LANDOVER – There’s plenty of land around Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, site of the MPSSAA Athletics Championships. Many area athletes had a great view to see it all from the podium.
Classes 2A and 1A competed Thursday on the first day of the state meet in a handful of race and field finals, with semifinals contested in sprints. While no Carroll County athlete left Thursday with a state championship, many came close, with second-place finishes coming from Francis Scott Key’s Adeline Kraics in Disc 1A, Century’s Peyton Dill in the Boys 2A 3200m race and Boys Liberty 4×800. relay team.
“Last meet, I wasn’t as good, so I feel really good about how this meet went,” said Kraics, a sophomore. “I mean, it’s the second one. It’s pretty good, I think.
Kraics hit a 110-foot-4 throw, bested only by Fort Hill’s Carly Bennett, who threw 114-10.
“I was really nervous about how it was going, but I felt good about my shots,” Kraics said.
The Liberty boys knew they had a tough challenge in the 2A 4×800 trying to catch Southern-AA. Ben Smith led the Lions and struggled to navigate the initial crowd.
“I started, I was boxed [in] tough at the start, got off to a tough start but managed to pull himself up forward, put back I think fourth,” Smith said.
Logan Cyford, the second runner, put the Lions in position for a high finish, even though a win looked like a long shot at that point.
“I was able to take it on the last lap,” Cyford said. “I tried to catch up. I already knew Southern and Eric [Penkala] was pretty much gone, but I felt I could catch other schools.
Davis Trump ran third and was pushed by silver medal hopes.
“I just wanted to go hard and grab Harford Tech,” Trump said. “I knew I wanted that second place medal. I’m glad we caught them and got back in shape.
Tyler Edson ran the anchor run and held onto second place as the Lions finished in 8 minutes, 24.48 seconds.
“The ending is still intense, but it’s worse when they’re behind you and not in front of you,” Edson said. “I heard my team on the pitch and just hit it at the end, the last 100 yards.”
Overall, the team was happy with the result.
“We just wanted to run our race, and in doing so, we finished pretty well,” Trump said. “I’m definitely proud of our guys, it was a great race.”
Dill had the unenviable task of racing against a former state champion. Oakland Mills’ Ethan Aidam led comfortably for most of the 3,200 Boys 2A, but Dill came out on top near the end of the eight-lap race, leading a tight field to finish second in a personal best 9:49.09.
“I started the race, my goal was 10:10. I went out, tried hard,” Dill said. “Coming into the last lap, I looked at the clock and it said 8 and something. I thought, ‘Oh shoot, I can break 10.
This allowed him to catch and beat a bunch of runners huddled up front.
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“I raced these guys for a while, they had a two-to-four group,” Dill said. “They weren’t even on my mind. But once I started the last 200m I saw they weren’t too far ahead. I was like, ‘Oh fuck, can I have them and be second?’
The county was well represented in the women’s pole vault competitions held on Thursday. In 2A, Century’s Natalie Mason and Liberty’s Sophia Echevarria finished fifth and sixth, respectively, clearing 10 feet each. Century’s Rileigh Mansfield is tied for eighth, clearing 9 feet.
In 1A, South Carroll’s Delaney Freed cleared a personal best 8-footer, tied for fifth.
“It was my first season on track and this is my first season, I’m very excited about it,” Freed said. “Because it’s my first season, I didn’t think I was doing so well. I was very nervous, because it’s a state meet; it’s a very big meet. But once I got here, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.
Also Thursday in 2A, Century’s 4×800 relay team of Sophia Taylor, Meredith Kelly, Hope Callaway and Elizabeth Mitroka finished fourth in 10:02.53. Cameron Klein of Liberty finished fifth in women’s discus, with a score of 96-2. Liberty’s 4×200 relay team of Iveren Asom, Amaya Pennington, Olivia Dixon and Nkechiyem Molokwu finished sixth (1:47.5), Century’s Emily Mitroka finished seventh in the 3,200 (11:44.38) and Liberty’s Ian Thorpe was seventh in the boys’ high jump, clearing 5-8.
In 1A, South Carroll’s 4×200 relay team of Lauren Chesney, Morgan Guynn, Brooke Pribulick and Madelyn Boyce finished third in 1:49.39, while Cavaliers’ Molly Senisi placed seventh in the 3200 in 12 : 39.57.
The South Carroll boys finished eighth in the 4×200 team of Aidan Amend, Joseph Zolkiewicz, Matthew Holstein and Peyton Thomas (1:34.82), the 4×800 team of Liam Penny, Camden Larson, Joseph DeMars and Samuel Zaloudek (8:55.92) and Nathan Fields in the shot put (42.7).