth] as a teammate pushing me all season has been great. He’s been one of the best kept secrets in the league. If it wasn’t for him pushing me in practice and at the meets, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Westlake High School senior Thomas Alcorn helps senior teammate Tobias Hurley up off the ground after the boys 1,600-meter relay on Wednesday afternoon at Huntingtown High School. Hurley ran the anchor leg for the Wolverines who won that event in 3 minutes 22.99 seconds and the boys team title as well.