Track: County athletes set records en route to state titles

It was a record-setting day for Harford County athletes in the MPSSAA State Track and Field Championships in Baltimore Saturday.

Brandon Chase of Edgewood won the 400-meter dash in 47.25 seconds to break the Class 2A state meet record. Jimmia McCluskey of Aberdeen set a Harford County record of 19 feet in winning the 3A girls' long jump. Edgewood's Wilhelmina Austin raised her county record in winning the 2A long jump before McCluskey revised it two hours later. And the Harford Tech girls broke a 30-year-old county record in winning the 4x100 relay in 2A.

Harford County athletes won eight titles and placed second in six events on the Morgan State University track in sunny, 90-degree weather.

McCluskey was a double winner. Before her long-jump victory - just 3 inches shy of the top-10 all-time list for the state meet - she sprinted to a 0.01-second win in the 100 in 12.36 seconds. She also finished third in the 200 in 25.38.

In Chase's victory, he simply ran away from the field, exiting the last turn with a 10-meter lead and widening it on the final straightaway to become the third fastest quarter-miler in the 60-year history of the state meet. He later took second place in the 200, running 21.50 to finish 0.03 behind the winner.

Austin won the 2A long jump at 18-3 1/2 to bring her career state title count to four. She finished second in the triple jump at 37-1 1/4 and fourth in the 100 hurdles in 14.91, lowering her own Harford County record by 0.03.

Raymond King captured a third victory for Edgewood by winning the triple jump. He was in fifth place with two jumps to go, but as he did in winning the UCBAC meet two weeks earlier, he sprang a personal best of 44-10 1/2 to capture the gold.

Edgewood placed sixth among 2A boys' teams. Noel Spencer finished sixth in the 100 in 11.21. Lenier Tucker was eighth in the 800 in 2:00.2, and the team of Spencer, King, Devon Teagle and Rickey Dangerfield took fifth in the 4x200 relay in 1:31.50.

Things went awry for the Rams in the 4x100 relay, in which they were the second seed. Just after the first exchange, the baton fell to the track but took a lucky bounce into the hand of lead-off runner Ray King. King then handed it off a second time, but the team was disqualified after the finish for handing off outside the zone.

The Aberdeen girls came into the meet with strong title hopes, though those hopes were dimmed when ace jumper Kiersten Bond sprained an ankle in the regional meet. Though McCluskey's stellar performances kept the hopes alive, the Eagles finished third with 50 1/2 points, 15 1/2 behind Gov. Thomas Johnson and 12 1/2 behind Hereford.

McCluskey anchored the Eagles to second place in the 4x100 in 49.05 with teammates Cierra Reid, Aaliyah Reese and Aria Real. Nia Alleyne contributed 11 points with third place in the triple jump at 35-10 1/2 and fourth in the high jump at 5-0. Shawnta Bradford placed sixth in the shot put at 35-2 1/2 and eighth in the discus at 104-7. The team of Reese, Real, Abelina Kraus and Samara Miller placed seventh in the 4x400 relay in 4:06.84.

Tech girls place 4th

The Harford Tech girls, who captured the runner-up trophy the last two years, made another run at the state title. This time, they won three events and placed fourth in Class 2A with 48 points. The foursome of Paige Chapman, Marietta Corbin, Sierra Singleton and Charice Corbin clocked 1:43:05 to win the 4x200 for the third year in a row. The same four won the 4x100 in 48.68, breaking the county record of 49.0 set by Aberdeen in 1982.

Tech's Brittney Chavis won the shot put at 37-8 1/2, advancing from second to first on her final throw. She placed third in the discus at 100-2. Charice Corbin finished fourth in the 300 hurdles in 47.03, with Cierra Singleton seventh in 48.25. Paige Chapman placed sixth in the 100 in 12.73.

The team of Jheniel Kelly, Katie Doleschal, Megan Doleschal and Trinity Sprague placed eighth in the 4x800 in 10:09.78, breaking Tech's school record by 10 seconds. Kelly, Katie Doleschal, Jada Jones and Marietta Corbin placed eighth in the 4x800 in 4:13.41.

Isaiah Gills did all the scoring for the Harford Tech boys. He placed third in the long jump at 22-3 1/2, improving his personal best by 1 1/2 feet and breaking the school record. He also placed fourth in the triple jump at 43-10 3/4.

The Joppatowne girls scored 23 points to place 12th in 2A. Breana Hagwood finished fifth in the 100 hurdles in 14.97, becoming only the second Harford girl ever to break 15.0 in the event. Brittany Meads placed fourth in 100 in 12.64 and fourth in the 200 in 25.73. Meads relayed with Hagwood, Kayla Mitchell, and Imoni Heard to place fourth in the 4x200 in 1:46.31. The same foursome ran 4:06.67 in the 4x400, placing fifth.

Marissa Walker of Fallston capped an outstanding season of pole-vaulting by placing second in the 3A vault. She cleared 10-0. The Cougars' Lauren Woolen placed third in the high jump at 5-2. For the Fallston boys' Connor Davis threw the shot 47 feet 1/2 inch to place eighth.

Havre de Grace senior Steve Ashman took the silver medal in the Class 1A 300 hurdles in 41.26. In the 110 hurdles, he hit the last hurdle to drop to fifth place in 15.87. He also competed in the pole vault, placing ninth at 10-0. For the Havre de Grace girls, Maddie Larrimore placed eighth in the triple jump at 30-3 1/2.

North Harford junior Kevin Mackey took the silver medal in the 3A discus, missing the gold by just 7 inches with a throw of 149-1. He placed ninth in the shot put at 44-3 1/2. Gabe Lackey placed seventh in the pole vault at 11-6. For the Hawk girls, Megan Tidey scored in the 3200, placing eighth in 12:03.97. Abby Phillips finished just out of scoring with a height of 8-0 in the girls' pole vault.

C. Milton Wright's Lena Sharesky, a junior, came up with a personal best of 35-8 1/4 to place fourth in the 3A triple jump. Bel Air's Hannah Stambaugh concluded her high school career with a personal best 2:22.26 in the 800, placing seventh in 3A. For Patterson Mill, Stephanie McCartney placed eighth in the 2A girls 1600 in 5:24.44.

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