Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vannoy, Forbes among 4A standouts

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Thomas Johnson High’s Emily Vannoy found a challenging competitor at the Class 4A State Track and Field Championships, held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Morgan State University’s Hughes Stadium.

A favorite to win the Class 4A shot put by almost 10 feet, Vannoy found herself competing against herself – from one year ago.

As a sophomore, Vannoy set the state record in the shot put at 46 feet even. She needed one try to beat that by a foot, but it wasn’t until her last throw that she reached 48-7.75.

‘‘I was pretty excited, but I would have liked to have thrown farther,” Vannoy said.

She’s still gunning for 54-10, the national high school record. It also would put her in reach of the Olympic qualifier.

‘‘I really want to do that this year,” she said. ‘‘I’ll see how the Nationals go.”

First up is the Nike Outdoor Nationals on June 20, in Greensboro, N.C. Then, only two days later and 405 miles away, she’s set to be at the Junior Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

If she finishes in the top two there, she’ll qualify for the Junior Worlds in Poland this year.

Vannoy got to cross one other goal off of her to-do list this year, winning the discus at 133-04. The junior is now within shouting distance of that state record, but is happier to have some solid numbers to talk to college coaches about.

‘‘My shot is going to get me far, but I need discus so that I’m not a one-trick pony, as my coach says,” Vannoy said.

She’s cut back on her scratches by relaxing and making sure that she smiles, which she said helps. And Friday’s mark made for a new personal record, adding about 4 feet.

Along with her improvements, Thomas Johnson is establishing itself as the top throwing schools. Nick Forbes won the boys discus at 157-1, improving his aim at the right time.

Forbes, a sophomore, has had farther throws, but they’ve been out of zone and unmeasured. Keeping the disc in zone, he won by 4 feet, 5 inches. Forbes was also fourth in the shot put.

With 14 points from him, the Patriots scored 30 for sixth overall. This included second-place finishes from Brock Chapman in the triple jump and Erick Artusio in the pole vault.

Another Frederick County winner was Middletown’s Alex Edelmann, who cleared 14-0. The Knights finished ninth with 27.5 points as their depth was tested by the high-end meet. Alex Kachalov was fourth in the long jump and fifth in the high jump, while Will Bell took fourth in the pole vault.

The Thomas Johnson girls’ team also showed solid depth throughout the season, and placed fourth with 44 points.

Adding to Vannoy’s 20 points, Najjiyya Franklin-Huff was good for nine individual points with a second in the long jump and sixth in the 400. She also teamed up with Jasmine Ford, Megan Cahill and Jasmine Thomas to take sixth in the 4x100.

Cenarda Jackson added seven points with a third in the 300 hurdles and sixth in the 100 hurdles. Stephanie Bryan also scored seven with a third in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200.

Tuscarora had a solid showing in the 3A meet, with Courtney Gray taking fourth in the triple jump and fifth in the shot put. Victoria Kennedy was fifth in the 100, while Caroline Baker took sixth in the high jump and Amber Alston was sixth in the shot put.

On the boys side, the Titans’ Madison Sowell was third in the 800.

Ceth Parker finished his running career for Catoctin High by finishing third in the 3,200 and fifth in the 1,600. Teammate Adam Sweeney, another senior, was fifth in the 100, while running anchor to Nathan Lenhart, David Little and Ryan Thompson in the fifth-place 4x100 team.

Brunswick’s Kyle Shreve was third in the 300 hurdles.

On the girls side, Sophie Paxton was third in the high jump, and teammate Sara Fisher was fourth in the 3,200 and fifth in the 1,600.

For the Catoctin girls, Shaleigh Saylor, Leah Stone, Kayla Opel and Ashley Robinson were fourth in the 4x100.