The Northwest boys and Clarksburg girls won the 4A West Regional Outdoor Track Meet at Quince Orchard High School Wednesday through Thursday with scores of 158.5 points and 180 points.
Northwest boys beat No. 2. Team Clarksburg by 75.5 points and Clarksburg girls beat No. 2 Northwest girls with a 50.5 point lead.
Northwest seniors Shyheim Wright (37.36 seconds) and Andrew Daniels (38.06) placed first and second in the 300m hurdle finals. Wright made No. 1 all-time county best time, and Daniels was in the top five of all time, but No. 2 since 2006. The duo also placed first (14.3 seconds) and second (14.7 seconds) in the 110m hurdle finals. Northwest head coach Robert Youngblood said that Wright and Daniels practice together and always try to take those two places in their race.
“Of course they both want to win, but they just want to finish one and two it’s just so impressive (how they do),” said Youngblood.
In the girls 200m dash, Northwest freshman Taylor Wright (24.9 seconds, no relation to Shyheim) placed first, followed by Northwood junior Kalin Colbert (25.7 seconds) second, and Churchill freshman Karis Lee (25.9 seconds) third. On the boys’ side, athletes from John F. Kennedy and Clarksburg high schools passed the top two Northwest finishers.
Kennedy junior Raynard Bell (22.27) won the boys 200m dash finals, followed by Clarksburg senior Lance Hudson (22.49) and Kennedy junior Enoch Owumi (also 22.49). Northwest senior Davino Frazer (22.53) and sophomore Khaloni Mganga (22.88) took fourth and fifth places. Youngblood said he expected Kennedy boys to place well in the race after Northwest beat them in the 400m run. Northwest athletes also outran them in the 100m dash finals earlier Thursday.
“I knew they were going to do something special in that because he didn’t like getting beat in the hundred,” said Youngblood of Kennedy athletes.
Youngblood said Mganga then made a comeback in the 400m run.
“His 400 (m) surprised everybody because he’s (a sophomore),” said Youngblood. “Our guys knew they all had a job to do and everybody had to do their part.”
Youngblood said he is proud of his athletes because of how several had placed.
Clarksburg and Northwest runners both placed in the top three in multiple sprinting events. Clarksburg senior Alexus Pyles won both the 100m hurdle finals (14.58 seconds) and the 300m hurdle finals (44.33 seconds).
In the 300m hurdles, Northwest senior Leondra Correia (45.11) placed third, followed by Pyles’ sister, Brionne Pyles (46.48), a junior at Clarksburg.
Correia finished second after Alexus Pyles in the 100m hurdles, followed by Brionne Pyles (15.27) in third and Alexus and Brionne’s sister Cierra (15.54), a Clarksburg sophomore, placed fourth.
The top four runners in the 400m dash finals finished in less than 59 seconds and within two seconds of each other. Freshman Cori Brown (56.76) of Northwest was first; then Clarksburg senior Chanel Solomon (57.71), followed by Montgomery Blair senior Susanna Maisto (57.97) and Walter Johnson sophomore CJ Maloney (58.69).
Youngblood noted that several girls on the Northwest and Clarksburg teams know each other and have trained on the same team either during the summer or during previous school years.
“We know we’re like right down the street from each other,” said Youngblood. “It’s so funny because we know each other so well,” he added, referring to the relationship between the two girls teams.
“Leondra (Correia) my hurdler (is) a friend of (the) Pyles sisters,” said Youngblood.
He said Clarksburg 400m runner Solomon used to run for Northwest and that he and a Clarksburg assistant coach used to coach together.
In the girls shot put, Clarksburg took first, third and sixth. Clarksburg senior Justina Ababio placed first with 39 feet, 6.5 inches. Next Walter Johnson sophomore Toni Koroye threw 34 feet, 8 inches even. Clarksburg senior Nako Caternor (33 feet, 11 inches), Gaithersburg senior Anelle Tarke (33 feet, 2 inches), Einstein senior Dalina Julien (33 feet, 1.5 inches) and Clarksburg sophomore Aminat Giwa (30 feet, 11 inches) placed third through sixth.
For the girls 1600m run, Walter Johnson sophomore Abigail Green (5 minutes flat) and senior Emily Murphy (5:05) placed first and second, followed by B-CC freshman Virginia Brown (5:11) and Churchill junior Julia Reicin (5:13).
Richard Montgomery junior Rohann Asfaw (9:31) placed first in the 3200m run after leading for the entire race Wednesday, but he said he slowed down during the second mile because his legs started feeling tired.
“I went straight to the front (of the pack), I was trying to see what it would feel like leading the whole time,” said Asfaw. “I was also after a fast time but my legs just weren’t feeling it that day.”
B-CC sophomore Adam Nakasaka (9:41.3), who placed third, said he raced toward the middle of the pack of 3200m runners because he noticed Asfaw was running much faster than Nakasaka’s regular pace at the beginning.
“Coming into the race my coach just told me to run my own race and coming through the first lap I saw Rohann going out at an extremely fast pace,” said Nakasaka. “That caused me to back off from the front of the pack and stay back for most of the race, slowly moving my way up the field of runners.”
Nakasaka said he moved into third place when he sped up during his kick in the last 100 meters, passing Albert Einstein sophomore Simeon Mussie (9:41.7) and finishing within three seconds of his personal best time.
Asfaw said he was more satisfied with the 1600m race he ran Thursday, which he also won.
“Considering I ran 2 seconds off my best time and I was feeling fine after the race (breathing-wise), it left me with a lot of confidence going into the state meet (coming up),” said Asfaw.
The Richard Montgomery junior took an approach similar to Nakasaka’s and earned a lifetime personal best in the 1600.
“For the 1600, I knew my legs were flat since the 3200 didn’t go as planned, so I decided to do my normal sit and kick where I let the other runners lead for the first 1300 (meters) and then I kick the last 300,” Asfaw said.