Lack of field events hurts girls' team
Both the boys' and girls' outdoor track teams defeated Northwood in the first track meet of the season, 76 points to 50 and 92 to 30 respectively. However, while the boys improved their season record to 2-0 by defeating Paint Branch 72 to 69, the girls fell to the Panthers 61.5 to 79.5.
The main factor separating the boys' and girls' teams' ability to beat Paint Branch rested in the field events, according to head coach Mike Fleming. "The field events is where the girls were lacking points," he said.
The loss of 2006 graduate Momo Reine left a void in the girls' field events, as Reine typically dominated the long jump, discus and shot-put at county meets. Conversely, junior throwers Kent Aje and Alex Wang made the difference for the Blazers in the field event. Aje took first in the discus with a throw of 82' 11," while Wang won the shot-put with a throw of 39' 7.5."
The boys' sprint relay teams also played a major role in the boys' success, capturing first place in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. Relays are particularly important in county meets, as only the first place team gains points. At the start of the 4x400 relay, the last event of the afternoon, the boys were trailing Paint Branch by one point. However, with a dominant first place victory over Paint Branch in 3:38, the boys pulled ahead and won the meet.
Though the 4x400 team was unaware that the outcome of the meet was in their hands, senior 4x400 member Paul Ishimoto believed that it easier that way. "I think it was better that way because it took off a little pressure. It let us run our race with a clear mind," he said.
Blair boys also garnered several individual wins. Sophomore Jonathan Haughton, senior Muhammad Roberson and junior co-captain Louis Varella won the the 100 meter dash, 200 meter run and 400 meter run, respectively. Sophomore Rutvij Pandya led the middle distance team with a victory in the 1600 meter run, pulling away from the pack in the last lap to finish with a time of 4:49. Junior Nilan Schnure also performed well, placing second in a very close 800 meter run with Northwood's Giovanni Reumante.
The girls started the meet strong with a first place finish in the 100 meter hurdles by senior Danielle Peck. The Blazers followed that performance with a decisive 10:30 victory over Paint Branch in the 4x800 meter relay. Seniors Ashlyn and Halsey Sinclair led the girls' team in individual events, with Ashlyn winning the 300 meter hurdles and 800 run and Halsey taking the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. The girls swept the 800 and1600 meter runs by placing first, second and third to garner all of the points in those events.
The girls' sprint teams, comprised of several underclassmen, showed great promise, but were unable to win any relays or dominate the individual sprint events.
The cold temperatures affected the performances of younger, less experienced runners, according to Fleming. "Inexperience played a big role in [the meet's results]. The cold weather got them out of focus a bit," he said. Many runners chose to sit inside until they had to warm up for their events, leaving fewer team members to cheer on their fellow runners.
The Blazers' next meet is the Cougar Relays on Mar.24 at. 9 a.m. at Quince Orchard High School.
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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