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4A West Regional Preview
By: Kevin Milsted
webmaster@mocorunning.com
2007-05-16


Girls

Watkins Mill

Shayla Davis of Watkins Mill is the shining star on a young, developing team. After dominating the 200 at the Katie Jenkins Invitational, Davis finished 5th at the county championship in the 200 and was 8th of 11 girls who broke 60 in the 400. She will try to extend her season by qualifying in both open events.

Magruder

Courtney Whalen has joined the duo of Tabitha Eisig and Laura McCary to form one of the strongest middle distance trios in the region. Since the rest of the region is also strong in the middle distance, each of the three will focus on only one open event in an effort to return to states individually. With the 3A West and 4A North teams gone, Elana Diestel has perhaps the best chance of any Magruder girl to qualify.

Walter Johnson

WJ will be counting on some strong relays and a return-to-form from sprinter and hurdler Jenny McCoy to have a good showing at regionals. Renee McClinton and Stephanie Alberico were both on the edge of scoring at the county championship, so with big days, Walter Johnson could end up sending a few girls to states.

Quince Orchard

Cara Harrison will double in the 1600 and 3200 and is capable of qualifying for states in both events. Their sprinters will need to perform up to their potential in order to have a decent showing at states. They will also have a pole vaulter go to states. Damascus

Zarena Sita has developed into one of the stronger sprinters in the county and has a legitimate chance to qualify for states in the 100 and 400. Chelsea Reinks has an excellent shot to qualify for states in the high jump once again. Their biggest contributor of all will be senior Jacquelyn Adcock, who will be trying to qualify in the discus so that she can defend her state title.

Wootton

Wootton has grown into a very well-rounded team with point scorers in nearly every event. Their pole vaulter Liz Calhoun is tops in the region. Suzanne Falk had an excellent day at counties, which will look even better at regionals with the absence of Leah Putman (Sherwood, 4A North). Freshman Jessie Rubin broke up the scoring pack with a 5:15 1600 at the county championship and Veronica Salcido is dangerous as always in the middle distance. Wootton will also put together several relays with a chance to qualify.

Blair

Blair scored 35 points at the Montgomery County Championship, which was good for 6th place. All of those points came from the two Sinclair sisters who are going to end their outstanding high school careers on a high note. The sisters are two of the top seeds in the 800 and 1600. Halsey will try to win the 3200 after winning one final county title last week. Ashlyn will give the 300-meter hurdles one more shot.

Whitman

Whitman will once again load up on the middle distance events. Leslie Morrison will have her work cut out for her in the 400 with the emergence of Katie Wolf from Churchill. The 800 will not be a walk in the park either with both Sinclair sisters and teammate Morgane Gay all looking for the win. Her opponents may not have enough left after running lesg of the 3200-meter relay and the 1600. Gay is the heavy favorite in the 1600 after posting times under 5:00 this season. The Whitman girls will also push to get their 1600-meter relay to states.

Gaithersburg

A strong young sprinting corps earned Gaithersburg a 4th place finish at the county championship and they hope they can repeat that success at the regional and state championship. Alyssa Jewell has carried her team in many meets, but lately her teammates have stepped up as shown by their victory in the 400-meter relay at the county championship. Semone Harris, who qualified for the 55-meter dash finals at the indoor state championship, will once again try to qualify for states individually as a freshman.

Richard Montgomery

Ashley Decruise, Ashlyn Decruise, and Rianne Webb form a deadly sprint squad that proved nearly unstoppable at the county championship. Ashley Decruise won the opening 100-meter dash in a blistering time of 11.90. Ashlyn and Rianne took 2 of the top 4 spots in the 200-meter dash. Their sprint relays proved unbeatable with the exception of the 400-meter relay, which was disqualified. Expect to see much more of the Richard Montgomery sprint attack at regionals and states.

Northwest

Northwest can run, jump, hurdle, and throw. To see where they scored all their points at the county championship, you must first look to the thrower’s circle, where Brittany Moreland came within inches of breaking the county shot put record and placed 2nd in the discus. As an explosive athlete, she will make a run for a state title in a week’s time. Tara Okusaga also scores points like not many other county athletes can. She can be expected to qualify in both hurdle races and the triple jump. Northwest has several runners who will be close to qualifying including Kathy Aherne and Becca Stinner in the distance events and Kelsey Porter in the sprints.

