There was a rough start to the girls 3A 4x800 relay. Abbey Daley of Clarksburg was tripped and pushed to the ground. The start of the race was blown dead. Daley had fallen hard on her hip and scraped up what seemed like half her body. It was not the best way to start off her first track state championship meet, but the officials let her take time to clean off and gather herself before they restarted the race.
There was a little shoving in the second start, but she got out ok and ran about a 2:30 split. The team proceeded to run a school record time of 10:00.83 which was good for second place.
Daley had just enough time between races to get some ice on her hip and rest up a little bit. Within an hour, she was back on the starting line and felt really good. The pace did not feel hard to her so she just went along for the ride. With two laps to go she decided to push the pace just a little bit. On the final lap, she was not surprised to see other runners pass her. She calmly let them move around her before she kicked past a large bunch of runners in the last 50 meters for the win.
To herself, she thought, "Hey, I just won."
And she made it look easy.
Although she is a freshman in high school, Daley is not a rookie runner by any means. She says that she has been running competitively since she was about eight or nine years old, but not in Maryland.
She was born in Las Vegas, Nevada where she lived for eight years. She moved to California for about two and a half years before moving to Wyoming for about two and a half years. She ran for track clubs in both California and Wyoming including the club that her father started in Wyoming.
Since entering Clarksburg High School, she has won a 1600-meter state title and was the runner up at the 3A state cross country championship, all while practicing and competing in club soccer several days a week.
She says that her goal for outdoors is to do the same thing she did indoors.
Before Daley came along, the undisputed fastest distance runner in Clarksburg history was Lauren Sumner, who now has a state title of her own.
When Sumner got the baton in the 4x800 relay there were no other runners around her. The first place team was too far ahead and the third place team was too far behind, so she held her position and anchored the team to the aforementioned school record. She said that it was the first time that every relay team member ran well on the same day.
Passing the time by snacking on perfectly organic cheddar bunny crackers, she told herself that she didn't want to go out too fast in the open 800 like she often did.
She did not go out too fast. In hindsight, she thought she went out really slow and had a lot of ground to make up after the first lap. She worked her way up to the lead over the second lap and took over the lead with 400 meters to go. She felt confident in her long drive to the finish and never relinquished the lead. She said that she wasn't even sure how close her competition was behind her and just focused on holding the lead. She clocked a time of 2:24.42, which was not her best, but she said that she was only racing to win.
She later admitted that she sometimes doesn't feel that she belongs with the top middle distance runners in Montgomery County, but being unfamiliar with her competition at states gave her a sort of blind confidence. Running with more confidence during this upcoming outdoor season (regardless of her opponents) is one of her main goals this outdoor season, along with breaking 2:20 in the 800.
Like her teammate Daley, Sumner also balances her running with another passion. She is in love with all things horses. As a result, she says, she is nowhere near making a college decision as she tries to find the school that best satisfies her equestrian affection.
"Anger" was the word that Brandon Addison of Watkins Mill used to describe how he was feeling after the 4x200 meter relay. The whole season revolved around that one race...around running 1:31...around winning the 4x200 state title.
That all came crashing down when William Yougnia extended the baton in close proximity to another team before it was knocked to the ground. Addison's momentum carried him forward without the baton. By the time he could go back and pick it up, the leaders were already long gone. They had not dropped a baton all season long. It was almost unthinkable that it could happen, but here they were in the most important race of the season with a repugnant "DNF."
According to Coach DeShawn Anderson, Addison and the other team members were so hurt by what happened that they almost did not want to run in the 4x400. He did his best to calm their nerves, explaining that it was one of life's lessons and that they needed to put it behind them and move on.
He reminded the runners of their other goal: to win the 4x400 state title. They had lost to Damascus numerous times throughout the season but truly believed that they could beat Damascus and run an average of 52.5 per runner (3:30). The runners had been promised that if they won just one of the two relays that they could compete at Nike Indoor Nationals. They had worked hard all season towards that goal.
During the snowy days when the team was confined indoors, they ran a lot of stairs and lifted a lot of weights. Anderson adopted a weight training system from the Penn State football team that he called the Penn State Workstation Circuit. He described it as a weight based program that elevated the heart rate and worked the cardio system. Ultimately, Andreson felt that the team was hurt more by the canceled meets than by getting stuck indoors for an extended period.
