Damascus coach Robert Youngblood was shoveling snow off the track before a team practice when he says the shovel slipped and cracked two of his ribs. Wanting to keep his head clear in the days leading up to the state championship meet, he said that he refused to take pain killers. Thus demonstrates his commitment to the team for every athlete to emulate.
Youngblood laid out the plan for the entire school year last summer. It is no secret that the goal is for the boys team to win state titles in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track all in one school year. The cross country state title has already been attained. The indoor track state title went 95% according to the summer plan, according to Youngblood.
One thing that nobody planned for was the record snowfalls this winter. With six snow days away from school, two or three more days when athletes were sent home early, and a constantly changing regional meet schedule, Youngblood knew that many teams would use the snow as an excuse. He wouldn't let his team use it as an excuse. He posted training plans on the team website for athletes to follow.
Thomas Arias said that members of the team shoveled the track after the first two big snowfalls. For the most part, he said, they were doing a lot of easy running with only a few hard workouts.
But those workouts, according to Youngblood, were very difficult. They were running hard on snow covered paths and even up snow covered hills (wherever it was deemed safe to do so). The workouts were as toughening mentally as they were physically.
The payoff tonight was the school's first ever track and field state title (indoors or outdoors).
They kicked it off with a win in the 4x800 relay in a 3A state record time of 8:06.69. Youngblood later noted that they didn't go after the state record of 7:59, but will go for a similar time at Nike Indoor Nationals in Boston.
In the boys 1600, Thomas Arias fell behind by a large gap in third place early on, but slowly worked back into the race and took over the lead with just a few laps to go. Ryan O'Connor of Northern Calvert and Scott Heydrick of River Hill eventually took over with strong finishing kicks, but Arias was third in 4:28.33 while teammate Ben Constantinides took seventh in 4:36.93.
Eight more points were scored by Jon Constantinides and DeVante' Thomas in the 500 before Alex Arias finished fourth in the 3200 in a personal best time of 10:02.32.
Andrew Mengle (pole vault), Kevin Sanders (high jump), and Kevin Mattingly and Jake Furr (shot put) collectively scraped up seven and a half points in the field events.
One point was scored by the 4x200 relay team before another big chunk of points was scored by Thomas Arias and Jon Constantinides in the 800. Arias again held a lead late in the race but was passed by Ryan O'Connor (same runner from the 1600) in the final stretch. He finished second in 2:00.07.
That would be all the points Damascus needed to win. The 4x400 relay was theirs for the taking and they did indeed cross the finish line first, but apparently they were disqualified.
When the girls' scores were announced, the Damascus girls finished second with 50 points. They fell short of first place to Western by one point. They did it almost exactly the same way that the boys did: with strong relays (state champions in the 4x800 and 4x400) and picking up the small points in almost every event.
When asked if he expected his girls team to be as successful as they were this year, Youngblood said, "Definitely." He knew what they had on the girls team and knew that nobody would see it coming (Mocorunning pleads guilty).
Congratulations Damascus. More state coverage coming soon.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:34:12 AM
not from moco
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:35:34 AM
this is such moco bias, you might want to see what happened with that 4x400
getting dq'd for taunting if that is what it was is a really big deal and would show awful sportsmanship by damascus
IF THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED, i could be wrong
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:05:57 PM
this is bull leave damscus alone they deserve to show off or watever they deserve it... watkins mill
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:28:09 PM
Nobody agrees with the DQ if they are really being honest, but what is done is done. The team worked hard just as I'm sure the others did too. This was just Damascus' time to shine. Try and be good sports say good job and move on to the outdoor season. It's all up for grabs again.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 03:04:28 PM
DQed? come on.
not from moco
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 03:56:23 PM
im just saying its an overlooked aspect.
can anyone comment further?
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 05:22:13 PM
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 07:13:34 PM
awesome job team :)
i am sooo proud of us all!!
lol at the comment above me haha
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 08:00:41 PM
The most congratulations in my opinion goes to Watkins Mill. Amazing job guys. That was amazing. Brandon, you are beast
Thursday, February 25, 2010 01:36:29 PM
Watkins mill had a great season. But they dropped the baton. They should not be congratulated for messing up the most important part of a relay, which is getting the baton around the track. Instead they should be told to hold on tight to that thing. It happens to everyone. As for the 4x4. The kid went for it, he got tired and died. He is talented and will get them next time.
Friday, February 26, 2010 12:19:59 AM
Congrats on you great win
Sunday, February 28, 2010 09:56:47 PM
I heard one of our teammates were taunting other team members. Totally disrespectful & rude. Our teammate should know better than that. Well, Damascus Boys still won after being dq'd from the 4x4. Great job guys.
Friday, May 07, 2010 02:06:02 PM
ya know whatd be cool. if everybody could stop crying when they loose. Theres only one number one, and no time machines to go back and change it so get over it. Dmas #1
Sunday, May 16, 2010 08:59:33 PM
You know what would be cool? If Jake Furr could spell lose properly.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 09:35:14 PM
Your education isn't worth anything unless you got a name behind what you say. Besides its a good thing i don't know how to spell lose, i never really had too.