Field events are key to girls' win, boys' loss
APRIL 27, BLAZER TRACK—
The Blair outdoor track team split a county meet against the Seneca Valley Screamin' Eagles today when the girls won by a score of 88-45 and the boys' team lost 48.5-85. While the two teams continue to move in separate directions, the meet highlighted areas in which Blair has improved tremendously over the course of the season.
The biggest factor in today's meet and its eventual outcome was the field events. The girls dominated the events, such as shot put, discus and long jump, helping the team to pull away from the Eagles, who stayed competitive with Blair in track events for most of the meet. Coach Carl Lewin felt that the girls competing at field events have been steadily improving throughout the year and should now be able to compete with some of the best in the county, if not state. "Our girls are competing at a very high level. In fact many of our girls should be good enough to succeed at States," said Lewin after the meet.
Lewin was quick to mention how field events plagued the boys' team, and how the lack of points in the area ruined several spectacular runs earlier in the meet. Lewin felt that there was one core reason for the poor showing by Blair today. "Our field athletes are simply lacking commitment," continued Lewin. "Many of them are not coming to practice, and are merely showing up for the meets. They end up lacking the skills and experience necessary to compete and beat our opponents."
Blair still showed several improvements today as young runners on both the boys' and girls' teams showed promise for future seasons. In the open 3200m, sophomore Emanuel Waktola ran a time of 11:20, setting a new personal record while also finishing 1st in the event.
Sophomore Josh Uzzell, who is Blair's most dominant long distance runner, was forced to exit the 3200m after he aggravated a serious bone bruise in his foot. Uzzell, who injured himself earlier in the year, has had trouble coming back to his top form. "We hope that Josh will take it easy. His injuries have become extremely nagging, and because of his constant running, he has not made a full recovery," said Lewin. Lewin hopes to also use Uzzell in the open 1600m, rather than the 3200m, until the end of the year in order to take some stress off of his overworked body.
Freshman Nilan Schnure also helped the boys' team today by placing 2nd in the open 800m while also participating in the 4x800m relay team, which placed 1st. The girls' 4x800 team also finished 1st, completing the race almost 200m in front of Seneca Valley. Junior Katherine Duncan, a usual member of the relay team, was sick and unable to race, leaving the position open for freshman Lillian Naden, who was essential in preserving Blair's lead in the event. "She really pulled through in the clutch for us, helping us to sweep the event," continued Lewin.
While there were several exceptional events for Blair today, one of the areas that the team as a whole continued to struggle in was hand-offs. Lewin again attributed this to the fact that many of the sprinters are not coming to practice often enough to show any real improvement. "We're having relay practice at least every other day, but unfortunately our team is not taking advantage of the opportunity, and we as a whole are suffering because of it." This problem was highlighted in both the girls' and boys' 4x100m relays. While many of the runners easily beat their opponents while sprinting, the hand-offs caused both teams to come in second place.
Lewin said that he and Coach Harrison would spend the rest of the season focusing on the track athletes who will compete in the Montgomery County A meet next month.
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