Lions’ girls fifth in re­gion; Gates, John­son to states

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

His ranks thin­ner than re­cent years, North Caro­line High head coach Glen White­ley took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach at Mon­day’s Class 2A East Re­gion in­door track and field cham­pi­onships, al­low­ing his girls to be se­lec­tive when it came time to pick­ing their events.

That move worked quite nicely as the Bull­dogs placed sec­ond to Lackey in the girls’ com­pe­ti­tion at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports and Learn­ing Com­plex in Lan­dover.

“The girls re­ally sur­prised me be­cause we’re down on num­bers,” said White­ley, whose team fin­ished with 66 points, well be­hind Lackey’s 121 to­tal, but 16 ahead of third-place Mar­riotts Ridge. “I even took peo­ple out of events so they could do bet­ter in their fa­vorite events, events they had a shot in, or could score. So we threw away a cou­ple of points and still ended up sec­ond.”

Pac­ing the Bull­dogs was Katie Saathoff, who won the pole vault, clear­ing 9 feet, 6 inches on one less at­tempt than run­ner-up Kara Os­borne from Park­side.

“Katie missed a height early just be­cause her steps were off,” White­ley said. “But she wasn’t at­tack­ing. Once she set­tled down, she did fine.”

Saathoff was also part of North Caro­line’s 4x400-me­ter re­lay, join­ing Pearl Sut­ton, Kyra Schul­ties and Lizzy Wal­ston, who ran a huge an­chor leg, ral­ly­ing the Bull­dogs to a sec­ond-place fin­ish of 4 min­utes, 28.33, more than a full sec­ond ahead of third-place Queen Anne’s (4:29.54).

“Lizzy had a great an­chor leg,” White­ley said. “We were sit­ting in fourth and she caught up to sec­ond.”

Wal­ston also clocked a per­son­al­record 1:22.05 to take sec­ond in the 500 me­ters, while the 4x800 re­lay of Me­gan Han­negan, Schul­ties and fresh­men Sierra Reynolds and Sut­ton won with a sea­son-best 10:20.64.

“The girls that I thought would make states did,” White­ley said. “Ev­ery­body had good per­for­mances. There were a lot of PRs and bests. So they peaked when it counted.”

Among those ef­forts, were Kelsey Sloan’s run­ner-up per­for­mance in the high jump (4-10), Schul­ties fin­ish­ing third in the 800 (2:34.14), and Mia Phillips run­ning fourth (9.32) in the 55 hur­dles.

The top four in each event, or those meet­ing the event stan­dard, qual­i­fied for the state cham­pi­onships Feb. 20 at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports and Learn­ing Com­plex.

The only North Bay­side ath­lete to walk away with a pair of in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­onships was North Caro­line senior Devin Robin­son, who won the boys’ pole vault (12 feet) and high jump (5-10).

“He’s just a nat­u­ral tal­ent,” White­ley said of Robin­son. “He’s one of the most con­sis­tent. He works a lot. He could be way bet­ter if he could get more time into prac­tice.

“He’s very con­fi­dent in his abil­ity to get over 11 or 12 feet, but he’s still strug­gling with a cou­ple

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Kent Is­land’s Dy­lan Fin­lay gains con­trol of Queen Anne’s Trys­ten LaBrier in the 132-pound bout last Fri­day even­ing at Queen Anne’s County High School. Fin­ley won a 10-6 de­ci­sion.

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