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Jackson, Powell pace Howard Lions duo place 1-2 in triple jump


Mona Jackson and Camille Powell of Howard High have spent a lot of time together during the past year as members of the Lions' basketball team.

But it's the track where the two have shared their biggest triumphs.

At yesterday's first day of the state Class 3A-4A track and field championships at Western Maryland College, Jackson and Powell finished one-two in the triple jump, reversing their finishes of a year ago and helping Howard to first place after five events.

The Lions lead the 3A competition with 24 points, ahead of second-place Watkins Mill and third-place McDonough.

Jackson, a sophomore, edged Powell by 2 inches with a leap of 35 feet, 5 1/2 inches but said the order of finish really didn't matter.

"If I'm losing to someone from a different team, I feel pressure," Jackson said. "But that's Camille. When I'm losing to her, all the pressure's off. It's fine as long as one of us wins."

For Howard coach Joe Thomas, the finish was no surprise. "They went one-two last year, so I had a good idea they'd do it again," he said.

On the boys side, Atholton stands in second place after seven events with 24 points, four behind leader Linganore.

The Raiders were led by a strong performance in the pole vault, as Omar El Sawi, Edward Lebard and Josh Patocko finished second, third and fifth, respectively.

Paul Clark of Leaonardtown won the event by clearing 13-9.

El Sawi, who defeated Clark for the state indoor championship at the Fifth Regiment Armory last winter, said he felt his opponent had extra incentive to win the event because he's a senior.

Another Atholton competitor, Bryan Townsend, took second in the 3,200.

Centennial is the next-best Howard County boys team, currently in 10th with 10 points.

The Eagles' effort was led by high jumper James Koehler, who cleared 6-4 to take second behind Thomas Johnson's Ryan Carter.

The competition continues today, as Class 1A and 2A teams take center stage, and concludes tomorrow.

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