LANDOVER Nervousness was felt among most athletes for the first indoor track and field meet of the season at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
For some, once the gun went off, the nerves settled. For others, the 75,000-square-foot field house that seats 3,000 people was a bit overwhelming at first.
But in the end, it was North Point capturing team wins on both on the girls and boys sides.
The Eagles boys won with 108 points, followed by Patuxent finishing second with 71 points. Leonardtown took third with 63 points, Huntingtown finished fourth with 61 points and Northern took home fifth with 41 points to finish out the top five.
On the girls side, the Eagles won with 132 points. Huntingtown earned second place with 103 points, while the Raiders finished third with 66 points. Thomas Stone captured fourth place with 43 points and La Plata took home fifth with 35 points.
Leonardtown head coach Shawn Snyder said that for the first meet he thought everyone did very well.
“We got a lot of new athletes into the meet and let them get a feel of what it's like to run on an indoor track,” Snyder said. “The kids were both excited and nervous for their events. Hopefully, we can continue to improve and compete with the top teams in SMAC.”
Leonardtown distance coach Rick Hageman said he was very happy with the distance runners.
“The meet gives them a good perspective of their fitness with respect to the rest of the conference," Hageman said.
Leonardtown distance runner Rachel LaBatt and her top competitor D’Atra Davis from North Point had spectators lined along the fence to watch the 3,200-meter run.
LaBatt passed Davis 4 minutes 32 seconds into the race but, at the eight-minute mark, Davis passed LaBatt and never looked back. Davis captured that win with a time of 12:03.67. LaBatt finished second, crossing in 12:22.39.
The Raiders won the 3,200 meter relay, which included LaBatt, in 10:19.64. Calvert finished second in 10:31.36 and North Point took third in 10:39.20.
“Oh my goodness. That 4x8 was such a great team,” LaBatt said. “We actually had two lacrosse girls come to run indoor to stay fit for lacrosse. Starting off the meet with the relay win was definitely a plus and I’m trying to get a good time now for the two-mile this season.
“Passing D’Atra was a risk for me, but if you don’t take risks, you don’t know how far you can go. I was trying to push hard today. I knew D’Atra was a strong runner, but I felt her pace drop. It wasn’t as fast as I thought she’d go, so I wanted to entice her to go faster.”
Northern senior standout Naomi Underwood won the mile and put up 10 points for the Patriots, crossing in 5:36.35. On her heels was Laura Osborne of Huntingtown, who took second place in 5:37.20. Stone’s Rachel Halmon finished third (5:37.25).
“I was really nervous about the Thomas Stone girl, but I didn’t know the Patuxent girl [Rachel Herzog] was going to show up,” Underwood said. “When I talked to them before the race, I felt better because they were as nervous as I was, but I don’t run cross country. I’m coming off of two weeks of practice. They were great. I’m going to miss it next year for sure.”
Northern head coach Josh Dawson said he’s happy with the turnout this season.
“This is the largest indoor team that I know of since I’ve been here,” Dawson said. “This is a trial to kind of see where we’re at. We have a lot of new people.”
On the boys side, Ishmael Kamara of Patuxent took home wins in the 55 dash (6.73) and the triple jump (44 feet 3 inches). Ian Williams of Great Mills won the 300 in 36.59, with Lackey’s Calvin Whitfield finished second in 37.03.
“This is my first year running track,” Whitfield said, “so I think I did pretty good today. Coach has been working with me on my form and opening up my stride.”
Michael Hill Jr., also of Great Mills, won the high jump, topping off at 6 feet.
Chris Jones of North Point won the 800 in 2:05.63 and Stone’s Brendan Johnson won the 3,200 in 9:40.87. North Point also captured the 1,600 relay in 1:36.80.
Huntingtown’s Quajae Jones won the boys long jump (21-0 1/4) and teammate Collin McKenny took home a victory in the shot put (48-4).
Boys: 1. North Point 108, 2. Patuxent 72, 3. Leonardtown 63, 4. Huntingtown 61, 5. Northern 41, 6. Stone 39, 7. Lackey 37, 8. La Plata 34, T-9. Great Mills 31, T-9. Westlake 31, 11. Calvert 13, 12. McDonough 10, 13. Chopticon 7
Girls: 1. North Point 132, 2. Huntingtown 103, 3. Leonardtown 66, 4. Stone 43, 5. La Plata 35, 6. Patuxent 31, 7. Westlake 30, 8. Lackey 28, 9. Northern 27, 10. Calvert 18, T-11. Great Mills 12, T-11. McDonough 12, 13. Chopticon 9