As the Watkins Mill boys waited on the infield for their final race of the season, they huddled together. Addison said that they reinforced their confidence in their ability to win and advised teammates to avoid traffic in the exchange zones, even if that meant backing off a little bit.
William Yougnia and Sterling Cadeau were the first two legs and kept the team mostly in second place with split of 54 and 53, respectively. Abdul Mohammad held position for about 300 meters before he was collectively passed by three other runners.
When Addison got the baton, he was about two seconds behind the leader and recalled the anger he experienced from the earlier dropped baton. Within 150 meters, Addison passed three teams and had the team back in second place.
At 300 meters, he was right on Damascus's heels and making a move for the lead. Thomas Arias of Damascus fought him off around the final curve while Addison was in lane two. Entering the final straightaway, a Baltimore Poly runner also moved out into lane two. Addison says that his lagging leg was clipped and swung around behind his other leg. He fell to the track and Damascus went on to cross the line first. Unrelated to the outcome of the race, Damascus was disqualified and Baltimore Poly was given the win in 3:30.74.
Coach Anderson's heart dropped watching Addison fall to the track. To have both relays end in disaster was just unimaginable. Most of all, he just hurt for Brandon who did everything he possibly could.
Individually, Addison placed fifth in the 55-meter dash in 6.68 and fourth in the 300-meter dash in 36.18 prior to the relays.
The trip to Nike Indoor Nationals is still up for discussion, though coach Anderson (who only coaches indoors) notes that all of their sprinters are tall, long-striders who will do better outdoors.
Article Comments - Add A Comment
|to say that someone is the best runner in clarksburg history is nice, but It's not the same as saying someone is the fastest runner in whitman or gburg history. Clarksburg has only been around for a couple years.
|This is inspiring
|I think everybody knows that WMHS would have smashed at State's, like they have at every other meet. It was pretty obvious that every thing that could have went wrong DID go wrong. It was almost like there was some force working against them. Everyone still knows WM is the team to watch out for and D-Mas should feel lucky at WM series of unfourtunate events. Anyways, we still love you guys! You made us soooo proud! xoxo
|Anderson has been an inspirational coach and person. He is always trying to push us to strive for excellence no only on the track but in the classroom and in life. We are thankful he has become apart of the Wolverines family
|Damascus went undefeated...
|to say that Damascus only won because watkins mill had a bad day and was unlucky is rediculous. Damascus beat WM by more than 40 points and that is even with D-mas being DQ in the 4x4. "luck" does not account for a 40 point difference. Damascus has a much stronger and well rounded team. D-mas had 11 guys score individually plus the 4x200 and the 4x800, watkins mill only had 2 guys score... seems obvious to me that d-mas clearly is the team to watch out for and deserved their state title.
|person above me, THANK YOU.
40 points worth of luck? unreal. the team is actually good.
|haha Alex that was me:) im not bashing Watkins mill or anything cause they have awesome sprinters and great relays this season and it sucks that things didn't work out for them... im just saying d-mas won without the help of luck and deserved it.
|I think they were just talking about the relays.
Also, so what if chs is not as old as gburg or whitman or whichever school? It's still an accomplishment, she's still really fast/good and a hard worker. He was just recognizing that she IS good. I don't see why you had to put that down.
|Anyways, chs still managed to win/come close to winning state championships in those years... more than some schools can say. and again, a state champion is a state champion, regardless...
|well it dont matter and is pretty obvious watkins mill will dominate in the realays and they will beat damascus 4x4 outdoor lol cuz they are all natural sprinters
|alright person from Watkins Mill
|iight person from Damascus
|I dont i know who will win the 4x4 outdoors but it will be a really tight race either way, and from the video it seems to me that d-mas was going to win that 4x4 even if Watkins Mill hadn't fallen cause Arias was fighting for that 1st place and had opened a little gap already.
We don't have to prove anything to any1 but ourselves, we proved it ALL SEASON LONG!!!!
Stop talking about "would've, should've, could've"; b/c in the end that all accounts for NOTHING!! LOL
|devo yall didnt even win the 4x4 yall got DQ so it dont count and yea i agree it is gone be a tiight race between Watkins mill and Damascus for the 4x4 but Watkins mill got the 4x2 and no i dont go to watkins mill i go that paint branch so yea
|then there is no use about arguing it on the internet. Actions speak louder than words. See you in outdoor
|LOL The outdoor season needs to hurry up and start already!!!!
|huh yea outdoor will be really be fun and crazy