Led by the record setting performance of the girls’ 4x400 relay and a well-balanced team effort in the boys division, South Lakes High School's indoor track and field teams won the Liberty District titles Thursday at the Prince George’s Sportsplex in Landover, Md.
Junior Grace Gillen, sophomore Maya Rodriguez and seniors Haley Vaughn and Kyannah Calhoun set a Liberty District record of 4:06.75 in the 4x400 in leading the SLHS girls to 178 points and their second consecutive championship.
The girls’ 4 x 800 meter relay team of Gillen, Calhoun, sophomore Delaney Wickman, and juniors Abby Reinhold set a school record and achieved the state automatic standard with a 9:41.68.
The boys scored 131.5 points to win their fifth consecutive district championship.
The SLHS girls dominated the relays, also winning the 4x200 in 1:49.34 with the team of juniors Kristin Tran and Danielle Hale and sophomores Ozioma Chinaka and Jordan Lozama.
Several girls won or placed in the finals of individual events in the leading the Seahawks to victory:
- Hale won the long jump (17-04), triple jump (35-03), high jump (4-10), was second in the 55-meter dash (7.60, Personal Best) and fifth in the 300-meter dash (45.0). She won the triple jump with a clutch final jump.
- Wickman also won the 300-meter dash (43.01) and 500-meter dash (1:18.51).
- Calhoun added a victory in the 1,000 meter run (3:06.71, PB) to her wins in relays.
- Rodriguez won the 55-meter hurdles (9.10, PB) and was fourth in the 300-meter dash (44.86).
- Gillen placed second in the 500-meter dash (1:20.99, PB).
- Sophomore Augusta Durham was second in the 1600 meter run (5:23.14, PB) and fourth in the 1000 meter run (3:10.30, PB).
- Tran placed third in the long jump (15-11.25, PB), fifth in the triple jump (32-08.5), and sixth in the 55-meter dash (7.76, PB).
- Sophomore Devin Nieusma placed third in the 3200 meter run (11:43.05, Indoor PB) and fourth in the 1600 meter run (5:24.25).
- Vaughn placed third in the 500-meter dash (1:22.33, PB).
- Chinaka also finished third in the pole vault (7-06).
- Freshman Monica Lannen placed third in the 1600 meter run (5:24.02, PB) and sixth in the 3200 meter run (11:55.10 PB).
- Lozama placed fifth in the 55-meter dash (7.75, PB).
- Sophomore Claire Nieusma placed fifth in the 500-meter dash (1:23.55) and sixth in the 55 meter hurdles (9.93, Season Best).
- Reinhold placed sixth in the 1000 meter run (3:14.61).
Gabrielle Lozama competed in the high jump and Erin Bidwell competed in the 3200 meter run finishing 14th. Sydney Crutcher and Josephine Wnek were relay alternates and did not compete.
The Boys team also saw a well-balanced team effort in winning the title.
- Senior Zac Parker won the 55-meter dash (6.68, PB), placed second in the long jump (20-06, SB) and the 300-meter dash (37.35), fifth in the triple jump (39-8.75), and was the anchor leg on the winning 4 x 200 meter relay (1:34.47).
- Senior Michael McHugh won the 1000 meter run (2:39.49); placed second in the 1600 meter run (4:29.43, PB) and was on the second placed 4 x 400 meter relay.
- Junior Luis Rivas was on the winning 4 x 800 meter relay and placed second in the 1000 meter run (2:40.02, PB) and was a member of the second place 4 x 400 meter relay.
- Senior Elias Ingea placed second in the 55-meter dash (6.74, SB).
- Junior Michael Kerr finished third in the 1000 meter run (2:40.88), was on the second-place 4 x 800 meter relay, and was a member of the second place 4 x 400 meter relay.
- Junior Daniel Johnsen finished third in the 300 (37.43 PB) and 500-meter dashes (1:08.13). He was also a member of the second place 4 x 400 meter relay.
- Senior Raj Pilaka placed third in the 55-meter hurdles (8.04p PB, 8.19f) and was a member of the winning 4 x 200 meter relay.
- Senior Ashkan Mohammadi placed third in the 3,200 meter run (9:59.95) and fourth in the 1600 meter run (4:29.91).
- Sophomore Khoa Nguyen finished third in the triple jump (40-02.5) and fifth in the long jump (19-04.25).
- Junior Aeron Thai finished sixth in the 55-meter dash (6.94) and was a member of the winning 4 x 200 meter relay.
- Sophomore Christian Vagonis placed sixth in the pole vault (10-0).
Additional South Lakes participants included: Senior Alex Knutson finishing seventh in the 500 meter dash; Freshman Skander Ballard finishing eighth in the triple jump with a personal best of 38-02.25; Sophomore Brandon Terry finishing ninth in the long jump with a personal best of 18-09.5 and was also a member of the winning 4 x 200 meter relay; Sophomore Johnny Doley finishing 11th in the 55 meter hurdles with a personal best 8.95; Sophomore Collin Weirick finishing 14th in the 1600 meter run; Junior Michael Uhrig finishing 14th in the 3200 meter run; Senior Joey Rugari finishing 15th in the 500 meter dash; and Junior Chris Heishman finishing 16th in the 3200. Rugari and Uhrig were also members of the winning 4 x 800 meter relay.
SLHS will compete in the Northern Region Championships Saturday, Feb. 16 at George Mason University.
Girls Liberty District Team Scores
1. South Lakes 178
2. Langley 58
3. Thomas Jefferson S&T 54.50
4. Fairfax 49
5. James Madison 48
6. George Marshall 39
7. McLean 38.50
Boys Liberty District Team Scores
1. South Lakes 131.50
2. Langley 102
3. McLean 76
4. James Madison 55
5. Fairfax 48.50
6. Thomas Jefferson S&T 28
7. George Marshall 24
--Submitted by Valerie Lister