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May 15, 2007

Blair breaks into top ten at County Championship

by Johanna Gretschel, Online Managing Editor and Christina Mullen, Managing Design Editor
MAY 10, CHURCHILL HS-

Blair's boys' and girls' track teams performed brilliantly at the Montgomery County Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet, placing in the top ten for the first time in recent history. Under the leadership of speedy senior sisters Ashlyn and Halsey Sinclair, the girls' team placed sixth in the county with 35 points. Anchored by strong relay squads, the boys' placed seventh with 29 points, just one year after failing to score a single point in the meet.

The Sinclair sisters anchored the girls' team with solid finishes in the distance events in their last appearance in a county championship. Halsey won the 3200m and placed 2nd in the 1600m with times of 11:09 and 5:10 while Ashlyn took 2nd place in the 800m in a time of 2:17. The sisters also led the 4x400m relay to a sixth place finish.

On the boys' side, juniors Mohamed Mansaray and Louis Varella scored well, earning all of Blair's points through both individual events and as members of relays. First-year track runner Mansaray placed 4th in the 100m dash with a time of 11.22 seconds and ran the 200m dash in 22.81 seconds to take sixth place. Mansaray also anchored the 4x100m relay, which made a splash by finishing 2nd in 43.89.

Even with plenty of experience under his belt, co-captain Varella scored for the first time in the County Championship in his outdoor track career. Varella took second in the highly competitive 400m dash with a personal best of 49.94; just milliseconds behind Damascus' Will Zahorodny who ran a 49.60.

The boys' 4x400m relay proved to be one of the most exciting events of the meet, with Blair finishing in a close second to rival Richard Montgomery. Sophomore Jonathon Haughton, coming off his run in the 4x100m, led off the boys' 4x400m relay slower than his previous races, putting the Blazers in the middle of the pack. Junior Nilan Schnure maintained Blair's mediocre position in the second leg until he passed the baton to senior Muhammad Roberson, who exploded off the track as soon as he touched the baton. Roberson carried the Blazers into contention in the third leg, bringing them into second place. Still, the Blazers trailed Richard Montgomery by about 50 meters. Roberson handed off to Varella, the anchor runner, who made up significant ground and finished one second from first place. The Blazers came in at an overall time of 3:24 capturing a silver medal and a season record for the team.

The Blazers' stellar performance at the County Championship Meet gives the team confidence going into the regional meet, where the team will try to qualify for states in individual events and relays. The top four in each event as well as those who meet the qualifying standard qualify to compete at the state meet. Varella predicted a top placement at the regional meet in each relay to clinch a state spot. "I'm going for top two all the way," he said.

The Blazers' next meet is the 4A West Regional meet at Magruder High School on May 16 and 17.



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  • hmm on May 15, 2007 at 7:54 PM
    did nilan run the 800? if so i'm surprised he didnt place
  • Muhammad Roberson on May 15, 2007 at 8:09 PM
    Yeah... We're sweet :)
  • Nilan on May 17, 2007 at 10:30 PM
    Yea at counties I ran 2:02.87 which was only good enough for 13th (top 7 were all under 2:00). Today I ran 2:01.45 and placed 11th.

    For anyone who wants them, results and lots of other great track information (like times throughout the season of most Blair athletes) can be found at www.mocorunning.com.
  • fan on June 3, 2007 at 1:14 PM
    can we get some new pictures up? christina has taken a lot of good pictures and i would be thrilled to see more of them on sco
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