LANDOVER — There’s a lot of scenery surrounding the stadium Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, site of the MPSSAA state track and field championships. Many area athletes got a great view to take it all in from the podium.
Classes 2A and 1A competed Thursday on the first day of the state meet in a handful of running and field finals, with semifinals contested in sprints. While no Carroll County athlete left Thursday with a state championship, many came close, with second-place finishes coming from Francis Scott Key’s Adeline Kraics in the 1A discus, Century’s Peyton Dill in the 2A boys 3,200-meter run and the Liberty boys’ 4x800 relay team.
“Last meet, I didn’t do that good, so I feel really good about how this meet went,” said Kraics, a sophomore. “I mean, it’s second. That’s pretty great, I think.”
Kraics had a top throw of 110 feet, 4 inches, bested only by Fort Hill’s Carly Bennett, who threw 114-10.
“I was really nervous for how it was going go, but I felt good about my throws,” Kraics said.
The Liberty boys knew they had a tough challenge in the 2A 4x800 trying to catch Southern-AA. Ben Smith ran leadoff for the Lions and found it difficult to navigate through the early crowd.
“I started, I got boxed [in] hard at the start, got a rough start but was able to get up toward the front, handed off I think fourth,” Smith said.
Logan Cyford, the second runner, put the Lions in position for a high finish, even though a win was looking like a long shot by that point.
“I was able to take it the last lap,” Cyford said. “I tried to make up some ground. I already knew Southern and Eric [Penkala] was pretty much gone, but I felt I could catch some other schools.”
Davis Trump ran third and was driven by the hopes of a silver medal.
“I just wanted to go hard and catch Harford Tech” Trump said. “I knew that I wanted that second-place medal. I’m glad we caught them and handed off in good shape.”
Tyler Edson ran the anchor leg and held on to second place as the Lions finished in 8 minutes, 24.48 seconds.
“The end is always intense, but it’s worse when they’re behind you and not in front of you,” Edson said. “I heard my team on the field and I just kicked it at the end, the last 100 meters.”
Overall, the team was pleased with the result.
“We just wanted to run our race, and by doing so we finished pretty highly,” Trump said. “I’m definitely proud of our guys, it was a great race.”
Dill had the unenviable task of running against a previous state champion. Oakland Mills’ Ethan Aidam led comfortably for most of the 2A boys 3,200, but Dill came on strong toward the end of the eight-lap race, leading a tight pack to finish second in a personal-best time of 9:49.09.
“Started the race, my goal was 10:10. I went out, tried hard,” Dill said. “Coming around the last lap, I looked at the clock and it said 8-something. I thought, ‘Oh shoot, I can break 10.”
Doing so enabled him to catch, and beat, a group of runners packed at the front.
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“I’ve ran against those guys for awhile, they had a group two through four,” Dill said. “They weren’t even in my mind. But once I started on the last 200, I saw they weren’t too far ahead. I thought, ‘Oh shoot, can I get them and get second?’”
The county was well-represented in the girls pole vault competitions held Thursday. In 2A, Century’s Natalie Mason and Liberty’s Sophia Echevarria finished fifth and sixth, respectively, each clearing 10 feet. Century’s Rileigh Mansfield tied for eighth, clearing 9 feet.
In 1A, South Carroll’s Delaney Freed cleared a personal-best 8 feet, tying for fifth place.
“This was my first season doing track and making it to states my first season I’m very excited about it,” Freed said. “‘Cause this is my first season, I didn’t realize I’d do so well. I was very nervous, because it’s a state meet; it’s a very big meet. But once I got here, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.”
Also Thursday in 2A, Century’s 4x800 relay team of Sophia Taylor, Meredith Kelly, Hope Callaway and Elizabeth Mitroka finished fourth in 10:02.53. Liberty’s Cameron Klein finished fifth in the girls discus, tossing 96-2. Liberty’s 4x200 relay team of Iveren Asom, Amaya Pennington, Olivia Dixon and Nkechiyem Molokwu finished sixth (1:47.5), Century’s Emily Mitroka finished seventh in the 3,200 (11:44.38) and Liberty’s Ian Thorpe finished seventh in the boys high jump, clearing 5-8.
In 1A, South Carroll’s 4x200 relay team of Lauren Chesney, Morgan Guynn, Brooke Pribulick and Madelyn Boyce finished third in 1:49.39, while the Cavaliers’ Molly Senisi placed seventh in the 3,200 in 12:39.57.
South Carroll’s boys had eighth-place finishes from the 4x200 team of Aidan Amend, Joseph Zolkiewicz, Matthew Holstein and Peyton Thomas (1:34.82), the 4x800 team of Liam Penny, Camden Larson, Joseph DeMars and Samuel Zaloudek (8:55.92) and Nathan Fields in the shot put (42.7).