The Gaithersburg and Walter Johnson boys teams have decidedly more strength and depth than they had during the indoor season, but neither team could keep up with the home team Clarksburg, which won the meet by over 50 points.
Clarksburg boys won five individual events and had top three finishers in every event except for the hurdles, showing again that they cover all of the events at least as well as any team in Montgomery County.
Clarksburg's Paul Joseph was out-leaned by Kennedy's Chris Gardner at the finish line in the 400-meter dash, 50.62 to 50.68. He bounced back to win the 200-meter dash by over half second with a personal best time of 22.23. It was faster than any MCPS boy ran all of last year, but it's worth noting that there was a tailwind during that heat of the 200m and no wind instrumentation. He also placed second behind Gaithersburg's Kaifa Boyce in both the long jump and triple jump, to rack up 36 individual points for his team.
In the discus, Clarksburg swept the top three spots and took four out of the top five. Samuel Adedeji led Clarksburg by winning both the shot put and discus. Adedeji was under consideration for athlete of the meet, but ultimately that honor was given to Boyce.
Boyce moved closer to his goal of 22 feet in the long jump with a personal best mark of 21-10.75, but he continues to be disappointed with his hurdle performances. Halfway through the 110-meter hurdles, he was a half stride ahead of WJ's Elad Covaliu, but hit a hurdle and lost his lead. Covaliu won the race over Boyce, 15.39 to 15.61.
Boyce had a disastrous race in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing five seconds slower than his dual meet performance earlier in the week, but the decision makers did not hold it against him, and he was determined to be the athlete of the meet for his wins in the long jump, triple jump, and second place finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
The 300-meter hurdle race instead turned out to be a fierce race between Covaliu (39.59) and Richard Montgomery's Nick Hu (39.54). Covaliu took the win, but both runners went under 40 seconds, which no MoCo athlete did last year. There was a bit of a tailwind down the home-stretch, but that is less of a factor in the 300-meter hurdles than it is in the 200m. In addition, the fourth hurdle was set one notch too high for their heat.
Covaliu is coming off an individual wrestling state title and is so far this season undefeated in both hurdle events and ahead of where he was at the end of last year. He spoke on the chemistry of the team which has added a few athletes from other sports.
"We are having a lot of fun. We have a great team."
In Josh Ellis's first major race since he was forced to sit out at the indoor state championship due to illness, he won the 1600m by over six seconds in 4:20.68. He was aiming for a time that would help him get into the Penn Relays mile, which will probably take a sub-4:20 performance, but he felt that the race today showed that he was back in "pre-sickness" shape from earlier in the winter. The Cougar Relays next week will be one of his last opportunities for a fast mile time before the Penn Relays. The Cougar Relays meet record is 4:21.41, set by Whitman's Andrew Palmer in 2010.
There was no debate as to who would be the female performer of the meet. Walter Johnson's Laura Dally won golds in the 100-meter hurdles (15.53), 300-meter hurdles (47.53), triple jump (34-11.25), and contributed to the winning 4x200 relay (1:46.78).
Like the WJ boys team, the WJ girls team is pulling in a number of athletes from different sports. The WJ girls won the 4x800 in 9:45 without any members of the cross country team and ran the fastest 4x200 by a WJ team since 2008.
Track newcomer Renee Hart is a senior with a soccer scholarship to Villanova. Running track for the first time, she won the 100-meter dash in 12.60 and placed third in the 200m in 25.94 behind RM's Dasia Adams (12.81) and Gaithersburg's Alexia Mitchell (12.87). Hart anchored the WJ 4x200 with a split of 24.8.
Another newcomer turning heads is Whitman freshman Clare Severe. In the 4x800 relay, Whitman was too far behind WJ and RM by the time Severe received the baton, but she managed to close the gap a little bit with a 2:21 split. Later in the open 800, she ran behind RM's Elena De La Paz and Grace Hanger for about 700 meters. On the final curve, Severe moved up to the lead with a burst of speed and outkicked Hanger for the win in 2:24.61.
Poolesville's Chelsie Pennello earned perhaps the biggest victory of her young career. Through the first two laps of the 1600m, Pennello patiently ran in the pack while the upperclassmen, Anna Ryba, Abbey Daley, and Caroline Guiot, led a tight pack. The pace quickened on the third lap and as runners dropped off the pace, it appeared the race would come down to Pennello, QO's Regina Schreiber, and the state champ, Caroline Guiot. Pennello took control of the race on the fourth lap and increased a lead on everyone but Guiot. Over the final 200 meters, Pennello pressed and Guiot could not keep up down the stretch. Pennello won by a second in 5:25.32.
When the sun had gone down and the stadium lights were on, Richard Montgomery fielded strong male and female 4x400 relays to end the meet. The boys were particularly impressive, slashing almost 8 seconds off their fastest time from this past indoor season for a winning time of 3:26.82.
Like their male counterparts, the Clarksburg girls scored in just about every event including 44 points in the throwing events and a double victory by Claudia Ababio (36-02.50, 98-07), but the Richard Montgomery girls proved to be the most well-rounded. RM won the meet over Clarksburg, 128.5 to 111.
|The Clarksburg thrower who one the discus and shotput ; his name is Samuel Adedeji not Jacob .
|GREAT JOB RM GIRLS KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK
|Woo Hoo! Go Clare!
|I saw a young man I never seen before leading his heat in the hurdles thru the 250M mark running the 300 HH. When I inquired his name was Curtis, a freshman. He might be a sleeper in the 300 HH. We'll need to pay close attention to this up and coming star. I noticed his name called a few times to the podium for finishing in the top eight. Not bad for a freshman.
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