The triple jump, oddest of the track and field events, is often the decisive event for high school track and field meets, as it is usually the last one to conclude. It was last – and decisive – again late Friday night in the UCBAC championships in North East.
Postponed to the second day after heavy rains soaked the jumping pit, the triple jump ended near midnight. When the girls' jumping began, Harford Tech held a one-point lead over C. Milton Wright. When it ended, Tech's Briana McAllister had scored six points for third place, and CMW's jumpers had scored nothing. Final girls' score, Tech 138, CMW 131.
An hour earlier in the boys' triple jump, Devon Teagle finished second to score eight points for Edgewood. CMW's two jumpers had scored nine. Final boy's score: Edgewood 111, CMW 103.
There was no celebration, no victory lap by Tech or Edgewood, because computer problems kept results from being revealed during the meet. Coaches did not learn who had won the team titles until 4 p.m. the next day.
Edgewood's victory was its second of the UCBAC era. The Rams won with strong sprinting and hurdling complemented by a newly developed middle-distance strength, which became apparent in the first race of the meet.
The Rams began with a meet-record in the 4x800 relay. Michael Dzambasow led off in 1:57, and Langston Gash, David Dzambasow and Aaron Parker widened the lead to 9 seconds in finishing in 8:14.66, four seconds better than the record. The distance crew scored one-third of Edgewood's points – 14 in the 800, 10 in the 1600 and four in the 3200.
Edgewood sprinters and hurdlers performed as expected, winning the 4x200 and 4x400, the latter in a meet record with Teagle leading off in 48.5. Teagle's teammates were Izaiah Sneed, Jeremy Middlebrooks and Matthew Foster in the 4x200 in 1:31.28, and Parker, Middlebrooks and Fernandes Boyd in the 4x400 in 3:27.74.
Sneed set a meet record in the 110 hurdles, running 15.01 in the prelims before winning the finals in 15.06 over Tech's Darnell Pink (15.82) and Aberdeen's Kion Gibson (15.98). Sneed also won the 300 hurdles in 40.15. Middlebrooks added a second-place in the 200 at 23.17.
Sprinters led CMW to its second place finish. Matt Riggins won the 100 in 11.26, edging Teagle by 0.12, and the 200 in 22.81. Riggins then anchored for teammates Kenny King, Kevin Reynolds and Josh Bailey to win the 4x100 in 45.23.
Bohemia Manor took third place in the boys' scoring with 67.5 points, 30 of them from Ty Franks. He won the 1600 in 4:26.88 and the 3200 in 9:40.89 before setting a meet record in the 800 in 1:58.30.
The main victim of Franks' finishing speed in the 1600 and 3200 was North Harford's Nick Fransham, who took second in both in 4:30.48, and 9:43.12. Fransham led the Hawks to seventh place among the 15 boys teams.
Chris Davis and Anferne Thomas gave Bel Air a 1-3 finish in the triple jump at 41-11 and 41-5 3/4, respectively, to lift the Bobcats into fourth place. Bel Air's Jake Davenport placed second in the pole vault at 11-6 and the 4x100 team took second. Joe Whilden, who anchored the 4x100, placed fourth in both the 100 and 200.
Geno Nappi cleared 6 feet in the high jump to claim a victory for Havre de Grace. Aberdeen freshman Elijah Johnson pulled an upset in the shot put, defeating league leader Jhaimal Johnson of Joppatowne by 8 3/4 inches with a 42-1 3/4. Aberdeen finished sixth in the boys' scoring.
Fallston got third-place finishes from Chris West in the 200 (23.28), Noah Kudla in the 800 (2:01.98) and Jacob O'Neill and Collin Masterson (11-0) in the vault to finish ninth.
Tyear Castle of Bo Manor won the boy's pole vault at 11-6. Other field-event winners were Alex Kerns, Rising Sun, discus, 118-10; and Zyphere Ruffin, Elkton, long jump, 20-8.
For Harford Tech, a fourth girls title
At the end of the first day's events, Harford Tech coach Darrell Diamond thought winning a fourth team title was out of the question. "We were down 42-18 to start the second day. That's the biggest gap we have had to overcome," he said.
But overcome they did, with a big boost from Paige Chapman, who won the 100 in 12.32, defeating CMW's Christina Riggins by 0.22. She next won the 400 in a personal best of 58.98 and took second in the long jump. She also placed second in the closest finish of the meet in the 200 dash, 0.03 behind Riggins in 25.87. Tech's Charice Corbin took third in 26.73.
Corbin led a Harford Tech charge in the 100 hurdles, holding off CMW's Bethany Riley and Brooke Zeberlein in second and third, to win in 15.75. Ann Luna was fourth and Kamryn Henderson, sixth.
Shannon Conlon took command of the other hurdle event for Tech, winning the 300 lows in 49.51 with Luna third in 52.13 to yield a total haul of 34 points by Tech's hurdlers.
In all, the Cobras had top-three finishes in 12 of the 18 events, including a third-place in the high jump by Tiahna Mitchell at 5 feet.
The CMW girls opened the meet auspiciously, with an easy win in the 4x800 by Shannon Rogers, Miriam Silton, Emma Martin and Pam Koga in 10:04.67. Bethany Riley then set a meet record in winning the high jump at 5-4.
On day two, Christina Riggins took the spotlight for the Mustangs, winning the 200 and anchoring the 4x100 to a 50.41 win with Tori Smith, Alexis Cuffee and Sydney Gray. In doing so, Riggins matched her brother Matt's achievement in the 200 and 4x100.
North Harford placed fourth among girls teams with 68 points. Two-thirds of the Hawks' points came from the distance events, in which Casey Welsh won the 1600 in 5:27.40 and Regan Davis won the 3200 in 12:38.27.
Dashia Murphy extended Aberdeen's line of outstanding jumpers, winning the long jump, 6 inches farther than Tech's Chapman with a mark of 16-6 1/2. She also took the triple jump at 35-9 1/2, beating teammate Cierra Reid by 1 inch. The Eagles' Alexis Tyler won the shot put, another event long dominated by the Eagles, at 35-7 3/4. Aberdeen finished fifth as a team.
Joppatowne's Nina Bishop won the discus at 92-1 and took third in the shot put at 30-3. Brittany Meads raced to second place in the 400 in 1:00.54 and placed third in the 100 and fourth in the 200 to help propel the Mariners to sixth place.
Perryville placed third with 97 points. The team of Autumn Estep, Taesha Andre, Angelica Conway and Alysa Conway edged CMW by 0.06 in 1:49.23 in the 4x200. Jordan Dodson replaced Angelica Conway on the 4x400 team, which won in 4:12.19. Perryville's Hailey McDonald won the pole vault at 8-6.
Fallston placed eighth as a team, with runner-up finishes by Lauren Woollen in the high jump and Nicole Wohlfort in the 1600. Woollen also broke the meet record with a leap of 5-4 but lost to Riley on misses. Wohlfort ran 5:28.71 to finish 1.3 seconds behind North Harford's Welsh.
Katherine Eckart gave Patterson Mill a victory in the 800. The freshman ran 2:25.86, finishing 2.1 seconds ahead of Welsh. The Huskies were ninth as a team.