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Panthers highlight quality day at state track finals

LANDOVER — Annapolis junior Maria Coffin, who has developed into one of the best distance runners in the state, has had a propensity to go out strong in a race.

She is not afraid to push the pace and go wire to wire while her sister Anna, a freshman who is new to racing with the elite, prefers to stay back early and surge late.

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Either way, the results show both methods to be successful as Maria took first in the Class 4A 1,600-meter run and second in the 3,200, while Anna took third in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200.

The Coffins' finishes highlighted a quality day for Anne Arundel County athletes at the state indoor track championships on Tuesday at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

Though she wasn't focused on it, Maria went out in a blazing 72 seconds in the first 400 meters of the 1,600 and won by a comfortable 14-second margin.

"I was going to go with what the flow of the race was and I didn't really know my splits or anything. I just went with what everyone else was doing," Maria Coffin said.

Her plan in the 3,200 was to relax and let someone else do the heavy work of carrying the pace. Her 10:55.70 was good enough for the ninth best performance in state indoor history.

Meanwhile, Anna, who found herself hemmed in during the opening stages of the 1,600, made an assertive move through the pack with just over two laps to go to surge into a third-place finish.

"I usually like to wait until the third or second to last lap to move," Anna Coffin said." I never been really good at going out fast like that. And having Maria run basically helps me through it. She's a great motivator. She always tell me not to focus on what the other runners are doing and do my thing and try to do well."

The Coffin sisters, as well as Meghan Busch's seventh-place finish in the shot put, helped the Panthers score 29 points and finish in a sixth-place tie with Paint Branch, the highest team in the county.

The Arundel boys, on the strength of Marvin Flythe's third-place finish in the shot put as well as Christian McFadden's fourth place in the 55 dash and Nigel Mills' fifth in the 55 hurdles, tied for sixth with Suitland with 24 points. Meade's Christian Best took fourth in the high jump.

Pole vaulting has always been a strong point for the county and Tuesday was no different as Severna Park's Fiona Schoener won the only other state title of the day, clearing 10 feet to win the girls 4A competition. South River's Gwendolyn Zeckowski was third and Broadneck's Lauren Costello tied for fourth. While some athletes may not have preferred the extra week to prepare due to weather, for Schoener it was a blessing.

"I think having a little extra time to prepare was nice," Schoener said. "I was just more mentally prepared. We didn't really get to practice, but the mental preparation was helpful. In pole vaulting you have to think through each motion, and if you don't prepare mentally, you're not going to jump well."

On the boys side, Arundel's Jordan McClung cleared 13 feet to get second in the 4A competition while Severna Park's Caleb McConnon set a personal best at 12 feet, six inches to finish third while Chesapeake's Ben Colebrook took second place in the 3A vault, setting a personal record of 13 feet to lead the Cougars.

For McClung, who came in as the top seed, the disappointment of a second place has already turned to motivation for the outdoor season.

"I came in prepared I thought. We had practice on Sunday; so that helped get the jitters out, but Chris (Spiess of Clarksburg) came in and was the better jumper today," McClung said. "Watching the videos, I know what I need to improve on, and seeing the video of what happened today really motivates me. Because usually I get it but today it didn't happen."

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Andrew Forsyth of Severna Park took third in the 4A 3,200 meters. South River's Nick Boogades used a strong kick to get third in the 1,600, while Severna Park's Molly Derlink and North County's Andrew Link each finished second in the 800 run.

For Link, it was a change in strategy that allowed him to have the burst to chase down five runners in the last several hundred meters and break two minutes by just four hundredths of a second.

"I'll be honest, I didn't even expect that out of myself," Link said. "All season I have been struggling with kicking too soon and coming up short at the end. This time, I thought about it a lot. I realized there are a lot of talented people out there that can go out really, really fast and I might not be one of them."

Old Mill's Breanna Mealer came in fourth in the high jump and Severna Park's Chloe MacDonald finished fifth. Mealer finished sixth in the 55 hurdles while Hannah McGlynn of South River took sixth in the 1600 and fifth in the 800.

Meade's Christian Best took fourth in the high jump, Severna Park's Emma Hand was sixth in the 500 meters and Northeast's best finisher of the day was Brent Boyer who finished seventh in the 3A shot put.

BOYS

4A TEAM RESULTS: 1, Northwest, 65; 2, Charles H. Flowers, 64; 3, Dulaney, 40; 4 (tie), Quince Orchard, Dulaney, 31; 6 (tie), Arundel, Suitland 24; 8(tie), Springbrook, Bowie, 23; 10 (tie), Severna Park, Duval, 19; 12, Richard Montgomery, 16; 13, Howard, 13.50; 14, Clarksburg, 13; 15, Paint Branch, 12; 16 (tie), Winston Churchill, Meade, 11; 18, North Point, 10.50; 19 (tie), South River, North County, 10; 21, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 9; 22, Walter Johnson, 7; 23, Eleanor Roosevelt, 6; 24 (tie), Parkville, Northwood, 4; 26, High Point, 3; 27 (tie), Parkdale, Sherwood 2.

