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Teams Gather at Georgetown Prep for a Final Regular-Season Tune-Up
By Craig Amoss
Julian Coiner came to Georgetown Prep with one goal in mind: To go where he had never gone before.
The senior high jumper from Linganore had won the Frederick County championship with a jump of 6-0 several weeks prior. He had jumped as high as 6-4 during the 2011 outdoor and 2012 indoor seasons, but like Ahab and the white whale, 6-6 still loomed on the horizon, tantalizingly within reach but as of yet unattainable. Until today, that is.
“Everything just felt good today,” he said afterward. “I had hit it about three weeks ago in practice, but I thought it was going to come today and it did.”
And with six-six now in the books, how far behind is, say, six-eight?
“I just need to tuck my chin and I’ll get over,” he said. “Plus there’s the whole mental game of it being my next P.R. so that’s pretty much it.”
It’s now that time of year. The time of year when heights and distances need to increase and times need to decrease if one is to be anything more than a footnote in the ensuing postseason clamor. More is better, but less is more. Or something like that.
Depth is important as well, something Reservoir coach Phil Rogers Gators have always possessed, particularly in the relays, and something they’ll need to stay with well-rounded squads such as Hereford in the Class 3A championships.
“This year alone, we really don’t have a lot of standouts,” he said. “We’ve got Timmy Usher in the 500 and the 800, and DJ Pickens in the shot put, but beyond that, we rely on our depth and our strength. Our relays are really where we’re trying to shine.”
For MIAA runners such as Gilman’s Will Meadows, whose championships are scheduled for February 3, there was perhaps an extra sense of urgency to shine in the Boys Mile. But the Gilman senior was up to the task with aplomb, pushing ahead of such talented runners as Quince Orchard’s Evan Laratta and Loyola’s Michael Wegner to finish in 4:25, less than a second off the pace to Georgetown Prep’s formidable Joey Chapin in a rather slow-starting race that took about four laps to develop
“I split a 4:23 in the DMR earlier, so I was just looking to come back in this race as strong as I could,” said Meadows. “But everything’s about working toward Friday, February 3.”
For Bethesda Chevy Chase’s Ava Farrell, the target date is February 9, when the Class 4A West Regional is scheduled. Although her 11:18 personal-record 3200 at Georgetown isn’t likely to be topped at the Baltimore Armory, she certainly set herself up well for the Class 4A state championships later in February. And nothing like a personal-best for a booster shot of confidence heading into the postseason races.
“I haven’t P.R.’d since last season in outdoor track,” said the senior, who also helped B-CC to a win in the Girls Distance Medley. “I didn’t think I’d do it in indoor track, so it’s definitely exciting.”
In the Boys 3200, Linganore’s Patrick DuBoyce chose to sit and wait rather than push to the front, settling behind Rising Sun’s Austin McGinley before making his move late in the race.
“A lot of races this season, I took the lead right from the beginning,” said the Linganore senior. “But today with the competition, I figured I could sit and make my move later in the race, so that’s what I did.”
With a fast moving State meet, runners looking to double up in both the 1600 and 3200 will likely have to make a choice in terms of which race to take out hard and which to sit back and wait. With the recovery times likely much shorter in the championships, a frenetic pace in both races isn’t recommended.
“By the time the State meet comes around, I’ll likely make my choice about which event I want to do my best in,” he said. “So if it’s the mile, I’ll take that one out as hard as I can, and just try and earn some points in the two mile. If it’s the other way around, then I’ll just sit in the mile, and then try and make my move in the two-mile race.”
And with the regular season now officially over, the only thing teams can do now is to put their best feet forward, so to speak. If you haven’t brought it with you by now, odds are you aren’t going to find it.
“This is the type of meet where we want to see everyone sharpen up,” said Quince Orchard coach Seann Pelkey. “It’s go-time now. They’re not necessarily running to win heats, they’re looking to run fast, so they can afford to take a few different risks that maybe they wouldn’t take earlier. They can make different moves, they can try something new. This is a meet where it’s the end of the season, you’re sharp, your legs are good, but yet at the same time, you don’t have to play it safe.”
And Quince Orchard, having been moved up to Class 4A this season, will have to make a second consecutive trip to the Baltimore Armory rather than the more user-friendly environs of the PG Sportsplex had they remained in Class 3A this season. But this fact bothers their coach not at all.
“It’s still a good old-fashioned footrace,” he said. “I’ll race you on grass, I’ll race you up a hill, I’ll race you on linoleum, it’s still the first one to the finish line wins.”
|Last Updated ( Monday, 20 August 2012 22:10 )|