While most Southern Maryland Athletic Conference indoor track athletes did not have the chance to participate this winter in local high school meets, several did compete in the East Coast Invitational at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex in Virginia Beach on Feb. 5 and 6.
Northern High School senior Hannah Mack and junior Leah Powell and Chopticon senior twins Jeffery Wedding and Zachary Wedding all competed at the Virginia indoor meet. Mack and Powell both took part in one event at that meet as well as one earlier in the Virginia Beach Open at the same complex. But starting next week they will head different directions briefly.
Mack, who has already signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her academic and athletic endeavors at the University of Maryland starting this fall, will resume conditioning and practices for the cross country season then focus on the spring outdoor season. Powell will opt for a different route, participating on the Patriots’ cheerleading team before joining Mack for the outdoor track season.
“It’s been great to have a couple of indoor meets,” said Mack, who finished 17th in the 1,600 meter run (5 minutes 15.35 seconds) at the East Coast Invitational. “I actually did a lot better than I expected to do. It had been a while since I had competed in the mile, so I was surprised with my time. But now i can focus on getting back to the cross country meets.”
Powell, who competed in the 60 meter dash (7.83 seconds) at the East Coast Invitational after competing in the 55 at the Virginia Beach Open two weeks earlier, was also pleasantly surprised by her final clockings in the sprints at both meets.
“I was able to take a new [personal record] in the 60 and did well enough to make the final at the East Coast Invitational,” Powell said. “I also took a new [personal record] in the 55, but I was 24th of 117 and didn’t final. But I was very happy with my times.”
Zach Wedding finished ninth in the boys’ 1,600 (4:21.74) and 12th in the 3,200 (9:28.06) while twin brother Jeff Wedding placed seventh in the 1,000 (2:34.09) and 17th (4:24.85) in the mile. Both Wedding twins will next focus their athletic endeavors on the upcoming cross country season and then look to put the finishing touches on their high school careers in the outdoor track season this spring.
“I was really hoping to break 4:20 [for the mile] and go 9:27 in the 2-mile when I got there,” said Zach Wedding, who has verbally committed to Charleston Southern University for track. “I had already qualified for Indoor Nationals [at Virginia Beach] for the two-mile, so I was hoping to go a little faster so I could qualify for the mile.”
“I was happy to take a new [personal record] in the mile,” Jeff Wedding said. “I don’t have the chance to compete in the 1,000 too often because they usually don’t run that race in Maryland, mainly Virginia. But I missed by 0.09 seconds of being able to compete in that event at Nationals. I know it will be great just to be able to have a few cross county meets next month.”