Anchored by its winning 4x200 and 4x400 meter girls’ relay teams, South Lakes High School indoor track team qualified 25 athletes for the state championship with impressive showings at the Northern Region Championship Saturday at George Mason University.
The girls team finished fifth and boys were eighth out of the 29 participating schools. SLHS qualified all six relay teams to compete in the AAA State Championship Feb. 22-23 in Hampton, Va.
Juniors Danielle Hale, Kristin Tran and sophomores Ozioma Chinaka and Delaney Wickman ran a season-best 1:46.71 in winning the girls 4x200 relay at the region championship. Senior Kyannah Calhoun, junior Grace Gillen and sophomores Maya Rodriguez and Wickman won the 4x400 in 4:00.54, which was also a season best as well as the second best time ran in the state this year.
Individual performances included:
- Hale’s third place finishes in both the long jump (17-9.5, season best) and triple jump (36-11.25, personal best).
- Wickman’s second place in the 300 meter dash, a personal best of 41.06.
- Calhoun’s third place in the 500 (1:17.8), Gillen’s fifth (1:19.64) and personal bests by sophomore Claire Nieusma (9th, 1:21.52) and senior Haley Vaughn (10th, 1:22.28).
- Sophomore Augusta Durham (10th, 3:08.59) and junior Abby Reinhold (11th, 3:08.90) had personal bests in the 1,000 meters.
Sophomores Maya Rodriguez made the finals of the 55 meter hurdles and finished 9th (9.19), Jordan Lozama placed 18th in the 55 meters with a personal best of 7.71 and Devin Nieusma was 15th in the 3,200 meter run (12:05.46). Tran finished 12th in the long jump (15-08.75) and 15th in the triple jump (31-05.75). Freshman Monica Lannen finished 10th in the 1,600 meter run (5:25.48).
The boys also had strong finishes in the relays. Senior Michael McHugh and juniors Luis Rivas, Daniel Johnsen and Michael Kerr placed fourth in the 4x400 with a state qualifying time of 3:28.50. The 4x200 team of senior Raj Pilaka, juniors Aeron Thai and Johnsen, and sophomore Brandon Terry finishing fifth in 1:34.10.
Seniors Pilaka and Elias Ingea highlight the list of individual accomplishments at the region championships:
- Pilaka placed fourth in the 55 meter hurdles (8.01) after running a personal best of 8.00 in the trials. Ingea finished sixth in the 55 meter finals with a personal best of 6.65.
- Sophomore Khoa Nguyen placed fifth in the triple jump with a personal best of 41-1.75 and was 16th in the long jump (18-09.50).
- Seniors Ashkan Mohammadi in the 1,600 meters (6th, 4:26.96) and McHugh in the 1,000 meters (7th, 2:34.95) also qualified for states.
Rivas (2:38.95) and Kerr (2:40.39) ran personal best in the 1,000 meters, finishing 11th and 14th, respectively. Thai equaled his personal best of 6.88 to finish 17th in the 55 meters.
--Submitted by Valerie Lister