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County Championship Girls Poll Results
By: Kevin Milsted
webmaster@mocorunning.com
2009-01-22


Mocorunning.com conducted an open online poll between January 16 and January 21 to determine who the local track fans think will win each event at the upcoming Montgomery County Indoor Track Championship Meet. One hundred and one valid votes were collected during the given time frame. Below you will find a table of the poll winners and five expert picks. The first column on the left is the name of the event. The second column is the athlete that the majority of fans picked to win each event. The third column is the percentage of fans who voted for the poll-winning athlete. The five columns on the right of the table are the selections of five Montgomery County track experts who do excellent in prediction competitions season after season.

    Majority Vote Winner   % Vote     Kevin   Rob   Kid   Matt   Sean
Girls 55   Olivia Ekpone, Wootton   71.4%     Ekpone   Ekpone   Wolf   Ekpone   Ekpone
Girls 300   Olivia Ekpone, Wootton   57.8%     Statham   Statham   Ekpone   Statham   Jules
Girls 500   Olivia Ekpone, Wootton   76.6%     Ekpone   Ekpone   Ekpone   Ekpone   Ekpone
Girls 800   Maryam Fikri, Churchill   50.8%     Eckerstrom   Fikri   Fikri   Fikri   Fikri
Girls 1600   Addie Tousley, B-CC   55.7%     Tousley   Tousley   Fikri   Tousley   Tousley
Girls 3200   Addie Tousley, B-CC   61.3%     Tousley   Tousley   Tousley   Giedd   Tousley
Girls 55 Hurdles   Olivia Durr, Poolesville   74.2%     Durr   Durr   Durr   Durr   LaFond
Girls 4x200   Paint Branch   75.4%     Paint Branch   Paint Branch   Paint Branch   Paint Branch   Paint Branch
Girls 4x400   Paint Branch   49.2%     Paint Branch   Paint Branch   Churchill   Paint Branch   Churchill
Girls 4x800   Churchill   37.3%     Churchill   Churchill   Churchill   Churchill   Northwest
Girls High Jump   Vanessa Jules, Paint Branch   71.7%     Jules   Osnos   Jules   Jules   Jules
Girls Long Jump   Thea LaFond, Kennedy   38.3%     Lafond   Pinckney   A. Polite   Pinckney   A. Polite
Girls Triple Jump   Arielle Statham, Paint Branch   71.2%     Statham   Statham   Statham   Statham   LaFond
Girls Shot Put   Octavia King, Blake   41.1%     King   King   King   King   Captain
Girls Top Scorer   Olivia Ekpone, Wootton   60.3%     Statham   Statham   Ekpone   Ekpone   Ekpone

Analysis

Despite the struggles of Olivia Ekpone so far this season, most Montgomery County track fans still believe that she can win every event that she is entered in. Fans recognize her superiority over the field in the 500-meter dash, an event she has only run once, but an event in which she has clocked a time three seconds faster than anyone else entered. Fan confidence is not so high in the 300 and 55 where she should be matched up directly with Paint Branchís Arielle Statham and Churchillís Katie Wolf, the two runners who defeated her in separate races two weeks ago. The conclusion of the meet should determine whether Ekpone is back on top of the competition she dominated last year or if a new leader will take over as the star sprinter in Montgomery County.

Olivia Durr of Poolesville was considered by most to be the top hurdler in Montgomery County last year, and though she did win several regional and state titles, she came up short of Montgomery County titles in the 55-meter hurdles indoors and the 100-meter hurdles outdoors. The defending indoor champ, Kelsee Zyzak from Damascus, has not yet topped her time from last yearís indoor county championship and will be hoping that lightening strikes twice in her attempt to make it two in a row. Thea LaFond of Kennedy, Amirah Polite of Churchill, and Katherine Salke of Sherwood all trail Durrís season best by about a quarter of a second, suggesting that it should come down to a fight for second place if all goes right for Durr.

