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Decatur high jumpers accomplish goals

(Feb. 27, 2015) Four feet 10 inches was their high jump goal during Monday’s 3A indoor track state championship meet and Stephen Decatur sophomores Christina Romano and Bethany Williams accomplished it.

“I did pretty good. I was very happy with my performance,” Romano said.

Romano said she was surprised that she got over the bar on her first attempt since she hadn’t made 4 feet 10 inches before.

The next height was 5 feet, which Romano came close to clearing on her final attempt.

She tied for seventh place with Mt. Hebron’s Julia Shanley and Urbana’s Morgan Guzman.

“The competition was really good,” Romano said. “It was really fun being there with Bethany.”

Romano and Williams supported and cheered each other on during the competition at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

Although Williams also high jumped 4 feet 10 inches, she tied for 11th place with Wilde Lake’s Deanna Yancey and Franklin’s Nala Gilbert due to a tiebreaker based on the number of attempts at lower heights.

“I think I did well for the amount of practice we had,” Williams said. “I had a good performance from only one day of practice.”

The meet was originally scheduled for last Tuesday, but because of snow it was postponed to this Monday. Romano and Williams were only able to get in one day of practice before states because of the weather.

Williams said 4 feet 10 inches was a height she had a bit of trouble with this season.

She made some adjustments after her first two attempts and was successful on her third try at 4 feet 10 inches. The bar shook a little, she said, but it didn’t fall.

“I’m pretty excited I got that,” Williams said.

Williams attempted 5 feet, a height she hadn’t practiced before, but she was unable to get over the bar.

While Romano plans to participate in lacrosse this spring, Williams will compete in outdoor track. She is shooting for the 5-foot mark.

“The indoor season was good for me. I’m looking forward to outdoor track,” she said.

Sophomore Jillian Mitrecic also competed at states. The starting height for pole vault was 7 feet 6 inches. The highest height Mitrecic completed this season was 7 feet 6 inches. She was unsuccessful in making the opening state height.

“The pole vault event was really strong,” said Decatur Coach Jody Stigler. “She came in at 7 feet 6 inches. Starting right at that height made it difficult for her.”

Stigler thought the indoor track season went well overall. The Seahawks performed well during the regular season, he said. The girls’ team finished second in the Bayside Conference championship and the boys’ squad took third.

Romano, Williams and Mitrecic qualified for states because of their performances during the 3A East Regional meet.

“We have a tough region. It’s tough to qualify for states,” Stigler said.

He measures success by how the athletes improve throughout the season.

“We’ve come a long way since we started on Nov. 15,” Stigler said. “We had a good mix of senior leaders on both sides and underclassmen who were contributors.”

Several key contributors will graduate, but a number of athletes will return to the track next year.

Some of the Seahawks who participated in indoor track will compete in outdoor track this spring. The season begins March 2.

PHOTO COURTESY JODY STIGLER
Stephen Decatur sophomores, from left, Bethany Williams, Jillian Mitrecic and Christina Romano pose for a photo during Monday’s 3A indoor track state championship meet at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.

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