4A INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 55 dash: 1, Gilchrist (BO), 6.35; 2, Netterville (NW), 6.48; 3, Nelson (CF), 6.53; 300 dash: 1, Nelson (CF), 35.45; 2, McClain (SK), 35.69; 3, Netterville (NW), 35.72 ; 500 dash: 1, Amobi (DV), 1:06.54; 2, Thomas (SU), 1:06.54; 3, Burgess (CF), 1:06.97; 800 run: 1, Walsh (QO), 1:58.40; 2, Link (NC), 1:59.56; 3, Thomas (SU), 2:00.21 ; 1,600 run: 1, Walz (DU), 4:24.79; 2, Asfaw (RM), 4:25.41; 3, Boogades (SR), 4:27.90 3,200 run: 1, ; 55 high hurdles: 1, Wright (NW), 7.39; 2, Torrence (DH), 7.52; 3, Daniels (NW), 7.65 ; 800 relay: 1, Charles H. Flowers, 1:30.77; 2, Northwest, 1:30.81; 3, Bowie, 1:32.08; 1,600 relay: 1, Digital Harbor, 3:27.54; 2, Charles H. Flowers, 3:28.17; 3, Suitland, 3:28.20 ; 3,200 relay: 1, Howard, 8:17.84; 2, Winston Churchill, 8:18.38; 3, Northwest, 8:18.43 ; High jump: 1, Bikam (QO), 6-04.00; 2, Goy (PB), 6-02.00; 3, ; Pole vault: 1, Spiess (CL), 13-06; 2, McClung (AR), 13-00; 3, McConnon (SP), 12-06 ; Shot put: 1, Appiah (CF), 45-10.72; 2, Monie (CF), 45-08.75; 3, Flythe (AR), 44-08 .

GIRLS

4A TEAM RESULTS: 1, Charles H. Flowers, 66; 2, Northwest, 48; 3, Clarksburg, 37; 4, Henry A. Wise, 33; 5, Walter Johnson, 31; 6(tie), Annapolis, Paint Branch, 29; 8, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 26; 9, Severna Park, 25.50; 10, Bowie, 24.50; 11, Duval, 23; 12, North Point, 17; 13, Dulaney, 16.50; 14, Howard, 15; 15, South River, 13; 16, Laurel, 12; 17, Digital Harbor, 10; 18, Old Mill, 8; 19, Winston Churchill, 7; 20, Broadneck, 5.50; 21 (tie), Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, 5; 23(tie), Bladensburg, Quince Orchard, Gaithersburg, 4; 26 (tie), Bel Air, Chopticon 3; 28 (tie), Sherwood, Leonardtown, 1.

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4A INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 55 dash: 1, Akobundu (DV), 7.14; 2, Wright (NW), 7.14; 3, Daley (CF), 7.24; 300 dash: 1, Brown (NW), 41.22; 2, Colbert (DH), 41.49; 3, Mayo (HW), 41.73; 500 dash: 1, Haidara (BO), 1:17.92; 2, Smith (NP), 1:18.88; 3, Grant (CF), 1:19.23 ; 800 run: 1, Ike (CF), 2:24.19; 2, Derlink (SP), 2:25.15; 3, Okon (LA), 2:25.17 ; 1,600 run: 1. M. Coffin (AN), 5:03.14; 2, Murphy (WJ), 5:14.32; 3. A. Coffin (AN), 5:17.88 3,200 run: 1, Taye (PB), 10:53.03; 2, M. Coffin (AN), 10:55.70; 3, Green (WJ), 10:58.16 ; 55 high hurdles: 1, Akobundu (DV), 8.19; 2, Correia (NW), 8.28; 3, Pyles (CL), 8.38 ; 800 relay: 1, Charles H. Flowers, 1:43.48; 2, Northwest, 1:44.22; 3, Bowie, 1:44.92 1,600 relay: 1, Charles H. Flowers, 4:03.27; 2, Paint Branch, 4:05.22; 3, Laurel, 4:06.90 ; 3,200 relay: 1, Walter Johnson, 9:37.91; 2, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 9:39.95; 3, Dulaney, 9:58.90 ; High jump: 1, Mayo (HW), 5-04.00; 2, Bateky (NW), 5-02.00; 3, Grant (CF), 5-02.00 ; Pole vault: 1, Schoener (SP), 10-00; 2, Toth (BCC), 9-06; 3, Zeckowski (SR), 9-06; Shot put: 1, Larkins (HW), 39-00.25; 2, Newby (CF), 37-01.25; 3, Ababio (CL), 37-01.00 .

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