It has been a bizarre year for the female distance runners. Several of the countyís top cross country runners chose not to run indoor track, and now the top distance runner, Britt Eckerstrom of Northwest, is entered in the 500 and 800. While this move makes the 800-meter run especially interesting, it leaves the 1600 and 3200 available for B-CCís Addie Tousley to win at whatever pace she finds comfortable. Despite Eckerstromís presence in the 800, a majority of county track fans favor the Montgomery Invitational 800-meter runner-up Maryam Fikri of Churchill to win, but for two runners with nearly identical 800-meter PRís, doubling back from the 1600 may be more difficult than doubling back from the 500.

We have been spoiled over the last few years with the rivalries and blazing fast times in the girls 4x800 relays. All at once, most of those teams are rebuilding to some extent and we should expect the string of record-breaking 4x8ís to come to an end for the time being. Churchill leads the county this year with a humble run of 9:58 in December which makes them the favorite, but does not put them out of reach from several other teams who may approach the ten minute mark.

Donít expect anybody to put up too much of a challenge against the Paint Branch girls in the 4x200. Several teams may break the 1:50 mark, but Paint Branchís season best time of 1:46.42 puts them 0.22 seconds off of the four-year-old county meet record set by Kennedy in 2005. They may get more of a challenge out of Churchill in the 4x400 after Churchill posted a time of 4:08.07 two heats before Paint Branch ran 4:09.31 at the Montgomery Invitational. The 4x400 county meet record was also set by Kennedy in 2005 at 4:08.16.

Paint Branch is also expected to pick up big points in the field events between Statham in the triple jump and Vanessa Jules in the high jump. No one has come close to Jules yet this season, as she has consistently cleared 5-06 in her last three meets. Stathamís best mark this year is 37-07.50, five and a half inches off the county meet record. The top challenger in the triple jump is the same athlete favored to win the long jump, Thea LaFond. LaFondís outdoor personal bests of 37-10 in the triple jump and 16-07.50 are the best among active athletes.

Octavia King of Blake has not been beaten by a Montgomery County athlete this year and the consensus is that she will win again at the county championship.

Lastly, fans were asked to pick who would score the most points in individual events. The key here is that relays donít count. This is not supposed to be a vote for the meet MVP. It is just something fun to make the prediction competition more challenging. So for example while Addie Tousley may be able to win the 1600 and the 3200 and score on the relays, the most she could score is 20 because she is only in two individual events. The top candidates would likely be Ekpone, Statham, and LaFond who are in three open events (30 possible points), or perhaps Zyzak who is attempting four individual events (40 possible points). MoCo fans remain faithful to their favorite star sprinter Olivia Ekpone, but the versatility of Arielle Statham is winning over more than a few fans. This is just for fun. The discussion of the top girlsí teams will come in an article in the near future and it is something you wonít want to miss.





Article Comments - Add A Comment

NameComment

MUSCLES
2009-01-23 12:58:17

WOW! THIS COUNTY MEET SHOULD BE EXCITING. TOO BAD MY SISTER & I CAN'T BE HERE 2 WATCH IN PERSON. OH WELL, MAYBE WE'LL WATCH IT ON THE COMPUTER & LOOK @ RESULTS & PICTURES!! OLIVIA, YOU'LL LOOK VERY STRONG IN YOUR 55, 300, & 500!! ALSO, GOOD LUCK 2 ALL THE GREATEST MALE & FEMALE ATHLETES OUT THERE. CAN'T WAIT 2 C WHO'LL WIN THE COUNTY TITLES! THIS'LL BE FUN & EXCITING!!!!

Anonymous
2009-01-24 11:25:08

stop yelling please.

uh-non-im-us
2009-01-25 21:09:22

yaeh yuo nede two lern two speek wihtut yeeling adn yuo wille nevur laern hoo i em becuas i am unnonimious

Anonymous
2009-02-02 17:29:55

yeah yeah bcc won that 1600, 3200, and 4by800 meter

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