- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
LANDOVER — Two weeks ago, the girls competition at the Class 4A East Region indoor track and field championships was decided by just three points, with North Point falling short of the title to Bowie of Prince George’s County 100-97.
Tuesday evening at the 4A state indoor track and field championships at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, the final result once again came down to three points.
North Point’s 51 points at the state gathering was not enough to overcome state champion Bowie’s total of 54.
Bowie scored in the top five in six of the 13 events, including first-place finishes in the 800 and 1,600 relays, which made a big difference toward the end of the meet.
North Point scored in six events and had two individual champions but just missed capturing its first-ever indoor state title.
Leonardtown finished in 10th place with 18 points.
After winning the region meet, the North Point boys took fourth at states with 31 points. Clarksburg of Montgomery County earned the state title with 67 points. Leonardtown was 19th with 10 points.
Though vying for the state crown, North Point head coach Debra Hall was satisfied.
”The boys and the girls team did very well; we had five state champions,” Hall said. “I’m very proud of everyone’s effort. We have a very young team. The seniors had a great day, and we broke some school records. We improved every week and had a great season.”
North Point senior Mercedes Tillman won state gold in the 55-meter dash, outlasting Wootton’s Gwen Shaw by four one-hundredths of a second.
North Point teammate Danielle Baker also captured a state crown in the high jump, clearing the bar in 5 feet 4 inches.
Both were first-ever state titles for the seniors.
”That was the most aggression that I ever used in a race,” said Tillman, who took second in the 300 and was the anchor on the 1,600 relay team that placed second. “I just wanted to have fun and run hard. This was special because it was my final indoor meet of my career. I had to come back strong from the 300. I’m better now that I won the 55.”
Baker mentioned that she could have jumped a lot higher but was pleased about her state showing.
”I hadn’t practiced in four days, so I was worried,” said Baker, who was the second leg, while Tillman was the third, on the second-place 800 relay team. “It was exciting to win a state title individually. I wished we could have won the team title; we just came up short. My goal for outdoor season is to jump a 5-6.”
North Point senior Denzel Hill had a big day in his first-ever state meet, winning the 55 dash in 6.54 seconds, one one-hundredth of a second faster than Henry A. Wise’s Joel Thomas.
Hill was also the anchor on the state champion 800 relay team with juniors Desean White and Malachi Sheppard and senior Kyle Jones.
“I got a real good start in the 55, and I kept my stride frequency and form throughout the whole race,” said Hill, who never ran indoors until this season. “I got a good lean at the finish line. It’s always good to get results from working on your craft.”
North Point’s 3,200 relay quartet of Patrick Jones, Robert Keim, Garrett Davis and Christopher Jones finished as runner-up in 8:16.54.
Leonardtown senior Daltyn Earl won a state title in the final indoor meet of his career in the shot put, with a throw of 49-3 1/4.
“This feels real good that I was able to place high,” Earl said. “I just got angry and threw as hard as I could. Now I can say that I finished first in the state. This is a real big accomplishment for me.”
Leonardtown senior Heidi Reed finished third in the state in both the 800 (2:22.60) and 1,600 (5:19.84). Reed was just amazed at how her indoor season went.
”This is incredible; I never thought I would finish third in the state in both events,” said Reed, who added that her favorite event is the 1,600. “All the hard work paid off for me.”
Senior Laura Shaner took sixth in the 55 hurdles for the Raiders in 8.97.