field, runner-up in the 800, and fifth in the 300 hurdles, Cade Donnelly and Shane Peters.
“We lost by half a point and they were devastated,” Holland said. “But it’s been a long time since we’ve been in the running. The distance team, we know they’re strong. We know they’re there, and they’re our bread and butter. But we know we can’t win without more people.”
Queen Anne’s strength looks to be with its sprinters, led by Cordell Rogers, who could challenge for a state berth in the 100, 200, 400 and relay. He has fast company with sprint teammates Diondre Collins, David Carter, and Colin Brown, while Dylan Jones runs the 800 and 1,600 meters.
Sophomore Tyler Fitez, third in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Cambridge-SD Classic, leads Easton. Colin Elliott could provide points in the 1,600 and 800, where he finished fifth and sixth in Cambridge. First-year head coach Leslie Passano will also look for points from senior Ian Stanley (400, hurdles, relays), soccer standout Andrew Daly (200, long jump), Chris Harrison (hurdles) and Tyler Coyne (shot, discus).
Though they don’t appear to be a threat in the team race, North Dorchester could qualify a fast contingent for states, led by Davion Dockins (100, 200, relays), Jalen Teagle (long jump, relays), Seth Talley (hurdles), Kyle Harding (relays), Jakob Todd (relays), and William Lloyd (relays). Stephen Layton could challenge for the discus title in the 1A East, and also throws the shot.
Arlington Johnson may be Kent County’s top hopeful for a trip to states in the high jump and 100 meters. Head coach Richard Shaw looks to develop the talents of Daniel Rickman (800, 1,600), Chase Andrew (400, relays), C.J. Andrews (relays) and Stephen Campbell (shot, discus). Girls’ Outlook James M. Bennett, which won 10 Bayside championships in a 12-year stretch (1997-2008), has talent, numbers and will be tough to catch on the girls’ side, but two-time defending champion North Caroline, Kent Island, Queen Anne’s and Cambridge-SD could battle the Clippers.
Defending conference and 2A East pole vault champion Katie Saathoff is back to lead the Bulldogs, along with Lizzy Walston, who runs the open 400. North Caroline should again be strong in the relays, with Saathoff, Walston, Megan Hannegan and Kyra Schulties in the 4x400, and Hannegan, Schulties, Sierra Reynolds and Hannia Josselyn in the 4x800.
Emily Lewis, who swept the 2A East hurdles titles as a freshman last year, is recovering from a leg injury. If Lewis regains her form, she could also run relays and provide added strength.
Mia Phillips (hurdles), Kelsey Sloan (high jump) and Hannegan (1,600, 3,200) can also score points, but the emergence of freshmen Sierra Reynolds (pole vault, 400, 800, high jump) and Sierra Price (200, triple jump, long jump) could give the Bulldogs a boost.
Holland said his girls’ team is “very young and very talented, but very thin. We’ve always had the talent, and those years that we win we usually have the numbers. But we don’t have the numbers.”
The Bucs do have talent, led by the return of senior Emma Tvelia, who missed the cross country and indoor seasons. The defending Bayside and 2A East champion in the 400 and 800, Tvelia is one of the conference’s most versatile runners — ranging from the 200 to 3,200 meters — and anchored the winning 3,200 relay at the Cambridge-SD Classic.
“She can do anything from the 200 to the two mile if we wanted her to,” Holland said.
Sophomore Molly Connelly, who battled injury late in the indoor season, is back at the 3,200, where she and freshman teammate Charlotte Kratovil-Lavelle could dominate through the season.
“Her and Molly are basically going to be pushing each other,” Holland said of Kratovil-Lavelle, who won the 3,200 at Cambridge. “She’s a true freshman still learning the ropes and as soon as she gets some confidence she’ll just be outstanding.”
Third at Cambridge, sophomore Fiona Mulligan could develop into a force in the pole vault, while Oksana Fesz looks to earn points in the long and triple jump.
Queen Anne’s may not have enough to contend for team titles at Baysides or regionals, but head coach Natasha Wright has a solid core. Senior Keashia Johnson, the defending 2A East 100 and 200 outdoors champion who took first in the 55 and 300 indoors at Baysides this winter, runs the 100, 200 and 400, as well as a leg on the 4x400 relay. Senior Emily Gates can run anything between the 800 and 3,200, while junior Taylor Peck can be inserted in the 400 through 1,600. Sheqoya Moore has the potential to score big points in the 200, 400, and relays, while Aryelle Miles and Javazyera Blake hope to make noise in the shot and discus.
Easton graduated Kathr yn Gearhart — now running at the University of Maryland — but could carry a small group to states, led by junior Claire Dowd, who won the 1,600 at Cambridge and placed second in the 3,200, and senior Quinn Jennings, who was third and second, respectively, in the 100 and 200 in the 2A East last year. Junior Molly Ford should again push for a trip to states after finishing second in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the 100 hurdles at regionals last year. Senior Ryesha Savoy (hurdles, relays) and junior Abby Wittman (shot, discus, long, triple jump) hope to earn a trip to the state championships as well.
Defending 1A East champion Cambridge-SD, which edged Snow Hill by four points for the girls’ crown a year ago, will be among the favorites again this year. Narr wants her athletes trying different events, and is just as delighted with her girls’ team as she is with the boys squad.
“I’m just tickled,” Narr said. “The kids are enthusiastic. I have a lot of kids that are new so we are still in a rebuilding year with the girls. At this stage of the game I think we are ahead of where we had hoped. We’re still trying to figure out where girls fit.”
Janaee Qualies, the defending 1A East champion in the 400 and triple jump, is back, along with defending region champions Destiny Frantum (pole vault) and Leah Krotee (300 hurdles). Second in the 100 and fourth in the long jump at the Cambridge-SD Classic, freshman Oyeronke Oyeridue could become an integral part of Viking fortunes.
“You put that together with a Janee Qualies and a KirMya Wilson, who’s back, and a Destiny Frantum and you’ve got a complement of sprinters that I think can get the job done,” Narr said. “I’m super excited about that.
North Dorchester basketball star Jamaya Conaway will look to defend her 1A East title in the 100 hurdles, and bid for a spot at states in the high jump, and as part of a 4x100 relay that includes Kyla Diggs, Jasmine Loflan and Lauren Covey. Captain Myasia Jones ran legs on both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays that qualified for states last year, and will look to qualify in the 200 this year. Lofland could be a factor at regionals in the long and triple jump, while Diggs pushes for a spot in the 200.
Colonel Richardson’s Love Rene was region runner-up in the 100 and 200 last season, and Olivia Thompson was second in the high jump. Both hope to go one step further and lead a Colonel team that also features Tara Gomez (400, relays), Tiarah Martin (shot put), Emily Mank (800, 1,600), Liline Souil (100, 200, relays) and Rachel Jesse (long jump). Kent County’s Bethany Heinefield looks to place in the 200 and 400 at Baysides and regionals. Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Haufe. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org