Mid-Shore nets host of runners-up
KI’s Tvelia top six in three events; QA’s Johnson eighth in girls’ 200
BALTIMORE — North Caroline High’s Emily Lewis may remember her first state meet with a smile after her secondplace finish in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
North Caroline’s Jamion Franklin may reflect fondly on his sophomore year at states, after unloading a school-record and career-best throw on his final attempt in the discus to take runner-up honors.
But the memories from this year’s state track and field championships Saturday at Morgan State University’s oven-like Hughes Stadium may linger with Colonel Richardson High’s Eric Joseph longer than anyone else. Joseph was beaten by a fraction of a second in the Class 1A boys’ 100-meter final, then got edged at the finish line by a sliver a second time by Brunswick’s Erik Jones in the 1A 4x100 relay, leaving him with a pair of runner-up finishes and possible motivation for next year.
“The kid that beat him, he was there last year, and I think he lost the same way Eric lost this year to him,” Colonel Richardson head coach James Jackson said of Jones.
Joseph got off to a poor start in the 100-meter final, but recovered to close on Jones, only to get nipped at the finish line — Jones clocking a winning 11.12 seconds to Joseph’s 11.22.
“I had a terrible start but I’ve got good acceleration so I came back up,” Joseph said. “I almost passed the kid at first, but then he kind of got me a little bit toward the end.”
Joseph and Jones dueled a second time about five hours later on the anchor leg of the 4x100. Colonel’s third leg, Stanley Pierre-Louis, may have held a slight lead when he handed the baton to Joseph. It didn’t take long before Joseph and Jones were again side by side. But halfway down the straightaway, Joseph said he felt a twinge in the hamstring that dropped him to the ground at the finish line of last week’s 1A East Region preliminaries in the 200.
Joseph and Jones actually rubbed into each over the final 10 meters before Jones outleaned Joseph, who crossed the finish line then fell on the track. Brunswick won in 44.29, while Colonel’s Cloderson Charles, Robert Thompson, Pierre-Louis and Joseph were second in 44.37.
“I had him until my leg started tugging toward the middle of the (straightaway),” Joseph said. “I tried to push through it so we could get first, but we ended up getting second. I’ll get it next year definitely.”
What Colonel Richardson did get was a fourth-place finish in the 1A boys’ competition with 45 points, finishing behind champion Fairmont Heights (96), Smithsburg (63) and Northern Garrett (56).
“For this team, finishing fourth overall? I wasn’t expecting that,” Jackson said. “(That’s not bad) for a small team from a small school. But I had a pretty brilliant type of group of guys. They worked hard all year.”
Colonel’s surprise finish was boosted by its 4x400 relay (Brockman Harris, Richardson Rene, Pierre-Louis, Marcus Johnson) placing third in 3:34.10, sophomore Darrion Speller’s fifth-place in the 110 high hurdles (16.70) and sixth-place in the triple jump, and Charles’ fifth-place effort in the triple jump — both jumping 40 feet, 9¼ inches.
Franklin had reason to jump for joy after Thursday’s thirdplace finish in the 2A boys’ shot put. Never in contention in last year’s discus after scratching on all three of his attempts, Caroline’s sophomore uncorked a toss of 139feet plus on his opening toss yesterday, which helped earn him a spot in the finals.
“When Jamion went to Gilman he called me and asked
me if he came back did I think he would have a shot at placing in the shot put and disc,” North Caroline boys’ head coach Rob Thomas said of Franklin, who played football at the Baltimore private school this past fall before deciding to transfer back to North Caroline. “And I told him, ‘Look what you did as a freshman. The door is wide open.’”
Still, Franklin was sitting in fourth place when he spun and released his runner-up throw of 158-8.
“My last throw, I had nothing to lose. Just left everything out there,” Franklin said. “I was nervous because last year I scratched all three times in the circle. But my mindset was just to give it my all.”
