Hereford bullish on Day 1 of state track and field championships
By Jeff Seidel
For The Baltimore Sun|
May 23, 2019 | 9:45 PM
The No. 3 Hereford girls are trying to complete their own triple crown at the state championship track and field meet at Morgan State.
Hereford won the Class 2A cross country and indoor track state titles this past fall and winter. Now, the Bulls want to make it a complete sweep with a victory in outdoor track, and if they do, it will be the first time that Hereford ever has taken the outdoor title.
The Bulls did well on the first day Thursday as they won the 3,200-meter relay and also got a victory from senior Emily Konkus in the 3,200 after the start of the meet was delayed by 85 minutes due to weather issues. In fact, Konkus ran a personal best of 2 minutes, 17.2 seconds on the final leg of that relay to help Hereford hold off Kent Island.
“To win that and start the meet like that is a great motivator,” Konkus said.
Lizzie Lopez, Shannon Francis and Jen Barranco joined Konkus in that race, where Hereford needed to come from behind as Glenelg jumped to a big early lead but couldn’t hold it. Konkus then locked it down with her solid effort on her leg.
Later on, Konkus easily won that 3,200. She took the took early and ran away, winning easily in 11:17.30. That helped Hereford finish the short first day in first place with 29 points, ahead of River Hill (22) and Harford Tech (18).
The relay win certainly was the right way to start the state meet, but Hereford’s got plenty of motivation anyway. The Bulls have done well and been among the top competitors in their class for years outdoors but just haven’t been able to get the trophy.
In cross country, Hereford scored a 63-point victory this past fall. That was the Bulls’ 12th state championship in school history.
Then, in the winter, Hereford edged out Harford Tech by two points and brought home its fifth state title indoors.
That’s why winning this meet is important to the Bulls.
Hereford coach Brad Duvall said that the Bulls seem to have been known as more of a distance-heavy team, but they want to show they are more than that.
“I think a win would validate that we’re a complete program,” Duvall said. “It kind of [says] that we’re complete and not just a distance team.”
Duvall is hopeful that all of the pieces are coming together at the right time. Hereford has been dominant in its first two post-season meets – beating Woodlawn by 88.33 points for the Baltimore County championship earlier this month and then crushing the field at the Class 2A North Region meet.
In that meet, Hereford finished with 277 points, leaving runner-up Central (Prince George’s) far in the dust. Central posted 72 points.
“We just have to peak at the right time because Harford Tech is fantastic,” Duvall said. “We’re very fit right now. We’ve got [everyone] firing on all cylinders, and we hope that’s enough.”
No. 5 Harford Tech has several talented performances and won the state title last year.
Caitlyn Bobb helps the Cobras in many ways and will do so on the final day of the meet Saturday. She won her heat of the 200 in 24.75 seconds and advanced to Saturday’s final round.
Harford Tech won the 800 relay in the night’s final event, setting a Class 2A record with a time of 1:41.36.
There were a few local winners on the first day. Khalif Charlton of Havre de Grace took the Class 1A high jump (6-2); Macy Gerbes from Sparrows Point captured the 3,200 in the same class (11:52.38); Jalen Stanton of Century won the Class 2A high jump (6-4). The Western Tech boys took the Class 1A 800 relay (1:31.16).