Indoor track starts off on the right foot

Dec. 14, 2002, midnight | By Sherri Geng | 18 years, 1 month ago

The Blair indoor track and field teams showed a promising start to a propitious season at the MCPS Developmental Meet at the PG Sportsplex on Saturday, December 14.

Leading the girls' team were senior distance-runner Laurel Jefferson and junior sprinter Jamie Kovach. Jefferson ran approximate times of 12:31.03 in the 3200-meter and 5:43.09 in the 1600-meter, while Kovach led in her heat in the 55-meter with a notable 7.75 seconds.

A handful of veteran runners led the boys' team, including senior Briand Djendojilem in the sprints and junior Matt Sheldon in the 1600-meter and the 4x800-meter relay. Djendojilem ran an impressive 5.76 on the 55m, while Sheldon finished with times of 5:02.00 on the 1600m and 2:19.24 on the 4x800m. Rounding out the relay team were juniors Esey Kidane and Xavier Ivey and senior Jonathan Johnson with ballpark times of 2:26.00, 2:38.00 and 2:28.00 respectively. Kidane, Ivey and Johnson followed closely behind Sheldon in the 1600m as well.

Both the girls' and the boys' teams are using this developmental meet as an opportunity to establish both team and individual goals for the upcoming season. "We just need to run as much as we can," said Captain Avi Keller. "Work on breaking those records, and improving ourselves."

The teams' main focus this season is to regroup and rebuild, after the loss of several key runners who graduated last year. "It hurt the team but we can rebuild," said Coach Elaine Murray.

Murray hopes to refocus the teams and to start identifying the true sprinters and true distance runners, despite the disappointing shortage of athletes this season. "[We need to start] identifying who's running what, and start training them in that," said Murray. "They should be up to snuff by next year."

Keller hopes that the new season will boost the team as a whole. "We're in a position where we can improve," he explained. "Realistically, we're trying not to kill ourselves. We're just trying to improve the times and improve in races."

Despite the absence of several strong runners this year, both teams remain optimistic about the upcoming season. "I still think we'll be able to finish strong," remarked Johnson. "We're ready to go... we're ready to face everybody."

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