Boys

Churchill

Coaches voted Audrey Gareipy-Bogui as the athlete of the county championship meet after setting four meet records in one day. She will be competing in the same four events at regionals against most of the same athletes and should qualify in all four. Freshman Katie Wolf has been this year’s rookie surprise. She has had a great season but not many people thought she would actually win the 200 and 400-meter dashes at the county championship. She did, and fans can expect a similar performance at regionals. Also contributing to Churchill’s efforts will be distance runners Louise Hannallah and Erin McManus. Churchill should qualify all four of their relay teams for states.

Churchill

Senior Evan Whetsell will try to return to the state championship in the 800-meter race. Hopes are high that fresh legs will carry him there, but the field is once again stacked and the race will be tough. The rest of Churchill’s squad is young and developing.

Watkins Mill

Stacked in the 100 and 200, Watkins Mill hopes that they can pick up most of the points available from the departure of 4A North and 3A West schools. They will get another crack at the top sprint relays in the county, but they will have to peak at the right time just to stay ahead of all the other teams vying for a spot at states.

Wootton

Although they still lack the all-around team to compete for a title, several of Wootton’s middle distance runners have progressed to a competitive level. Cedric Dana and Chris Boyd are two of the top seeds in the 800 and 1600 respectively. The two will team up to lead their 3200-meter relay team in hopes of qualifying for states.

Whitman

Whitman is distance heavy with indoor state 3200-meter champ William Palmer. William and his younger sibling Andrew will score tons of points together as they both triple in the three open distance events. The rest of Whitman’s young squad will gain valuable experience for the future at this meet.

Northwest

Although competition in the field events gets no easier at regionals, Northwest is a team that should be able to score more points in the field events based on previous marks this season. Watch for them to push more guys towards the magic top 4 in the throws and jumps including Joe Boateng in the triple jump and Josue Cruz in the discus. Chris Onuigbo will be looking to qualify in the 400 and 800.

Walter Johnson

Chris Moen appears to be back in form and ready to take on any challengers. Any relay team with him has a chance to qualify for states as well. Ian Francis jumped so far but still fell 2nd at counties in the triple jump. He should qualify for states and continue to improve.

Blair

Blair brought their “A” game to the Montgomery County Championship Meet. They grabbed several points in the sprints and made a statement with 2nd place finishes in the 400-meter and 1600-meter relays. With focus, they could send a very nice squad to states.

Damascus

Damascus has become synonymous with two athletes: Wil Zahorodny and Jamal Currica. Both athletes came home from the county championship with an individual title and will once again be tough to beat today in their main events. The two will also team up to help their relay teams qualify for states. Currica will be one of the favorites for a state title in the high jump after winning the indoor state title and reaching 6’-7” this season.

Magruder

Magruder has suddenly become one of the stronger field-oriented teams with the emergence of long jump county champ Darius Ray. When teamed up with Kalgeri Robinson, the two make a killer duo that hogs many of the points in field events. Jose Lopez has had a great season as he drops his time in the hurdles nearly every time out. The 300-hurdle county champ will also contribute to his team’s speedy relays.

Quince Orchard

QO has had the best 3200-meter relay teams in the county all year so it was no surprise when they took ten points at the county championship, but it was a surprise to most when Zach Thompson claimed the discus county title. In fact, QO’s throwers have done notably better as a team this year. Watch for QO to also qualify multiple athletes from the 800 and up including county 3200-meter county leader Neal Darmody. In addition, they dominate the county pole vault.

Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg is a very well rounded team that is stacking every event. Watch for Sean Stanley to dominate the throwers in the shot on his way to defend his indoor state title. BJ Shaw owns the top marks in the county in the long and triple jumps and will be attempting the 100-meter dash today. A solid distance corps is led by Antonio Palmer who will be focusing on the 800 in this meet.

Richard Montgomery

Richard Montgomery had a sprinting attack that no county team had an answer for at the Montgomery County Championship Meet. 200-meter county champ and former 100-meter county champ (he was disqualified this year), Patrick Pinchinat silenced all critics with his dominating performance at counties. An army of sprinters backed up Pinchinat in the relays while indoor hurdles state champ Tyler Jackson returned to form by winning the 100-meter hurdles at the county championship. A well-balanced squad in the jumps and throws allowed them to defend their county title. After defeating Gaithersburg, they are the team to beat at this regional meet.






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