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Harford track athletes qualify for AAU Nationals

Savoy (music group)Evan MooreJames Johnson (football)

Christina Riggins of Bel Air won two events and anchored her sprint relay team to a third win as Harford athletes captured a dozen victories in AAU Area 3 National Qualifier Meet in Hagerstown June 21-23.

Competing for the Harford County Track Club, Riggins won the 100-meter dash and the high jump in the age-14 division. She was timed in 12.21 seconds in the 100, the fastest girls' time among all age groups in the meet. She cleared 4 feet, 10 inches in the high jump.

"We had 28 different athletes qualify for the AAU Nationals in Detroit and set a club record with 11 first-place finishes," HCTC coach Larry Pickett said.

Other Harford track clubs - the Aberdeen Soaring Eagles and Joppatowne Road Runners - also qualified athletes for the national meet to be held July 29 to Aug. 3.

Dorian Woody of the HCTC finished first in the age-13 long jump at 15 feet, 5 inches. Katherine Eckart won the age-14 girls 800 in 2:31.32 after finishing second in the 400 in 1:02.37. Kieran McDermott took the age-13 boys 800 in 2:22.97 and sister Riley McDermott, the age-11 girls turbo javelin at 46-3. In age 15-16 races, Mark Pickett won the 1500 in 4:37.30 and Ethan Brito, the 3000 in 10:27.56.

HCTC runners won three relays. Riggins, Ashlee Kothenbeutel, Mariel Lindsey and Sydney Gray won the age-14 girls 4x100 in 53.15; Emma Bowditch, Emma Foote, Sophia Kudla and Courtney Klapka, the age-14 girls 4x800 in 11:25.36; and Brito, Pickett, Kenny Connelly and Jonathan Sayihe, the 15-16 boys 4x800 in 9:43.60.

Matt Riggins finished second in the 15-16 boys 100 in 11.31, one of seven runner-up finishes by the HCTC. Others were by Noah Kudla, 4:22.40 in the 17-18 boys 1500; Ki Smith, age-12 girls 80-meter hurdles, 15.59; Kenny Connelly, 15-16 boys 3000, 10:56.19; Rebekah Cross, age-12 javelin, 52-2; and Bethany Ingram, age-14 javelin, 49-11. Ingram also took third in the discus at 57-10.

Ean Hall ran 2:02.10 in finishing third in the 17-18 boys 800. Third-place finishes also went to Matt Riggins in the 17-18 boys 200 in 23.19; Rebekah Cross in the age-12 girls 800 in 2:40.86; Sophia Kudla in the age-14 girls 3000 in 13:41.58. Third place in 1500-meter races went to Emma Bowditch, age-14 girls, 5:47.49; Kieran McDermott, age-13 boys, 5:02.68; and Evan Moore 15-16 boys, 4:46.01.

Joppatowne Road Runners

The Joppatowne Road Runners Club collected 14 second- and third-place finishes in the meet, with two of the runner-up finishes in relays. Dominic Hill, Jahsiah Lamothe, Amondo Lemmon and Tracy Taft ran 55.61 in the age-12 boys 4x100. Kaiya Armstrong, Nia Hill, Ale-Ya Johnson and Nyle Hill ran 54.62 in the age-14 girls 4x100.

Second-place finishes in individual events went to Nyle Hill in the age-14 girls 200 in 26.76; Kerita Glenn, in the age-14 girls 3000 race walk, 27:05; Briana McAllister, age-15-16 triple jump, 32-11 3/4; Aubree Savoy, age-15-16 shot put, 22-5, and discus, 60-5 1/2; and Timothy Smith, age 15-16 shot put, 31-3 1/4.

James Johnson placed third in the age-12 boys 800 in 2:47.80 and third in the 1500 in 5:23.56. Joppatowne's age-15-16 boys 4x100 relay team of Tahj McCallum, Rymelle Randolph, Ricky Ratliff and Timothy Smith finished third in the 4x100 in 46.80.

Other third-place finishes went to Amondo Lemmon, age-12 boys 400 in 1:05.62; Taliah Armstrong, age-10 girls 800 in 2:50.85; Ne'Kayla Wingfield, age-12 100 in 14.28; Olivia Nelson, age-10 shot put, 15-1 1/2; and Aaron Parker, 15-16 boys 1500 in 4:46.01. Parker was also fourth in the 2000 steeplechases in 7:51.78.

Aberdeen Soaring Eagles

Madison Whitehurst of Aberdeen took first-, second- and third-place awards in the three dashes of the age-9 girls division. She won the 400 in 1:13.26, placed second in the 100 in 14.83 and third in 200 in 31.96.

The Soaring Eagles' Amaree Yates finished second in two events in age-14 competition: the 100 in 12.87 and the long jump at 14-4 1/2. She was also third in the 400 in 1:03.27 and fourth in the 200 in 27.10.

In the age-14 boys 100 dash, Mylique McGriff placed second in 11.51. Younger brother Tariq McGriff was second in two age-11 field events: the shot put, 25-11 3/4 and the discus, 47-4 1/2.

James Blackwell IV placed fourth in the age-17-18 shot put, throwing 39-3 3/4. He also threw 99-2 1/2 in the discus for fourth. Younger brother Stephen Blackwell placed third in the age-15-16 discus at 65-5. In the age-9 1500-meter run Hanna Lewis, placed third in 6:40.53.

USATF Meet

Jessica Rogers of Bel Air finished third in the age-13 girls 800 in Hagerstown. The Southampton Middle School eighth-grader ran 2:32.57. She finished second in the 1500 in 5:16.02 to qualify for the national meet in two events.

A week earlier, Rogers finished third in the 1500 meters in a personal best in the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics Potomac Valley meet in Landover. Setting the pace for much of the race, she ran 5:09.60.

In the same meet, Ashton Tolson of Bel Air finished second in the 8-and-under boys 800 in 2:53.86, a tenth of a second behind the winner. He placed sixth in the 400 in 1:16:23, advancing to the USATF regional meet in July in both races.

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