STEVENSVILLE — The Colonel Richardson High boys’ track team won two titles en route to a third place finish in the the Class 1A East Region track and field championship Saturday, May 18, at Kent Island High’s Andy Schipul Stadium.
Colonel sophomore Elijah Palmer won the triple jump with a leap of 40-1¼, and the 4x400 relay of Jaiden Downing, Allkenson Gaspord, Romar Jones and Dakota Wilson took first in 3:36.12. Downing was second in the 400 (51.25), getting edged by Joppatowne’s James Munlyn (50.92).
The boy's team finished third behind champion Snow Hill and runner-up Bohemia Manor.
Boosting Colonel Richardson’s point total on the boys’ side were Wilson, who won the 1A long jump with a leap of 21 feet, Jordan Gabriel, third in the shot put (41-2), the second-place 4x200 relay of Trevor Opher, Palmer, Jones and Wilson (1:35.21), and the third-place 4x800 relay of Jones, Sam Arnold, Jaiden Downing and Davis Newcomb (9:00.72).
Their words may have been a little different, but their message was the same.
“I can’t let her beat me,” said Cambridge-South Dorchester High’s Kenya Jones after her victory in the girls’ 100 meters.
“I’m like, she cannot catch me,” said Viking teammate Brianna Wongus after winning the girls’ 400. “The whole race (I’m thinking), ‘Do not let them catch you.’”
“They cannot catch me,” Cambridge-SD’s Julya Wallace said of coming off the turn with the lead and never letting it go en route to a first-place finish in the girls’ 200 meters. “I cannot let them catch me.”
Whether the distance was 100, 200 or 400 meters, or the relay was the 4x100 or the 4x400, no one caught Cambridge-SD’s girls Saturday, as the Vikings won the Class 1A East Region track and field championship at Kent Island High’s Andy Schipul Stadium.
“Across the board in every event, other than maybe one or two events, we scored points,” Cambridge-SD co-head coach Clint Falduto said. “And that was big. Just understanding that everybody had a role on this day. Whether it was one point, two points, winning their event. They all had a role and they all contributed, which gave them a great victory.”
That understanding-your-role theme was perhaps best exemplified by Cambridge-SD’s Destiny Frantum, who was disqualified for a false start in the day’s first event — the girls’ 1A 100 hurdles final — worked her way past it, then led off the Vikings’ 4x100 relay of Jones, Wongus and Wallace, which clocked a first-place time of 50.09 seconds.
“I didn’t let that discourage me,” Frantum said of her DQ. “I just had to focus on my team and think more of them than myself.”
Admitting she had a case of butterflies, Jones took the lead in the 100 about 25 meters from the finish line and held on for a first-place mark of 12.75. Wallace was third in 12.89, while Tatyana Dugars placed sixth (13.24).
Wongus added another 10 points to the Vikings’ total when she steadily made up the stagger in the 400 and came through the turn with the lead.
“When I first started off I realized that the girl in lane eight (Perryville’s Ellie Kuhn) was coming out really fast,” Wongus said. “So my first choice was to catch her. And then after that, I got to get to that finish line.”
Wongus got to the finish line first in 1:00.57, but she didn’t necessarily think she was running alone down the final 100 meters.
“I thought she (Kuhn) was going to come back because as I run I can hear footsteps and that just motivates me to keep going faster and faster,” Wongus said.
“I was mostly focusing on a 59,” Wongus added, wanting to lower her personal record in the event. “Because last year I ran a 60 here. But I was mostly focused on getting that PR.”
Cambridge-SD’s Alexus Spriggs was fourth (1:04.13) and Dugars was fifth (1:04.65).
Wallace padded the Vikings’ lead a little more, when she took control of the 200 coming out of the curve and never relinquished her lead on the way to a first-place 26.36, followed by Jones (26.91) in second and Wongus (27.03) in fourth.
“I can’t let them catch me. I cannot because I want it,” Wallace said. “If I want something I will get it. I need it. (I was like), ‘I got this. Push a little harder. I got this. Don’t give up. Don’t lock up. Keep pushing.’”
Cambridge-SD capped its day by winning the 4x400 relay, as Alison Ridgely, Dugars and Spriggs teamed with anchor-leg Wongus for a 4:24.79.
North Dorchester senior Jasmine Lofland, who won the triple jump Thursday, landed her second title, winning the girls’ long jump with an effort of 16 feet, 7 inches.
The Eagles walked away with a second title as senior Stephen Layton won the boys’ discus with a throw of 134-3.
“I kind of thought I could do it because discus, it depends on the day,” said Layton, who won the region title as a sophomore before a runner-up finish a year ago. “You could have a really good throw one day and a really bad (one) the next. His seed (Joppatowne’s Christopher Kalambihis) wasn’t that far ahead of mine. So it was like it could depend on the day which one of us goes. He had it out of the (boundaries) a lot and I just kept mine in more.”
Layton’s first toss of the day (129 feet) automatically qualified him for the state championships slated for Thursday and Saturday at Morgan State University. He won the competition on his third and final throw of the first round.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the state meet.
Cambridge-SD’s Connor McCroy won the boys’ pole vault at 10-7, followed by teammate and runner-up John Condon (10-1). McCroy was second in the 800.
Perryville finished second in the girls’ competition, followed by third-place Patterson Mill.