Greater distances, new heights and faster times have marked an exciting home stretch to the indoor track and field season for many Arundel and South River High School athletes. Strong performances by both squads at the county championships on January 29 offered a glimpse of what was to come, as many Wildcats and Seahawks raised their games even further at the regional championships on February 5 and will attempt to do so again at the 3A/4A MPSSAA state championship meet on February 19.
After taking fourth overall in the team results at counties, the South River girls leapfrogged Broadneck and Meade to take second at the region meet behind county and region champion Severna Park. The Arundel girls likewise improved on their fifth place at counties, climbing to fourth at regions.
The Arundel and South River boys finished fourth and fifth, respectively, at counties before the Seahawks took sixth at regions, and the Wildcats placed eighth.
Perhaps no athlete has come into her own over the past several weeks more than Arundel’s Dominque France. France motored to individual county crowns in the 55m dash and 300m dash before repeating the feat and taking region titles in the same two events, improving her 55m time from 7.53 seconds to 7.49 and her 300m time from 42.79 to 42.44.
“I felt great. I was really determined to win both of them,” said France, a senior, whose county crowns were her first in any event. “I worked hard, lifted weights, and just tried so hard at practice, and I’m glad that I did it. I’ve worked hard from my tenth grade year to now, and I’m just really proud. I came a long way.” While the top state runners are running sub-42.00 times in the 300m, France is right in contention for the state crown in 55m dash.
France anchored the Wildcats 4x200m relay team that took first at regions, joining Asya Proctor, Vanna Lewis and Elise Bratton in improving upon their fourth place finish at counties.
The versatile duo of Reilly Wagner and Kali Dawson has shined brightly for South River this indoor season and continued to do so at the county and region meets. Wagner claimed county gold in high jump, leaping 5’4” to best Dawson, who placed third, but Dawson came back to take first at regions while Wagner placed second, both at 5’4”. After taking county silver in the mile behind Severna Park’s Julie Koffler, Wagner came back to beat Koffler and the rest of the field in the same event at regions, dropping her time from 5:28.47 to 5:27.73 to take first.
Dawson, Wagner, Caroline Thompson and Alex Watson teamed to top the field at counties and claim gold in the 4x400m relay with a time of 4:15.48. They then shaved nearly two seconds off their time to place first at regions as well, clocking a 4:13.96.
Dawson took silver in 55m hurdles at counties and bronze in the same event at regions, while Wagner took eighth in 55m hurdles at counties.
Arundel’s Quenlann Dunn took county gold in high jump (6’0”) and was the lone individual county champion for both the Arundel and South River boys.
There were more notable results at the county meet, where perhaps more pride was on the line than at the region meet, as the athletes faced their regular rivals exclusively for the final time this season. The top eight finishes in each event earned points towards the team totals.
For the Arundel girls, Maruina Flythe took bronze in the 300m dash. Inari Martin placed sixth in 55m hurdles. Bratton took county silver in 55m behind France, and Proctor placed seventh. Bratton, France, Proctor and Vanna Lewis placed fourth in the 4x200; and France, Lewis, Erin O’Hara and Brianna Bagby took fifth in the 4x400. Megan McGowan took fourth in high jump and Lewis placed seventh. Mikailla For took eighth in long jump, and Sabrina Marquez took seventh in triple jump. Brittany Snyder took seventh in shot put.
For the South River girls, Caroline Thompson took bronze in pole vault, and Lea Carter took fourth. Gillian Krautman took seventh in the 500m, and Elizabeth Wink took eighth. Thompson and Dawson placed four-five in long jump, respectively. Caitlin Pierson took seventh in the two-mile. Krautman, Wink, Pierson and Paige Markley took bronze in the 4x800 relay.
For the Arundel boys, Lee Rogers narrowly missed gold in long jump, leaping 19’4” to take silver. Malik Kimbrue took bronze in triple jump. Teon Archer, Jeremy Bamgbade, Montez Brasher and Queshawn Collins took bronze in the 4x200. Daniel Olugbemi took bronze in high jump behind Dunn, and Devon Thomas placed eighth. Collins and Brasher placed sixth and eighth, respectively, in the 300m. Dunn placed sixth in 55m hurdles. Jameal Stuart and Bamgbade went six-seven in a very fast 55m dash field. Aaron Johnson placed fifth in the 800m, and Jake Vincent took fifth in pole vault. Andrew Cassard and Olugbemi placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in triple jump. Marvin Flythe took fifth in shot put.
For the South River boys, Brent Musselman took silver in a very strong mile field and bronze in an equally tough 800m field. Will Fountain claimed silver in pole vault and bronze in the 55m dash. Ryan Bergamini took seventh in the two-mile, and Jack Crino placed eighth. Stephen Kulick took fourth in high jump and eighth in 55m hurdles. John Pickett took seventh in high jump. Loi Nguyen and Joshua Chase took fifth and sixth, respectively, in long jump, and Nguyen took fourth in triple jump. Nate Smith took fourth in shot put.