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Inaugural Vollmer Invitational
By: Mark Byrd

The first annual Jim Vollmer Invitational hosted by Watkins Mill High School commemorated an enduring figure in Montgomery County track and field and cross country: the late Jim Vollmer. Vollmer made a lasting impact in Montgomery County as a cross country and track coach, particularly at Poolesville and Watkins Mill High Schools. He also met countless runners across the state with his boundless energy and enthusiasm as a starter at meets and invitationals including the Maryland State Championship track and field meet. Vollmer passed away suddenly due to a heart attack on the weekend of the state championship meet in 2014.

According to Coach Bryant Adams of Watkins Mill, what was most memorable about Vollmer was his dedication to the sport.

"He loved track and field," said Adams. "He would hold practice, and then go to host another meet. He was a head official in Maryland. He just loved track and field so much."

This meet was particularly special, as Jim Vollmer's wife Sandra Vollmer was present to start this year's Jim Vollmer 1600m races.

"Today is our wedding anniversary," she said, "So how appropriate is this?"

Jim Vollmer 1600m Girls Race

The girls 1600-meter run was dominated by senior Ciciely Davy of Einstein. Davy broke to the front early, and set her own pace for the rest of the race. On track to break the 5 minute mark after 800 meters, Davy set a steady pace thereafter to finish with a time of 5:08.37. Not far behind for second place was Reilly Caldwell of Middletown with a time of 5:10.63.

Jim Vollmer 1600m Boys Race

The boys 1600m run was a close competition between Andrew Lent of Poolesville and Garrett Santis of Urbana. By the third lap, the two had emerged from the pack, with Lent moving to the front. In the final lap, Santis made a move taking the lead, but with 300 meters to go, Lent countered to retake the lead and pull away through the straightaway to the finish with a time of 4:32.11. Santis was a close second with a time of 4:33.04.

According to Sandra Vollmer, Lent was one of the last athletes that Vollmer coached at Poolesville.

"Jimmy would have been jumping up and down," said Sandra Vollmer.


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