Coach Robert Youngblood sat down with his team captains prior to the tri-meet at Churchill that would decide the Division II Championship. They needed to devise a plan that would win them the crown once and for all. The trio analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of their competition. The dilemma? How do you beat one team that is strong in sprints and another team that is strong in distance in the same meet? The answer? Overpower in the distance while dominating the hurdles and field.
Knowing of Watkins Mill’s power in the sprints, Youngblood said, “We’ll give ‘em that.” As it turned out, the Watkins Mill boys are as good as advertised. Running directly into the wind, they swept the top 3 in the 100 and 200-meter races while winning the 4x100 and 4x200-meter races. Watkins Mill coach Kevin Watson said, “The performances were there. We have to wait and see.”
Instead of placing star sprinter Jamal Currica in any short sprints, Youngblood asked him to compete in all three jumps. The result was 15 points for the Hornets.
Sam Weeks piled on the points for Damascus by winning the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
Knowing that Churchill was a worthy competitor in the distance events, Damascus’s only option was to try to overpower them. Thanks to Wil Zahorodny, the Hornets grabbed 15 more points from the 400, 800, and 1600-meter races. Churchill was, however, able to make up serious ground in these events as well. Both teams pulled away from Watkins Mill after completion of the 3200 and 800.
The rain and wind picked up as the athletes lined up on the track for the 4x4. Watkins Mill’s hopes of sweeping the sprint relays faded as Jamal Currica of Damascus bolted way out in front of the other competitors. Damascus sat on a comfortable lead for the rest of the race. Wil Zahorodny anchored the relay, earning 5 more points and the divisional title.
The Churchill girls did not need to devise a special plan to come away with the double victory. Coach Scott Silverstein simply asked his girls to go out and compete in their events. Audrey Gariepy-Bogui did her duties, securing victories in the 100-meter hurdles and all three jumps. Louise Hannallah, Erin McManus, Masha Berge and Maryam Fikri raked in the points from the distance events while Katie Wolf stepped up to the challenge of some of the top sprinters in the county. She first beat Zarena Sita of Damascus and Shayla Davis of Watkins Mill in the 400-meters convincingly in a time of 58.6. Later in the meet, she beat out the same two girls almost entirely into the wind with a time of 26.3.
Jacquelyn Adcock of Damascus won the shot put and the discus (again, into the wind), while Chelsea Reinks scored a victory in the 300-meter hurdles and placed 2nd to Gariepy-Bogui in the triple and high jumps. Their efforts led the team to a victory over Watkins Mill, but fell short of the division crown with a loss to Churchill.
Watkins Mill 25
Watkins Mill 21
Watkins Mill 62
Watkins Mill 55