Blazers overcome injuries to top senior athletes to complete successful year
Blair's indoor track team finished its season in impressive fashion, as 800m runner Morgan Casey, 1600m runner Josephine Brane-Wright and the girls 4x400m relay team took third, sixth and seventh at the 4A State Championship meet, respectively. Pole vaulter Deeya Garg also went to states as the Blazers' sixth qualifier.
Brane-Wright considered the Blazers' season to be a success, both on an individual and team level. She said that the key to her success in the 1600m run was "taking indoor track a lot more seriously," as in past seasons she viewed it as training for outdoor track.
Although no boys from Blair's team qualified for the state meet, several turned in strong performances at the 4A West region meet. The 4x200m relay team took fifth and the 4x400m relay team took sixth place. High jumper Perry Beamer placed seventh after clearing the 5'7 bar, while Chris Butler took tenth in the 55m run with a blazing time of 6.85 seconds.
Blair's success on the track came despite injuries to two of its top athletes, seniors Dominic Massimino and Thierry Siewe Yanga. Both Massimino and Yanga were top performers in the 800m run, as they both were members of last year's outdoor track state champion 4x800m relay team, and Yanga was the individual 800m state champion. "Those athletes were the soul of the team. I know they worked really hard to get back on track for spring season," Beamer said. According to Beamer, Yanga and Massimino would have both had good chances to qualify for the indoor track state meet.
Brane-Wright noted that multiple athletes stepped up for the indoor track team that may not have been expected to coming into the season. In particular, she mentioned freshman Sadie Cheston-Harris, who sacrificed for the sake of the team by coming to states and serving as an alternate for the 4x400m relay team. Beamer also identified Casey as an athlete who exceeded expectations.
On the team side, the Blazers finished high in the standings at several meets. Both the boys and the girls teams finished in ninth at the Montgomery County meet. In addition to a solid postseason, the Blazers enjoyed success throughout the winter. They often finished in the top five of meets, each of which included at least 15 competing teams.
Luckily for the Blazers, they will not have to wait until next year to continue their triumphs on the track. The outdoor track season is already underway, and with the return of Yanga and Massimino along with several athletes who played other sports during the winter, the Blazers look to put forth another good season in the spring.
Note: Morgan Casey is a photographer for Silver Chips Online. Eleanor Cook, a member of the girls 4x400m relay team, is an Editor-in-Chief for Silver Chips Online.
Ryan Handel. My name is Ryan Handel, and I'm a Staff Writer for Silver Chips Online. I'm on the Blair wrestling team and in my spare time I enjoy watching sports and advocating for the Arthritis Foundation. More »