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Harford Tech girls just shy of indoor track state title

Harford Tech girls just shy of indoor track state title
Bel Air girls won the Class 3A 4x800 relay state championship this week at the state indoor meet in Prince George's County. Relay members from left, Morgan Loewe, Mackenzie Morrison, Elizabeth Pickett and Riley McDermott. (Courtesy of Jessica Loewe / Baltimore Sun)

The team scoring drama in the MPSSAA Class 2A girls’ State Indoor Track and Field Championships reached its peak during the last two events Monday in Landover.

Harford Tech had just won the final race, the 4x400 relay, and led Hereford High School in the team scoring, 60 to 50. “I wasn’t sure if that was going to be enough,” said Tech head coach Darrell Diamond. It wasn’t.

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The pole vault had yet to finish. Hereford, four times the team champion in the last seven years, had three girls in the vault, and Tech had none. The Hereford vaulters cleared 10-6, 10-0, and 10-0, two of which were new personal bests.

The final score: Hereford 62, Harford Tech 60. “I have to give (Hereford) a lot of credit. Those three girls stepped up, knowing the state championship was riding on their performances,” said Diamond. “We won the most battles, but lost the war.”

Tech led Hereford in “battle” wins, five events to naught. Caitlyn Bobb won two of them, the 300 in 40.54 seconds and the 500 in 1:16.30 to finish the season undefeated through 13 individual races.

Harford Tech's Caitlyn Bobb wins the Class 2A 500 meter run during the MPSSAA indoor track and field championships in Landover Monday,
Harford Tech's Caitlyn Bobb wins the Class 2A 500 meter run during the MPSSAA indoor track and field championships in Landover Monday, (Dylan Slagle/ BSMG)

Beyonce Kelly, who like Bobb has been an automatic producer of first-place points, won the high jump for her fifth state title. She cleared 5-5 to win by 4 inches. Kelly also ran a 59.9 split on the 4x400, teamed with Bobb, Samantha Peters, and Morgan Dean, to conclude the running events with what could have been -- but wasn’t -- the decisive win in 4:05.03.

Bobb led Tech’s 4x200 team to a record with a 25.2 split. She teamed with Petronilla Onyebadi, Nya Ray, and Hunter Ray Green for the win in 1:44.62, a new 2A meet record.

Tech’s 10 other points came from Ray’s fifth place finish in the 55 dash in 7.41; Onyebadi’s eighth-place in the 300 in 42.97; Laura Velez-Segui’s eighth in the 55 hurdles in 9.56; and the seventh place of the 4x800 team of Stephanie Taylor, Kayla Olmstead, Velez-Segui, and Dean in 10:37.68.

Tech boys finish in third-place tie

Tech finished third in the boys’ scoring with 32 points, despite having its star performer go almost scoreless with a muscle strain sustained in his second preliminary race of the day.

Kaya Simpson had the fastest time in the 55 hurdle prelims, 7.62, and tied a school record of 6.59, fourth fastest in the 55 dash prelims. But he experienced hamstring tightness at the end of the dash, which later slowed him to seventh place in the hurdle final. He was held out of the dash final and the 4x200 relay.

“We tried to get him loose before the hurdle final. I think once he left the blocks, it got tight again and that was it,” said Diamond. The Tech boys’ lone win came in the 4x800 relay. The team of Zachary Taylor, Daron Taylor, Kevin Baranoski, and Shannon Dooley set a new 2A meet record of 8:11.28.

Dooley led the boys’ scoring. He placed fourth in the 500 in 1:07.70, and he relayed with Anthony McKinzie, Zachary Graney, and Daron Taylor to place third in the 4x400 in 3:34.20.

Kevin Baranoski finished third in the 3200 in 9:55.62, and A.J. Ianniello placed sixth in the pole vault at 12 feet.

For the Fallston girls, Kennedy Mendoza concluded her first season of track with a third-place finish in the 2A girls 1,600. She was timed in 5:18.55, a personal best. Later in the meet, she finished seventh in the 800 in 2:24.98.

Also for Fallston, Giles Daly placed 11th in the 3,200 in 10:14.01, and Quinn Daly was 18th in 11:09.50.

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North Harford’s Will Tikiob ran a personal best of 4:33.80 to place sixth in the 2A 1,600.

Joppatowne junior James Munlyn placed seventh in the 1A 300 dash in 37.07. Teammate Tyree Bizzell finished 12th in 37.70.

Perry and Bel Air’s 4x800 team win in 3A

In her first trip to the state indoor track meet, Lindsay Perry won the Class 3A 800 and finished fifth in the 1,600 Tuesday. In the 1,600, the C. Milton Wright junior lowered her personal best by 5 seconds with a 5:16.01.

Later, in the 800, she followed through a 1:09 first 400 and surged into the lead with 200 to go, pulling away to win by 2 seconds in 2:22.88. Hers was the first state meet victory by a CMW girl since Kelli Buck won the 3,200 in 2003.

Bel Air won the girls’ 4x800 relay with the team of Elizabeth Pickett, Riley McDermott, Mackenzie Morrison, and Morgan Loewe. The race was a sort of rematch with Northern of Calvert County.

In the 3A state cross-county meet last fall, Bel Air finished second, close behind Northern. In Tuesday’s 4x800, in which there were three cross-country team members on each of the two foursomes, Bel Air prevailed by a half-second in 9:51.30. Morrison also ran the 3,200 and placed sixth in 11:46.65. Pickett was 11th in the 1,600 in 5:34.96.

In the boys 3,200, Bel Air junior Caleb Zylka finished second in 9:50.49, bettering by 20 seconds his fourth-place finish in the 2018 state meet.

In the girls 3,200, Edgewood’s Madison Buddenbohn finished 11th in 12:20.95.

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