Girls place 8th, boys place 10th at 3A/4A West Regional meet
FEB. 20, PG SPORTSPLEX-
The girls' indoor track team scored 20 points to tie Damascus for eighth place, while the boys tied Springbrook with 14 points to place tenth at the 3A/4A West Regional meet.
Senior Victor Mba-Jones led off the boys' 4x200 meter relay, taking the Blazers to fourth place in the heat of six teams. Junior Brandon Hudgins and sophomore Jonathan Haughton maintained fourth place with times of 24.26 and 23.60 respectively. Junior co-captain Louis Varella anchored the relay, surging ahead of Gaithersburg in the final 100 meters of the race to run a blazing 22.87 split and take the team into third place.
Varella expected the relay to place in the top three but was anxious before the race because Hudgins felt sick and threw up multiple times. "I was a little scared in the beginning because Brandon was throwing up," Varella said.
In the 4x400 meter relay, the Blazers finished .3 seconds behind perennial powerhouse Richard Montgomery with a time of 3:32.42. Haughton and Varella returned from the 4x200 with junior Nilan Schnure and senior Paul Ishimoto to compete in the event. Haughton led off for the team, taking the Blazers to second place before handing the baton off to Schnure. Schnure won and maintained a slim lead, striding through the handoff zone with Richard Montgomery breathing down his neck. After the handoff to Ishimoto, Richard Montgomery retook the lead and kept it into the final baton change. Varella, anchoring for the Blazers, narrowed the gap and strove to catch Richard Montgomery in the final 100 meters of the race, but ultimately finished in second place.
Whitman's Morgane Gay took early control of the lead in the girls' 1600 meter race, but the battle for second was still a struggle between Halsey Sinclair and Churchill's Louise Hannallah. The two runners stayed close together at the beginning, but Hannallah picked up the pace 600 meters into the race to stay about 10 meters ahead of Sinclair. Wootton's Veronica Salcido caught Sinclair around the half-way point of the race, putting Sinclair in fourth position. Sinclair stuck close to Salcido and the two made their way back up to Hannallah. Sinclair made her move at the 1200 meter mark to pass into second position again, but with Hannallah only a step behind. The two girls ran the last 200 meters neck-and-neck before Sinclair outkicked Hannallah to claim second place in 5:12.98. Gay won the race in 5:02.78, Hannallah finished third in 5:13.99 and Salcido placed fourth with 5:18.42.
Head coach Mike Fleming was pleased with Blair's results at the regional meet. Fleming is excited about the team's prospects for the state meet and believes everyone advancing is capable of earning a top-three medal. "It'll be a battle to get one of those medals, but we can do it," he said.
The 4A Maryland State Championship meet is this Thursday, Feb. 22, at the PG Sportsplex.
Johanna Gretschel. Johanna Gretschel is pretty much a BEAST at life. Her three most favorite things in the world are: food, hot 80's dance parties and running (probably in that order). She enjoys matching her ribbons with her spandex, and wishes that Madonna (circa 1985) and Gwen … More »
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