KI’s Tvelia, QA’s John­son run down re­gion ti­tles

Ju­nior surges past Q Anne’s Moore in 400-me­ter final

Record Observer - - Sports - By WILLIAM HAUFE bhaufe@star­dem.com

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 bhaufe@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY WILLIAM HAUFE

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.

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