KI’s Tvelia, QA’s Johnson run down region titles
Junior surges past Q Anne’s Moore in 400-meter final
STEVENSVILLE — Emma Tvelia, Keashia Johnson and Emily Lewis each won a pair of individual titles, and Kathryn Gearhart and Anton Black earned their second crowns on the track in three days
But it only took one monster throw to make John Kerns feel like he was floating on air Saturday afternoon, when the Easton High senior won the boys’ discus with a personal-record throw of 146 feet, 2 inches during the Class 2A East Region track and field championships at Kent Island High’s Andy Schipul Stadium.
Heavy rain delayed the start of yesterday’s Day 2 of competition by 30 minutes, and the steady rain that continued for much of the meet forced the day’s pole vault, triple jump and long jump competitions to be rescheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. at Kent Island.
But rain, wind and chilly temperatures could not dampen the spirits of Kerns.
“It was amazing,” said Kerns, who did a little hopand-skip number down the treeline after his winning throw, which after landing, bounced upward and almost took out an official. “The first five (throws) were a little rough, but I got a practice throw in, in between finals, and I just got it out there.
“I did all the technique that my coach at the Naval Academy has taught me,” said Kerns of Navy throwing coach Steve Sarigiannis. “It went out there like we thought it would. And it was awesome. I was excited. Right after it left my hand it felt perfect. It flew perfectly and it was awesome.”
Kerns, whose previous best was a 137, has battled North Caroline standout Jamion Franklin for two years now, and finally finished ahead of his friendly rival.
“Jamion is very good competition,” said Kerns of Franklin, who finished second with a 136-11. “Me and him have been going back and forth. And I’ve taken too many second places to him.”
While Kerns isn’t likely to forget his final regional meet, North Caroline freshman Lewis created a few memories of her own. Part of the Bulldogs’ winning 4x200 relay on Thursday, Lewis won the girls’ 100-meter hurdles Saturday in 16.25 seconds, surging just ahead of Harford Tech’s Ann Luna, blew away the field before reaching the first turn while winning the 300 hurdles in 46.55, then teamed with Katie Saathoff, Kyra Schulties and Lizzy Walston on the winning the 4x400 relay (4:14.10).
“It was harder to win,” Lewis said of the 100 hurdles. “It was a lot shorter and all these girls are super fast.”
That wasn’t the story in the 300, as Lewis was basically alone as she worked through the turn.
“I was really motivated by my coach (Glen) Whiteley,” Lewis said of North Caroline’s girls’ head coach. “He pushes me good. I just tried to go as fast as I could (in the 300) so I would hold it through the whole time and have a good start.”
Though she wasn’t used to the heavy rain at the start of the meet, Tvelia said yesterday’s gray, blustery conditions were really nothing new after running in Alaska, where she was strong outdoors last spring. The junior surged over the final 30 meters to edge Queen Anne’s freshman Sheqoya Moore (1:00.83) to win the 400 in 1:00.39, then gained separation from the field on the first lap of the 800 and was never threatened on the way to a winning time of 2:22.05.
“I wanted to get out in front right away this time instead of trailing behind her,” said Tvelia, who rallied past Gearhart on the final turn to win the 800 two weeks ago at Baysides. “My first lap was a 1:07. That’s around what I wanted. And I wanted to break 2:20. I’m not sure that I did though.”
Gearhart, who set a Kent Island track record in the 3,200 meters on Thursday, when she clocked a firstplace 10:54.13, took an early lead in yesterday’s 1,600, pulling away from Tvelia and the field on the way to winning in a 5:15.14 that was hardly satisfying.
“It was not anywhere near the time I was hoping for,” Gearhart said. “(The 72-second opening lap) was close to where I wanted it to be. I wanted to be a couple of seconds faster, but that’s OK. It just wasn’t my day.”
It was a day for Johnson though. The Queen Anne’s County junior won the girls’ 100 meters in 13.05 — holding off Wicomico’s Mykaelah Jones (13.07) and Easton’s Quinn Jennings (13.20) — then came off a strong turn to win the 200 (26.12) ahead of runner-up Jennings (26.66).
“I pushed as hard as I could off those blocks,” Johnson said of the 100. “Pushed my arms and did all I could do to get ahead in that 100.
“This year I’ve been working a lot out of school in track,” Johnson said. “I’ve been really trying to pump up my game.”
After false starting and getting disqualified in the boys’ 100-meter final, North Caroline’s Black managed to redeem himself in the boys’ 200 meters, winning in 22.91.
“I was just worried about my lane because it had a puddle in it and my head really wasn’t in it,” Black said of the 100. “So when they said, ‘Set,’ I just lifted my head up and I accidently
went. I anticipated the gun, which you’re never supposed to do.
“That motivated me a lot,” Black said of his false start in the 100. “I really just wanted to give it my all and go out because I was upset about that (100). When I shot out of the blocks, I felt like I went through my progressions really well. I didn’t shoot straight up like I normally do. I stayed low and turned into the turn real good.”
Teammate Christopher Hale didn’t let the weather
stop him from winning the boys’ 110 high hurdles in a 16.29 — just ahead of Harford Tech’s Kaya Simpson — and placing fourth in the 300 hurdles (44.61).
Notes: North Caroline leads the boys’ competition heading into Monday with 129 points. .. Elkton is second (86) and Kent Island third with 83. … Harford Tech is winning the girls’ meet with 116 points. … Kent Island is second (106) and North Caroline third (103). … The girls’ long jump and pole vault, and boys’ triple jump is scheduled for Monday.
Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Haufe. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen Anne’s County’s Keashia Johnson leads the pack in a preliminary heat of the girls’ 200 meters Thursday on Day 1 of the Class 2A East track and field championships. Johnson clocked Thursday’s fastest qualifying time. Johnson won the 200 crown Saturday along with the top finish in 100 meters, punching her tickets to the state meet.