APRIL 11, BLAIR TRACK-
While the Blair boys' outdoor track team dusted Clarksburg by 22 points, the Lady Blazers' 69-68 victory over the Coyotes was a nail-biter. The two teams swapped the lead until the last event, the 4x400m relay.
Clarksburg led by four points going into the relay, which awards five points to the winner and no points to subsequent finishers. Freshman Aniema Nzesi sprinted the Blazers into a lead that the Coyotes were never able to overcome.
The Clarksburg boys won the 4x800m relay, but the Blazers made up for the early loss by sweeping the sprint relays.
Sophomore Rutvij Pandya took the lead in his races from the beginning, capturing first in both the 1600m and 800m runs in times of 4:51 and 2:13 respectively. Behind Pandya, the race for second place was fierce as senior Emanuel Waktola battled it out with Clarksburg’s Ramon Munoz. The race was decided in the final straightaway as Munoz toed the finish line in 5:01, just ahead of Waktola’s respectable 5:02 finish.
Another harrowing finish came in the boys’ 400m dash. Junior Louis Varella suffered his first dual meet loss this season in the event when he was outrun by Clarksburg’s Myles Daughtry. Duaghtry jumped to the lead at the sound of the gun and though Varella made up considerable ground, Daughtry clinched the victory in 51.84, a few steps ahead of Varella’s 52.35.
Senior Halsey Sinclair, like Pandya, doubled in the distance events by winning both the 1600m and 800m races. The 1600 was raced with both genders at the same time to speed up the meet and Sinclair paced off several boys to a 5:10 victory. Sinclair’s only competition in the female-only 800 came from her twin, Ashlyn, who took second in 2:26, four seconds behind Halsey’s 2:22.
The girls’ relays were a series of blow-outs and close finishes, as the Blazers won the 4x800m and 4x400m relays by large margins but were edged out in the 4x200m and 4x100m relays. Clarksburg led for all of the 4x200m relay, until anchor junior Dorcas Olawuni made a valiant effort for victory. However, Olawuni's surge was not enough as Clarksburg edged Blair by a second in 1:52 to Blair’s 1:53. The Coyotes also won the 4x100m relay in 53.47.
Coach John Goldman viewed the team's victories today as representative of its successful season. He predicts both the boys and girls to improve their records in the last county dual meet against Seneca Valley on April 24. "I anticipate moving up to division three. We're coalescing into a team to be reckoned with," he said.
The Blazers also competed at Woodward Relays on April 14. The boys placed sixth with 31 points, aided by second-place finishes in the 4x200m and 4x400m relays. The girls failed to score any points and did not place in the meet.
The Blazers will compete at the Viking Invitational at Walt Whitman this Saturday, April 21.
This article was originally posted on Silver Chips Online, Montgomery Blair High School's student-run online newspaper. The article can viewed in its original form at http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/inside.php?sid=7411