SNOW HILL – The Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association’s Region 1A East men’s track and field championship ended on Feb. 8 with a familiar result – a win for Cambridge-South Dorchester High School.
What was different was the margin. Last year, the Vikes squeaked by, 115-114, just edging out Snow Hill. This year, the margin was considerably wider, as C-SD racked up 111 points, with second-place Snow Hill earning 92.
They were followed by up-and-coming Washington High School of Somerset County – the Jaguars weren’t competitive in track and field for years, but have now grabbed a place for themselves among the region’s top teams.
Largo was fourth in the 13-team array, and provided something of a surprise for C-SD coaches. Judging by posted times, heights and distances, it had looked as if, had things gone just right, the Vikes might have eked out a win over Largo.
But past results don’t guarantee performance in a high-pressure meet, and the boys from Cambridge came through.
It looked a little shaky the day before the meet, when William Jackson tried a wicked little prank on Tuesday, telling coaches he wasn’t coming.
After getting the gasps of dismay he was looking for, he said, “I’m just kidding,” which was followed by Head Coach Stacey Brown’s great relief and a smiled warning, “Don’t ever do that again.”
At the meet, William showed just how serious and talented he is on the track and in the field, winning pole vault, high jump and as a member of the first-place 4x200-meter relay team.
But three first-place finishes, worth 10 points each, don’t add up to 111. The depth of the squad showed in events such as the 55-meter hurdles, won by Washington’s Ta’Sean Dixon – but with C-SD’s Jayden Smith, Tori Willis and Antonio Blueford following in second, third and fourth places. With points awarded to eight places – 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 – that meant the trio earned 19 points and outscored their opponents.
The strongmen of the team made their mark, as well, as Quintin Blueford placed fifth in shot put, and Zach Gorsuch scored in eighth place.
Athletes who finished in the top four of their events qualified for the state championships, which will be held at the PG Sports & Learning Complex in Landover on Tuesday, Feb. 21.
C-SD boys’ first-place finishes at regionals:
William Jackson – Pole Vault, High Jump, 4x200m Relay
4x200m Relay Team (Tekai Drummond, Teshar Drummond, William Jackson, Tori Willis)
Vikings boys who qualified for state championships:
Teshar Drummond – 55m, 4x200m Relay
Tori Willis – 55m, 4x200m Relay, 55m Hurdles
William Jackson – 55m, Pole Vault, High Jump, 4x200 Relay
Nkole Ballin – 500m
Jayden Smith – 55m Hurdles, High Jump
Tekai Drummond – 4x200m Relay
The girls’ team also had a strong showing, finishing with 57 total points, placing fourth in the region.
Scoring was led by sophomore Enazajah Young, who won both the 55-meter dash and the 55-meter hurdles. She is currently ranked first in the state in the dash, with a time of 7.41 seconds, nine-hundredths of a second ahead of the second-place girl, Ayniah Fersner of Largo.
She is also number one in the 55-meter hurdles, with a time of 8.36, ahead of – guess who – Largo’s Fersner, who posted a time of 8.53 at regionals.
Young and Al’Jane Jackson (Pole Vault) both earned tickets to the big show, where they will face athletes from around the state.
Young brings a smile and a good work ethic to every practice, but has a winning attitude and a competitive spirit. Looking forward to the championship and the spring season set to begin on March 1, she said, “I refuse to lose.”