This was the first dual meet of the season for both teams and both teams already had a lot of questions to answer.
Beginning with the men’s 100 meter dash, Walter Johnson Junior Duane Wilson saw his first action after missing much of the indoor season. He got out of the blocks well and won with a time of 11.3.
A lot of doubt has existed about the B-CC men’s sprint crew; these doubts are justified after seeing a Walter Johnson male finish first in the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
This however, opposes the struggles that the Walter Johnson men’s sprint crew had endured over the recent years. The Wildcats rose in the ranks in the previous indoor season and continued that success today. Most notably, Senior Aaron Schulman won the 200 with a 24.4 and finished second to Wilson in the 100. Though, the Walter Johnson men were essentially non-existent in the hurdling competition allowing B-CC free and easy points.
The women’s side was remarkably different with the exception of one Ms. Hannah Richardson who swept the open 200 and 400 as well as the open 800 (which will be discussed later). The Walter Johnson girls finished 1-3 in the 100. Junior Jennyeka Neil won with a 12.8. Jacquie Price and Christine Walsh swept the girls’ 100 and 300 meter hurdles.
Walter Johnson swept the sprint relays on both sides. The Wildcats were the only team to field a 4x4 relay. Personally, I was very fearful one of the legs would step out of the exchange zone. But, it was run without such disqualifying inductors.
The Baron girls won the 4x8, but the boys would not share similar success.
The 4x8 boys involved B-CC Coach Chad Young and Walter Johnson Distance Coach Tom Martin more or less experimenting and testing out their respective distance runners’ current abilities. For B-CC, Kyle Short saw his first action since the indoor county championship. He had a stress fracture in his foot which forced him to take time off. Only since the end of February did he begin running again. Today he was impressive and split about a 2:02.
Leading off against Short was Walter Johnson Sophomore Daniel Kirwan. Until he finally decided to run seriously, he was practically an urban legend on the WJ cross country and track team. Rumors flew about his daunting middle school times; and as each running season would approach, questions would always pervade about whether or not he would finally train with the team. The sub 5:05 miler in middle school did not at all disappoint today.
I told him that he should stay uneducated. And I am very glad that he had no clue he was going up against one of the county’s best 2-milers who was leading off the third best 4x8 relay in the county as of indoor season. Kirwan, after a mere 2-lap warmup, took the race out fearlessly into the headwind wearing flats. Short was arguably the smarter runner and drafted off of Kirwan until the back stretch with about 250 meters to go at which point he passed Kirwan. Kirwan did not lock or tie up but rather finished strong; Short simply had too much left in him. Nonetheless, a 2:05 split for somebody’s first ever 800 is something that neither Montgomery County athletes Chris Moen or Andrew Jesien could ever do.
The remaining three legs of B-CC’s 4x8 were B-team caliber runners and they finished well behind. Though, Walter Johnson also enjoyed seeing another current unknown within the county succeed. This particular runner is junior Tyler Boatright; who despite not participating in indoor track, is in great shape and split a PR of 2:04. Overall, WJ won in 8:27.
Interestingly, the girls’ 800 and 1600 meter runs played out in similar ways. In both races, two B-CC runners took the race out while a WJ runner tried her best to hang in there but fell off. Though, this did not happen so quickly in the 1600. WJ Freshman Anna Bosse went out with the B-CC duo of Addie Tousley and Paige Donnelly. Tousley appeared very controlled throughout the race and Donnelly stuck with her. Not until the final lap though, did Bosse fall off the back. She held onto third.
In the 800, a strong duo for B-CC of juniors Hannah Richardson and Addie Tousley was in force. Richardson had already established herself in the meet having doubled in the open 200 and 400. Kindly enough, she allowed Tousley to draft off of her. Like the 1600, both runners went 1-2 wire-to-wire. WJ Freshman Jennifer Spencer tried to hang on but fell off just after the first lap to third place. She kept them both well-within in reach but she simply could not make the move necessary to catch them. With 100 meters to go, Spencer almost dropped to 4th place but the top three places remained the same. The B-CC trio of Donnelly, Tousley, and Naomi Roochnik would also sweep the 3200 in that respective order.