Franklin improved his footwork and slowed himself to a more comfortable pace in the circle this season. As soon as he released his final throw, he knew he had something special.
“It left my hand and I just looked at the height on it and I was like, ‘That’s a good one,’” Franklin said. “Feels great. Two feet away from getting first (La Plata’s Alexander Devine won with a 161). That was my PR (personal record) on the season. I had two PRs today. But 158-(10). That’s incredible.”
A freshman, Lewis was feeling pretty good about herself after taking second place in the 2A girls’ 300 hurdles.
“I was really nervous for the 300 hurdles because there was a girl with a really good time — 44 seconds,” Lewis said of Lackey’s Sydney Williams. “And my best is like 46.”
Though Williams made up the stagger on Lewis and the field, on the way to a winning time of 45.56, Caroline’s freshman didn’t fall any further back in finishing second with a 46.95, while Easton’s Molly Ford took fourth in 47.75.
“I knew she was going to catch me, but I kept pushing,” Lewis said of Williams. “I still came in second, but it was as good race. I tried to push through the whole way. It feels awesome. And I’m hoping I can get first next year.”
Lewis could have plenty of company in the push for first next year. Among that small crowd could be Kent Island junior Emma Tvelia, who was sixth in the 2A girls’ 1,600 (5:13.09), fifth in the 400 (school-record 59.02) and then used a big surge to finish fifth in the 800 (2:18.97).
“The first lap was crazy fast,” Tvelia said of the 800. “They probably went out in 1:02. I didn’t want to go out that fast my first lap because I knew I would burn out on the second.”
But as the race hit the backstretch on Lap 2, Tvelia, running last, moved past three runners, worked through the final turn, then delivered a big final kick.
“I started picking up and I saw they started slowing down right here,” said Tvelia, pointing toward the backstretch of the track. “This is my last race (of the season) and like I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. So I started passing people with like 300 to go. And made my way up to fifth.”
Easton senior Kathryn Gearhart punctuated her first, and only, outdoor track season with a personal-record 5:06.36 in the 1,600 meters, finishing fourth — two spots ahead of Tvelia, and four ahead of North Caroline senior Christine Sturm, who set a school-record with her 5:20.49.
“It’s a PR. I’m pretty happy,” Gearhart said. “Looking back at it, there’s certain things I should have done differently. The second lap I should have probably pushed a little more; third lap, too. Other than that, I was pretty happy with that.”
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Matt Koletsky was even with the field as it came off the turn in the 1A boys’ 400 meters, before finishing fifth in 51.50. Northwestern’s Ajahn Venry won in 50.71.
“He’s become a great leader; he’s become a great example for the boys,” Cambridge-SD head coach Lois Narr said of Koletsky, who also placed fifth in the 800 with a 2:00.85. “He’s our captain, and he’s a true captain. He’s given 110 percent in workouts. He’s always positive. And today in this heat, he’s given 110 percent to his race. It didn’t really work out for him today, but I could see he gave it everything.”
Notes: North Caroline’s girls’ 4x400 relay of Katie Saathoff, Kyra Schulties, Lewis and Lizzy Walston finished fifth in a school-record 4:06.44. … CambridgeSD’s Ian Mason was fifth in the 1A boys’ pole vault (11-6). … North Caroline’s Anton Black was sixth in the 2A boys’ 200 meters (23.21). … Cambridge-SD’s Trevor Goodwin was 10th in the 1A boys’ 1,600 (4:43.51) . ... North Dorchester’s Jamaya Conaway was sixth in the 1A girls’ 100 hurdles (18.09) . ... Kent County’s Kareem Perkins finished third in the 1A boys’ triple jump (41-5¾) . ... Queen Anne’s Keashia Johnson (26.75) was eighth in the 2A girls’ 200.
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Kent Island’s Emma Tvelia works through the first turn during the 2A girls’ 400 meters Saturday at the state track and field championships. Tvelia finished fifth in a school-record 59.02.