Just three days ago, the doors to the Georgetown Prep indoor track facility remained locked. Head coach Greg Dunston worked many hours in the past several days to make sure that the debut of the state-of-the-art facility was perfect.
Most athletes entered the brand new facility with a look of awe in their faces, and what an awesome site it was. The 200 meter track is housed in a large room with high ceilings with nice lighting. The 6-lane blue track encompasses a gray floor with a high jump mat in the center, with the long jump pit and shot put area (which has no protective netting as of yet) off to the west end. On the east end of the track is the finish line, and all around the outside of the track there is a thin strip for spectators to sit or stand. A single set of bleachers in the northeast corner was quickly occupied by the Richard Montgomery team, while most teams found a cozy spot on the infield to camp out.
The story of the meet was the Richard Montgomery boys and girls who dominated nearly every sprinting event. Patrick Pinchinat and Brendan Etzel lead the strong boys team while the new addition of the twin sisters Ashlyn and Ashly Decruise lead the girls team. The distance events were once again the Chris Moen Show, although a few athletes showed that they weren't afraid to go after him. Cara Harrison from Quince Orchard also had a nice day in the distance events. Spectators also were able to experience the loudest starter gun ever.
It was an exciting day that all of the athletes were honored to a be a part of. As for Dunston...he's feeling a bit of relief that the meet went well and that his facility is finally open for business. The Georgetown Prep team has had no outdoor track to practice on this season so they have been training on practice fields. Now the athletes can finally settle in and enjoy the beautiful facility that they have been blessed with. Dunston looks forward to hosting two more indoor meets this season: one for local private schools, and one meet to help teams qualify for The Penn Relays.
Event by Event
The meet moved quickly, and my event-by-event recap will reflect that. For the distance events, I have made available audio play-by-play, which can be found on the front page for a limited time. The audio coverage is an experiment that there may be more of in the future.
Good Counsel's Larry Enweze won the boys high jump in 5'-10". Poolesville's Emily Furr won the girls high jump in 5'-0". Poolesville's Erica Neville won the girls shot put in 33'-06" and RM's Alex Payton won the boys shot put with a throw of 44'-06".
The running portion of the meet began with the RM girls taking victories in not just the first, not just the second, but the first five heats of the 200m dash. In the first and second heat, the Decruise sisters each cruised to victories in about the same time of 26.7. In the first boys heat, RM's Brendan Etzel flew around the new track to crush the field in about 22.6.
The lead in the girls 4x800m relay was tossed around until Whitman's Morgane Gay took over on the third leg. Leslie Morrison brought it home for the Vikings in 9:59. On the boys side, both Sherwood and QO made peculiar moves in splitting up their top 4 runners onto two different relays. It made for an action packed race in the beginning, but by the third leg, WJ was very close to the front and, despite a noble effort by RM's Ben Hoyt, the race was all over when Moen got the baton. Moen split 1:59 to win the race for WJ in a time of 8:26.
In the girls 55m hurdles, Northwest's Tara Okusaga ran to a victory in 8.7 over Poolesville's Olivia Durr (9.0). Like Okusaga, RM's Tyler Jackson also scored that elusive first victory in a time of 8.2.
In the girls 55m dash, RM's Ashly Decruise, who has the longer hair of the two twins, ran way out in front and crossed the line in a blazing 6.8. Other people standing around me also timed her in 6.8 (incase you want to call the time into question). The indoor county record is 7.04 held by former Gaithersburg runner Nina Warren. Patrick Pinchinat would not be shown up by the girls. He also ran way out in front and crossed in a legitimate hand-timed 6.3. This time would tie the county record held by two Gaithersburg runners Jay Colbert and Van Free. Branden Etzel crossed the line in 6.55. Patrick is looking forward to the Montgomery Invitational next weekend where he knows he can improve on last year's 5th place finish in 6.67.
The girls 1600m race was pushed by Quince Orchard's Cara Harrison. She brought the race through halfway in 2:36 and continued to increase her lead until she won in 4:21.
The boys 1600m race had many of the county's top athletes. Moen brought out the leaders with Will Palmer closely following. Moen along with Palmer separated from the rest of the field. Palmer held dangerously close until the last lap where Palmer actually passed Moen and fought for another 70 meters. Moen passed Palmer back with a little over 100 meters to go and that was all she wrote. Moen won in 4:32 with Palmer just a couple seconds behind.
The girls 4x200m relay was a battle between the Walter Johnson and RM girls. By the third leg, WJ had stretched out a large lead, but Ashly Decruise got the baton and hunted down WJ's anchor, Jenny McCoy, with a vengeance. She came within inches, but McCoy was able to hold her off. WJ won in 1:49.8 over RM (1:50.1). RM's anchor split 26.0.
In the boys 4x200m race, RM's Patrick Pinchinat dominated the first leg with a split of 22.6. The Good Counsel team was able to fight their way back into the race and gave RM a scare over the final two legs. RM held them off with a time of 1:34.2. Good Counsel finished in 1:35.0.
In the girls 800m race, Vie Duncan brought the race out hard but was passed by Cara Harrison on the 2nd lap. Harrison created a big lead on the third lap, but Duncan fought back and caught her at the line. The teammates both ran about 2:29.
Like the 1600m race, the boys 800m was brought out by Moen. This time it was QO's Reagan Lynch who stuck with him stride for stride. With about 250m to go, Lynch passed up Moen and tried to hang on. Moen hung behind Lynch until there were 50m left and past Lynch back, but not without effort. Down the final stretch, Moen put a second between himself and Lynch for the victory in 2:03.
The girls 4x4 featured a tired RM team. Jessie Weaver ran the first leg in 1:04. In the second leg, NW's Tara Okusaga quickly moved up to the front to pass RM's Ashlyn Decruise. Decruise was able to pass back and hand off the baton to her sister after a split of 1:05. Ashly ran a split of 1:08 and was able to keep the lead for their anchor Sarah Britton who crossed the finish first with a 1:08 split. The team won in 4:25.
If you guessed that the RM boys won the 4x4, you would be correct, but Sherwood did give them a pretty good run. The first three legs of RM's team (Pinchinat, Lucas Sator, and Anthony Pace) all split 54. The race was close until Pace broke it open on the third leg as Sherwood faded. RM's anchor Brian Sickles was able to hold off Sherwood's anchor with his split of 53. RM won in 3:35.
The meet ended, and maybe it was something about the track or maybe there's something in the guacamole, but I was dieing for a burrito. So I found the nearest Chipotle Mexican Grill and half the county showed up. I got the Chicken Fajita Burrito with everything (except beans). It wasn't folded very well so it was a little messy, but still delicious.
My concluding statement is that burritos and track were meant for each other. So keep eating delicious food and training hard. Good luck at the Montgomery Invitational next week and good luck on your final exams.