The divisional track meets of the UCBAC came earlier than usual this year, but teams from North Harford and Harford Tech were well prepared.
The Hawks won the Susquehanna (lower) Division meet at Patterson Mill on April 5, one day after the Tech girls and Perryville boys won the Chesapeake (upper) Division titles in Perryville. The two meets provide a preview for the conference meet in May.
Spectators at the Susquehanna meet were treated to three close races between Harford County's top distance runners — Edgewood's Lenier Tucker and North Harford's Nick Fransham. Tucker won all three battles, but Fransham led North Harford to the team title.
In the opening 4x800 relay, Tucker held off Fransham on the anchor by 0.57 seconds to win in 8:48.66. In the 1600, it was even closer, with Tucker prevailing by 0.09 seconds in 4:48.69. In the 800 — after Fransham won the 3200 solo in 10:30.36 — Tucker won more easily in 2:07.82 with Fransham third in 2:10.93.
North Harford scored 72 of its 180 points with 1-2-3 sweeps in the pole vault, discus and shot put. Pete Meehan won the vault at 12-0 and Kevin Mackey won both the shot put and discus with marks of 49-1 3/4 and 145-5.
Edgewood, with state-champion jumper Ray King absent from the lineup, finished second among the seven teams. The Rams got strong performances by newcomer Izaiah Sneed, who won the 110 hurdles in 16.43, the 300 hurdles in 45.51 and placed second in the high jump at 5-8. The Rams also won the 4x200 in 1:36.80 and the 4x400 in 3:50.16, the latter with a strong anchor by Tucker.
Sprinters and jumpers led Fallston to third place among boys' teams. Chris Johnson and Chris West ran 1-2 in the 100 in 11.19 and 11.41. Jacob Hatcher won the 200 in 23.39 and Ean Hall, the long jump at 20-1 1/2. Those four teamed to win the 4x100 in 45.12. Chris Curry took the high jump at 5-10 and Hall was second in the 400 in 52.10.
Dominic McAnulty led Rising Sun to fourth place with victories in the 400 in 51.26 and triple jump, 41-4 1/2. He also finished second in the long jump at 19-10.
Casey Welsh leads Hawk girls
Freshman Casey Welsh won the 1600 and 800 and propelled her 4x800 relay team to victory to help North Harford win the girls' title, 130.5 to 99.5, over runner-up Fallston.
Welsh applied a strong kick in winning the 1600 in 5:45.30 and the 800 in 2:37.67. The Hawks also got wins from Annie Scott in the 3200, in 13:02.77, and Becca Reitnauer in the discus, 92-2.
Fallston edged Rising Sun for second place by winning four events. Lauren Woollen won the high jump at 5-0, and Marissa Walker, the pole vault at 8-2, the same height as Rising Sun's Lauren Rogers. Kori Melton won the 100 in 13.31, nipping Joppatowne's Destiny Buie by 0.05 second. Melton also anchored the Cougars to a 53.84-second victory in the 4x100.
Rising Sun got wins from Rogers in the triple jump and Sarah Payne in the shot put, 29-10 1/4.
The Patterson Mill girls won both the 4x200 (1:54.30) and 4x400 (4:38.54) relays to finish fourth with 83 points
Nyiesha Hamblin was a double winner for Edgewood, taking the 300 hurdles in 56.28 and 100 hurdles in 18.63. Havre de Grace's Ihuoma Okehie won the long jump at 14-1 1/2. The Warriors placed sixth with 47 points, seven behind Edgewood.
Joppatowne's Brittany Meads turned in one of the top performances of the meet, winning the 400 in 1:01.91 by a margin of 8 seconds. She then won the 200 in 26.30, finishing 1.25 seconds ahead of Qalea Ismail of Patterson Mill.
Tech girls prevail in cold winds
The Harford Tech girls' team applied its now-standard recipe for winning track meets — power in the hurdles, sprints, relays and throws. This worked even in the cold, windy environment of Perryville April 4, when the Cobras won with 187 points.
Cierra Singleton won the 100 hurdles in 17.31 and Charice Corbin, the 300 hurdles in 51.45, with the latter in a 1-2-3 sweep. The two hurdlers were half of the 4x100 relay team which won in 50.81. Marietta Corbin won the 400 in 1:04.47 with teammates Megan Doleschal second and Kara Hayward fourth. Brittney Chavis won the shot put at 32-7 and was second in the discus at 88-6 to score 18 points.
C. Milton Wright won eight events, the most of any team, but finished 19.5 points behind Tech. Sabrina Rhodes was a double winner, taking the 1600 in 5:34.87 and the 800 in 2:34.25 in a 1-2-4 finish with Emma Krebs and Shannon Rogers.
Twin sister Sydney Rhodes anchored the 4x200 team and 4x400 teams to victory in 1:52.26 and 4:32.0.
The Mustangs's Lena Sharesky won the triple jump, 32-2 1/2; Kathy Kammerer, the vault, 9-0; Bethany Riley, high jump, 4-10; and Kelly O'Neill, 3200, 12:39.75.
Jimmia McCluskey won three events to lead Aberdeen to third place. She took the 100 in 12.83, 200 in 25.57 and long jump at 17-3 in a 1-2 finish with Cierra Reid. Tatiana Gomez won the discus for the Eagles at 98-4.
The next four places in the eight-team field went to Cecil County teams. Perryville, winner of the 4x800 in 10:43.41, placed fourth with 66.5 points.
Perryville boys win easily
In the boys' competition, Perryville scored 192 to easily outdistance second-place Bo Manor by 74 points. The Panthers won three individual events: Shawn Montz in the 300 hurdles, 44.44; Brian Matthews, high jump, 5-10; and Taylor DiMauro, vault, 11-0. They also captured the 4x200 relay in 1:36.23 and 4x100 in 46.01.
Ty Franks, Bo Manor's outstanding freshman distance runner, won the 1600 by 11 seconds 4:37.23. He won the 800 in 2:05.33 by a smaller margin of 1.9 seconds over Tech's Justin Morris. Bo Manor won three other events to place second. Chandler Brooks took the 3200 in 10:23.37; Elijah Dryden won the 100 in 12.02; and the 4x800 team won in 8:46.29.
C. Milton Wright placed third with 102 points. Matt Riggins won the 200 in 24.29 and ran a leg on the 4x400 team, which won in 3:42.41.
Fourth placed went to Bel Air, with victories by Roberto Ascenzi in the 400, 53.71, and Chris Davis in the triple jump, 40-3.
North East finished fifth. Godfrey Durham won the shot put at 50-4, 6 inches farther than Perryville's Daryl Johnson, and Matt Bond won the discus at 146-8.
Dennis Pink took the long jump at 19-4 1/4, pacing Harford Tech's sixth-place finish. Kion Gibson won the 110 hurdles in 16.35, as his Aberdeen team finished seventh.