Cool damp weather at Quince Orchard provided excellent running conditions throughout the day despite being a bit unpleasant for spectators. The Cougar Relays are a traditional relay meet with the addition of an open mile, 300m hurdles, and the unique Devil Takes the Hindmost race.
To start, the Devil Takes the Hindmost races were dominated by Quince Orchard on the girls side and BCC for the guys. For those not familiar with the race, “the devil,” AKA Seann Pelkey removes runners from last place until there is one runner standing. The girls race quickly spread out as the number of runners dwindled. Ultimately Cara Harrison took the win easily with teammate Aimee Moores in second place. The boys race was more exciting with Neal Darmody and Elias Tousley still battling it out on the last lap. Elias pulled out the win over Neal in second while BCC teammates Chris Bowie and Dylan Straughan took 3rd and 4th places overall.
The distance relays were without surprise dominated by the Churchill girls and Quince Orchard boys. The Churchill girls set meet records in the 4x800 (9:47) and DMR (12:44) taking easy wins in both, while the Quince Orchard boys set a meet record in the 4x800 (8:02) and won the DMR over second place Sherwood. Good Counsel’s 8:10 for second place in the 4x800 establishes them as one of the best 4x800 relay teams in the county.
Richard Montgomery’s sprinters were out in full force setting meet records in the boys 4x200 and 4x400 as well as the girls 4x400. Audrey Gariepy anchored Churchill’s 4x200 to a win holding of a hard closing DeCruise from RM. The boys 4x400 was a very close race the entire way as shown by 4 schools breaking the previous meet record. In the end Brian Sickles held on to the win for RM despite Blair’s anchor leg closing the gap significantly.
The field events were scored as two person relays, but individual marks were recorded as well. The highlights on the boys side were Jamal Currica’s 6-6 high jump and Sean Stanley’s throw of 52-3 in the shot put. Strong field marks by Montgomery County girls include Chelsea Rienks 5-2 high jump, and Arleigh Rose throwing 33-4 and 91-10 in shot put and discus respectively.
Team-wise, Gaithersburg relied on its strength in the field events as well as a balanced team on the track scoring points in both sprints and distance events. The Churchill girls despite not overloading their top athletes with multiple events so early in the season were carried through by their depth and balance as a team to take the win by four points over Middletown.