(May 23, 2014) Twelve Stephen Decatur outdoor track athletes will compete in the 3A state championship meet, today and Saturday at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
The Seahawks advanced to the state competition after placing top four in their events during the 3A South Regional meet, May 15 and 17, at Westlake High School in Waldorf.
“Regionals went really well. Twelve is the most we’ve had qualify in a while,” said Decatur Coach Jody Stigler. “This team has come a really long way. From where we began to where we are now, there’s been big improvement…They had to work hard to get results.”
Stigler said a majority–about 80-85 percent–of the Decatur athletes who participated in the regional meet recorded their best times or marks of the season.
Decatur was the only 3A South squad with pole vaulters, so the regional event took place at the Berlin school, May 13.
Sophomore Evan Haas’ vault of 9 feet 6 inches, his best height this season, landed him in the top spot in the boys’ pole vault event. Adam Kristick, a sophomore, vaulted 6 feet 6 inches to finish in second place.
Junior Hannah Wilson vaulted 8 feet to win the girls’ event. She was also victorious in the high jump (4 feet 10 inches).
Sophomore Alison Alvarado took fourth in the 3,200-meter race, completing the event in 13:02.89, her fastest time this year.
Alvarado also ran a leg for the 3,200-meter relay team, which placed fourth. Joining her in the race, were sophomores Elizabeth Masters and Kayla Lorance and junior Meya Chilengi. They crossed the finish line in 11:10.40. Stigler said all four girls ran their fastest times of the season.
Junior Jakhai Woodard’s long jump of 20 feet 8 inches, his best mark of the year, was good for second place in the event. Woodard finished sixth in the 200-meter dash, but his time of 22.71 seconds was faster than the 22.9-second advancement standard so he will compete at states in the event.
The 3,200-meter boys’ relay team of senior Kevin Herbert, junior Parker Harrington and sophomores Scott Berry and Gary Frick earned third place and recorded their best time of the season (8:52.16).
The Decatur boys’ team scored 42 points to come in sixth place overall. Northern of Calvert County won the boys’ competition with 133 points.
The Lady Seahawks tallied 50 points to finish in seventh place. Huntingtown took top honors in the girls’ competition with 139.5 points.
On Monday, Stigler said this week the 12 state-bound athletes would work on fine-tuning, especially for the field events. The runners need to stay loose and avoid injury, he added.
“Just working hard is the main thing,” Stigler said. “I’m not worried about placing. The goal is for them to get their best time or mark of the season. If they all do that, I’ll be happy.”