STEVENSVILLE — North Caroline High’s Emily Lewis knows sophomore Samantha Cash will one day break her school records in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
But that day was not going to be yesterday.
Lewis won the girls’ 100 hurdles for the third time in four years Saturday morning, then won her fourth straight title in the 300 hurdles in the afternoon heat during another impressive performance at the Class 2A East Region track and field championships at Kent Island High’s Andy Schipul Stadium.
“Sam is going to get it next year,” said Lewis of the 300 title. “She’s going to get first in the 100 hurdles, too. I want that one and two: me and Sam. And when I’m gone it’s going to be Sam.
“She’s definitely going to,” Lewis added of Cash someday breaking her school records in the two events. “I want her to. I do.”
A senior, Lewis wasted little time taking command and pulling away in the 100 for a winning time of 14.68 seconds. Lewis also won the regional title her freshman year, placed third as a sophomore, then regained the title last year.
Cash may have thought she was going to be disqualified when she hit a hurdle during the first 50 meters and saw Harford Tech’s Kiana Mack fall in the lane next to her. The sophomore recovered to finish fourth in 16.65, was not disqualified, and advanced to the 2A state meet scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at Morgan State University.
The top four athletes in each event qualify for states.
“I don’t feel pressure in the hurdles really,” Lewis said. “But for high jump I feel pressure because I don’t really do it anymore. I didn’t practice (high jump) at all this season. I just went ahead and tried to get points for the team. That part was pressure.”
Lewis cleared the bar at 5 feet, 2 inches to finish second to Harford Tech’s Beyonce Kelly (5-6) in the high jump.
Despite she didn’t erase the stagger as she usually does, Lewis closed her day with another victory in the 300 hurdles, winning in 44.40, with Cash in second at 45.77.
“I didn’t catch everybody like I normally do,” Lewis said of the stagger. “I was really relaxed. It was hot out; that tires me. I was pretty sure I had it. I knew I had it in me.”
Lewis took the lead through the turn and maintained a comfortable lead down the stretch, getting closer to her personal-record of 42.84 she ran at the Kent Island Invitational in mid-April.
“It was a good day,” Lewis said. “I am really happy with the 300 hurdles because I hit 42 once and then the next meet was 48, next meet was like 47. So I wanted to go out today and try to get close to my PR or get better. But I got really close to it, so I’m really happy.”
As was Kent Island’s Fiona Mulligan, who cleared 11 feet, 8 inches to win the girls’ 2A pole vault and set a new school record.
“I guess there were multiple goals,” Mulligan said. “One, I wanted to get qualified for states. And then a PR is always something I want, so that was nice.”
The Kent Island senior has been bidding to raise the Bucs’ record in the pole vault, but she admitted a need to sharpen her focus on a critical part in an event with many moving pieces.
“This past week, what I’ve really been working on, and it started to click, is just the last step,” Mulligan said. “The take-off step has to be perfect. That’s what starts everything. It’s a domino affect. If that’s bad then everything else is. ….
“There’s so many different stages to the vault,” Mulligan added. “Of course there are other parts you have to work on, but it starts with the takeoff. My third attempt at 11-8 I was just like, ‘Just take off right. Just take off right. All you got to do.’ And it just worked. I’m super excited.”
Mulligan’s title effort helped Kent Island take runner-up honors to Harford Tech in the girls’ team competition, with North Caroline placing third.
The Bucs’ runner-up finish was strengthened by another outstanding effort from senior Kyra Schulties, who opened her day by winning the 1,600 meters (5:14.26) by more than 5 seconds over Fallston’s Kennedy Mendoza, won the 800 (2:21.28) and anchored the second-place 4x400 relay (4:08.59)
“She has a lot of heart, she works hard and she’s a fantastic kid to coach,” Kent Island head coach Justin Holland said of Schulties, who was not pleased with her times. “She always wants to do better, but she had a fantastic meet.”
Kent Island’s McKenzie Mogel also came through in solid fashion, launching the shot 31-10¾ to take first place.
Easton’s Clayton Tyler also had a fantastic meet, helping the Warriors place third in the boys’ competition behind first-place Harford Tech and runner-up North Caroline.
Tyler clocked winning times of 10.79 and 22.09 to win the 100 and 200 sprints, holding off teammate Ucheyah Aguoru (10.93, 22.51) in both events.
“Coming into this season I was planning on showing what I really had,” Tyler said. “The 100, I knew that Uche (Aguorou) was coming because he wanted it bad. I had to make sure I got out to a good start, and when I got out I noticed that we were all neck and neck the whole time. And then I started striding and that’s when I started pulling (away).
“As soon as I came off that turn (in the 200) I knew I had to push it,” Tyler said. “I knew that Uche was next to me when I had him on the curve and it just pushed me the rest of the way.”
Tyler anchored Easton’s 4x100 relay of Tah Jay Jenkins, Darrin Moon and Aguorou, which took first in 43.14. The Warriors also got a first place from Blake Walton, who for a second consecutive week won the 300 intermediate hurdles, clocking a 39.22.
Kent Island’s boys’ team got another sparkling performance from sophomore Isaiah Schulties, who won the 400 in 51.28, set a school record while winning the 800 in 1:57.50, and anchored the second-place 4x400 relay (3:32.43).
Harford Tech’s Daron Taylor held off late kicks from Kent Island’s Finn Walsh (2nd, 4:26.89) and North Caroline’s William Christophel (third, 4:27.46) to win the 1,600 in 4:25.78.
North Caroline’s Geni Roberts (45-1) and Montreyse Deshields (42-1¼) finished first and second, respectively in the boys’ triple jump, while teammate Kendron Wayman won the discus in 159-1.