STEVENSVILLE — The sky’s the limit for Kent County junior Larry Steward, who soared to a region championship in the high jump last week.
Same goes for freshman Ke’yare Hawkins, who established school records in the shot put and discus at the May 18-20 Class 1A East Region outdoor track and field meet that served as the state qualifier.
Hawkins, 15, threw the 8.8-pound shot 32 feet, 7.25 inches, bettering the previous school record of 29-10.5 that she established last month.
Her nearest challenger was Pocomoke junior Alayah Thornton with a second-place throw of 30-6.
Hawkins’ best attempt in the discus was 96-4, shattering the previous record of 89-3 that had stood since 1985.
She placed fourth, behind Bo Manor’s Rylee Lenz (109-3) and Raegan Lenz (104-1) and Cambridge’s Kassidy Young (99-8), but met the advancement standard of 87-11 to punch her ticket to this week’s state championships at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
The first- and second-place finishers in each regional final and the next top-eight times or marks from all regions in the classification advance to the state meet May 25-27. In addition, any individual competitors or relay teams who achieve the advancement standards in their region final also advanced.
Steward, 17, topped 13 other competitors with a high jump of 6 feet, 1 inch. His PR of 6-4 was achieved at the Trojans’ only home meet this season April 25.
Washington’s CorJ Dickerson, Havre de Grace’s Meshach Cochran and North Dorchester’s Jamar Williams locked into a three-way tie for second at 5-11.
After clinching first, Steward attempted to have a new personal best by increasing the bar height to 6-5, but couldn’t quite make that.
Melvin Morton holds the school record of 6-6 that was set in 1995.
Steward said if he is to win gold at the state meet, or get the school record, or both, he’ll need to tweak his approach and form.
“I know I can jump high enough,” the 6-foot-2 Steward told a reporter Monday. “It’s my technique that I need to work on,” he said.
The 1A East meet was held over two days at Kent Island High School last week, simultaneously with the 2A East meet.
Kent County was in a region with all the other small schools on the Eastern Shore, plus Bo Manor and Perryville of Cecil County, and Havre de Grace, Joppatowne and Patterson Mill of Harford County.
While Hawkins and Steward were the only Trojans to punch their tickets to states, several others came extremely close to qualifying by making the finals in their respective events.
The 1A East Region meet was huge, with at least 20 entries in most individual events — and 30-plus on occasion.
Scoring was through eight places.
Printed here is a list of Kent County athletes who ribboned (i.e., placed top eight) and/or recorded personal bests.
100 meters: Angel Cote, personal best of 15.33 seconds.
200 meters: Diane Ardon, 29.54, seventh; and Cote, personal best of 31.58.
400 meters: Ardon, personal best of 1 minute, 6.31 seconds, seventh.
100-meter hurdles: Kamari Hoxter, 19.49, sixth; and Jaeda Hoxter, personal best of 19.69, eighth. Kamari Hoxter had a PR of 19.17 in her heat.
4x100-meter relay of J. Hoxter, Cote, Love Jackson and Ardon, season best of 57.60, eighth.
Discus: Ke’yare Hawkins, school record of 96 feet, 4 inches, fourth.
Shot put: Hawkins, school record of 32-7.25, first.
200 meters: Tyrell Fennell, personal best of 23.52 seconds, fourth.
400 meters: Gabriel Johnson, personal best of 1 minute, 1.23 seconds.
800 meters: Kevin Stroup, personal best of 2:42.97; and Liam Gallo, personal best of 2:50.53.
4x100-meter relay of Rah’Zir Wilson, Colbyn Lopez, Trent Johnson and Fennell, season best of 46.84, eighth.
High jump: Larry Steward, 6 feet, 1 inch, first.
Triple jump: G. Johnson, personal best of 29-11.75.
Shot put: Gavin Larrimore, personal best of 39-8, seventh.
Discus: Larrimore, personal best of 108-1, sixth.
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