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Jan. 19, 2007

Sinclair sisters shine at Montgomery Invitational

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor
JAN. 13, PG SPORTSPLEX-

Although no official overall team scores were tabulated at the 6th annual Montgomery Invitational, the Blair indoor track team placed well in several events, establishing the squad as one of the best in Montgomery County.

Halsey Sinclair was 4th overall and the 1st Maryland finisher in the Sally Glynn Invitational Mile with a time of 5:11.21. Sinclair started the race from the back of the nine-person pack, slowly picking off girls and moving up in placement as the race continued.

Ashlyn Sinclair won the unseeded 1600m race in a time of 5:15.01 with a drastically different running strategy than Halsey. Ashlyn dominated the race by going out hard and leading the entire way unchallenged. Two potential challengers crept up during the last 400m of the race, but never got close enough to make a move.

Ashlyn was originally seeded to run in the Invitational Mile with her sister, but said she was unaware until the day of the race that she had been placed in the more prestigious race. She opted out of the more illustrious event to lessen the pressure on her, as the Montgomery Invitational marked her first mile race of the indoor track season. "I didn't run it because it's the first indoor mile I've run and I didn't want so much pressure," she said.

By running a 5:15, the qualifying standard for the Invitational Mile and a time that would have placed her 6th in a field of nine girls, Ashlyn now has confidence that she can stick with the other Montgomery County girls who competed in the seeded race. "Now I know I have the speed and confidence to stay with those girls," she said.

Ashlyn won her heat of the open 800m run in a similar manner, taking the lead and pushing the pace from the start for a final time of 2:19. Ashlyn's time was good enough for second overall in the event.

The girls' 3200-meter race was dominated by Catherine White (Northside H.S.) of Virginia, who nearly broke her own meet record of 10:51, but the battle for second place remained fierce. Halsey started the race in a solid second position but two fellow Montgomery County runners, Cara Harrison (Quince Orchard) and Louise Hannallah (Winston Churchill), caught up after about 300 meters to form a three-person pack. Halsey and Harrison exchanged the lead several times through the first mile, with Halsey clocking in at 5:29, while Hannallah drifted back. Halsey pushed the pace to pass Harrison with about seven laps to go, and was not challenged for second place throughout the rest of the race, finishing in 11:14. Hannallah claimed third, while Harrison faded to 6th place.

The boys' 4x400-meter relay continued to display potential by placing 12th overall out of 51 teams and 2nd out of Montgomery County teams in 3:34.89, despite being seeded in the slowest heat.

Head Coach Mike Fleming is proud of the team's effort and hopes to recreate their performance today at the Montgomery County Championship next Monday. "I think we did great tonight, both individuals and relay teams," he said. "If we can repeat the way we did tonight it'll be a nice, productive meet for us. Hopefully, one of our better ones."

The 6th annual Montgomery Invitational attracted 113 schools and over 1,200 athletes hailing from Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The Blazers' next meet is the Montgomery County Championships, Monday, Jan. 22 at the PG Sportsplex.



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  • vERY jUICY on January 19, 2007 at 6:17 PM
    Good Job Johanna, I especially like the alliteration.
  • ? on January 26, 2007 at 2:51 PM
    how long can it take to get up an article about counties?
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