By Travon Morgan
Track and field student-athletes from all four corners of the state occupied the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore for the first time in over two years in hopes of solidifying themselves as one of the bests in some 13 different track, field, and relay events at the Maryland State Class 1A championship. Cecil County athletes from Bo Manor and Perryville were among them, as they represented in 24 of the 26 events contested. They left their mark.
The Bo Manor girls’ squadron took the first shot at a medal. As the 4×800 relay battle kicked off, Colleen Nelsen, Paige Racine, Skylar Pizzulli, and Kathryn Scott (11:18.10) finished with the highest place of all county relay teams by placing 3rd. In similar form, the Perryville foursome of Michael Young, Matt Grahe, Rowan Gatch, and Brady Martin finished with a season best time (9:49.04) to place 6th, while the Bo Manor group consisting of Evan Wakefield, Ethan Dell, Robert Henzelman, and Samuel Dickerson (10:10.40) finished in scoring position by placing 8th.
A much anticipated showdown in the 1600m run between the 1A cross country state champion and Bo Manor’s potent duo of Day Leone and Samuel Dickerson did not disappoint. Leone (4:40.37) fought to the end and was narrowly edged out for the top spot, and teammate Dickerson (4:47.33) placed 4th, running a lifetime best. Not to be outdone by the Bo Manor boys, Kathryn Scott (6:09.68) snagged a 4th place award.
On the shorter end of track events, Perryville’s hurdlers represented well. Anna Rando (10.70) and Ty Stiffler (9.62) both navigated the five barriers to qualify for the finals where they placed 7th and 8th, respectively.
The field events did damage to the scoring tables. Michael Young surprised his contenders by clearing 10 feet 6 inches in a lifetime best by over a foot! He finished 5th. Teammate Lily Heuisler (7 feet 6 inches) placed 4th. Heuisler and Scott (1600m), were the highest placing girls in individual events! Cameron Malone (36 feet 3.5 inches) placed 7th in the boys’ shot put event.
Back on the dusty armory oval, Leone had the opportunity in the 3200m run to avenge his earlier second place finish. When the dust settled, he was edged out in another solid performance by him (10:24.93). Skylar Pizzulli (13:20.55) was the top individual freshman by placing 5th in the 3200.
Teaming up for the quicker relay events, county athletes placed in the top 8 in the state in both the girls’ and boys’ 4×200 relay. The Bo Manor girls, Colleen Nelsen, Paige Racine, Marlaina Ellis, and Brianna Poullard (2:01.54), placed 7th and the Perryville boys, Zach Ayers, Stiffler, Chase Freburger, and Grahe finished 8th (1:44.84). The Perryville girls, Rando, Hailey Myers, Brooklyn Myers, and Hayden O’brien (4:52.45), closed out the relay portion of the meet by scoring with a 7th place finish.
The final individual event, the 800m, saw both of Cecil’s athletes finish with lifetime bests: Bo Manor’s Maya Osbourne (7th–2:54.18) and Perryville’s Brady Martin (8th–2:19.71). Martin was the highest scoring individual freshman boy for Cecil athletes.
Although the season was unconventional in many ways, some things remained the same. Cecil County track and field athletes stood toe to toe with the best of the best. The teams look forward to competing throughout the spring season. Look through the results for these other noteworthy performances.