The boys’ 1600 featured a rare showing by Chris Moen. He took the race out with a pack of B-CC runners about 5 meters behind him and teammates Sean O’leary and Brian Graves in the mix. His pace was fairly brisk considering how early in the season this meet was. His first lap was about a 66 while teammate O’leary followed in 67 with the B-CC pack not allowing him much room. Moen led for just about the entire race while a lot of action went on behind him. On the backstretch of the third lap Graves moved up to second-place. O’leary was then swallowed up by the B-CC trio Dylan Straughan, Walter Beller-Morales, and Alex Prevost. Graves would later feel the same brusque wrath which effectively despaired O’leary’s race. In the end, neither were able to pass back any of the Barons. With about 120 meters to go, Straughan came up on Moen’s shoulder. With 80 meters to go, Moen dropped Straughan and won with a 4:36. Straughan, Beller-Morales, and Prevost finished 2-3-4 and Graves and O’leary ensued.
Kyle Short in the 3200 showed the same aggressive strategy as in the 800. He took the race out hard and his first lap was 70 seconds or 9:20 pace. Dylan Straughan followed right behind him. Both led Chris Moen for about 50 meters until two laps to go. At the start of Moen’s 7th lap, he utilized his ability to rapidly accelerate. He caught the B-CC duo with about 120 meters left in the 7th lap. This came much to their surprise as Straughan swiftly looked back and knew he was in for another tough battle — much like the 1600. Moen stuck with Short and duo until about 80 meters to go. Short was no match for Moen’s kick and Straughan jogged it in. After talking with Straughan about the race when he finished, he told me he was not feeling the kick in him after a tough 1600 and a brisk start to the 3200.
Straughan had also bitterly told me he was going to try a new strategy and “go out as hard as [he] can and die as hard as [he] can.” He took out the 800 in a 59 first lap and enjoyed a sizeable gap over the remainder of the field. Though quickly after the first lap, he dropped back and was swallowed up by teammates Prevost and Beller-Morales, and WJ’s Moen and O’leary. Moen’s strategy, however, did not change—and why should it after having already doubled. With just less than 200 to go, O’leary kicked and moved close to third place behind Prevost and Beller-Morales. This apparently woke up Moen and upon being passed, he made his move with about 150 to go. Prevost and Beller-Morales had a decent lead on the rest of the field and this made it extremely difficult for Moen. Nonetheless, he made his move just early enough and barely edged out Prevost. Both ran 2:04 high. Beller-Morales and O’leary followed.
B-CC’s Hannah Richardson won by nearly two feet in the long jump with a jump of 14-08. This was the fourth event in which she competed and the fourth event she won making her four for four on the day.
On the men’s side, Walter Johnson’s Ian Francis had a great debut. He dominated the triple jump in addition to winning the long jump. His triple jump of 45’1 is just 5 inches off of his PR. Francis would succeed on the track as well, running a leg on the winning 4x2 and anchoring the winning 4x4.
B-CC has a Junior in David Williams who is relatively new to the running scene as a whole. He was a soccer player but is now doing track. He had a successful outdoor debut, easily winning the high jump in 5-06.
The boys’ 4x4 featured a dual between Sean O’leary and Kyle Short. O’leary had about a 10 meter lead on Short but Short gradually closed the gap. With about 50 meters to go, Short got right on O’leary’s back. But, O’leary was able to hold him off with a 57.2 split.
At the end of the day, Walter Johnson won on both the boys’ and girls’ sides — 76-61 and 74-62 respectively. But more importantly, a lot of questions were answered for both teams. Kyle Short had an impressive return to racing. He is absolutely ready for another successful track season. Speaking of distance, Walter Johnson also has some legitimate newcomers onto the track scene in Boatright and Kirwan. Also, B-CC’s David Williams could make an impact for B-CC in the jumps. It is to be determined whether he is more productive in the sprinting or distance events; though his talent is clearly there, it simply needs to be used efficaciously. The Walter Johnson sprint crew is indeed for real in that they followed up nicely after a successful indoor season. And Ian Francis will contribute to their success and also looks to have another successful outdoor season. Not mentioned before, Walter Johnson’s Charlie Grimsley threw over 42 and a half feet after a disappointing indoor season.