Dominant performances from a pair of Clarksburg High School senior boys highlighted the 4A West Region indoor track and field championships Thursday night at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning complex in Landover.
Seniors Paul Joseph (300 meters, 55 hurdles, 55 dash) and William Bertrand (800, 1,600, 3,200) both captured three victories — called tripling — and led the Clarksburg boys’ to an easy victory with 124 points.
Meanwhile, in coach Robert Youngblood’s first season as head coach of the team, the Northwest girls captured their fourth-consecutive indoor 4A West Region title with 82 points.
Coyotes coach Scott Mathias was impressed with the performance of his team, particularly Bertrand and Joseph.
“Those guys were fantastic,” Matthias said. “For Paul to complete the same triple that he did at [the county championships] and manage his way through that stuff is tough because it’s like finish, then go. For William to go through those long races, tripling in the mile, 2-mile and 800, I mean, he was great all day.
Joseph qualified for the state Class 4A championships (Feb. 19 on the same track) in all three of his events. After winning the 300 at last year’s 4A West Region championships, Joseph said he came in expecting to win.
“After winning at counties, I just went out and attacked,” said Joseph, who won the 300 in 35.35 seconds, the 55 hurdles in 7.86 seconds and the 55 dash in 6.6 seconds.
Bertrand, on the other hand, won the 800 (2 minutes, 1.89 seconds), 1,600 (4:30.25) and 3,200 (9:56.92) by nearly two seconds each.
On the girls’ side, Thomas S. Wootton senior Gwen Shaw was dominant in winning the 55 hurdles (8.23 seconds) and 300 (40.7 seconds).
But Shaw was bested by .02 seconds in the 55 dash by Montgomery Blair junior Deborah Olawuni, who won in 7.25 seconds.
But the best girls’ team honors, as has become a trend over nearly the past four years, belonged to the Jaguars.
After husband-wife tandem David and Alexia Knight relocated to Texas with their budding star daughter and sophomore Kennedy and daughter India graduated high school following last May’s state 4A outdoor championships, Youngblood took over this season and the Jaguars have maintained their successful form.
“They were great today,” Youngblood said. “We had a couple of breakdowns with some of my girls’ missing the finals, that’s a growing-up thing, but we had some girls step up and keep winning. It’s so fun.”
With a balance effort that did not include a single victory in any individual event, the Jaguars won the 3,200-meter relay (Katerina Lake, Briana DiNardo, Gaby Go and Naomi Sheppard) in 8:20.4 and the 1,600 relay (Dana Eckerstrom, Tiara Wellman, Lake and Sheppard) in 3:32.73.
One of the best performances of the day came from Clarksburg freshman Alexus Pyles, who won the girls’ high jump with a personal-best 5 feet, 5-inch effort. The victory followed a victory at last week’s Montgomery County indoor championships.
“I thought I had a shot at qualifying for states because I got first at counties,” Pyles said. “I only cleared 5-2, but I really wanted to clear 5-4. When I cleared 5-4 on the last attempt, I had the momentum and the adrenaline was really flowing.”
Richard Montgomery junior Ozioma Edokobi won the girls’ shot put with a heave of 42-9 while Quince Orchard junior Donovan Tyler was the only boys’ shot putter to qualify for the state championships with a 45-0.25 victory.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s teammate, senior Jack O’Keefe, won the boys’ high jump by clearing a personal-best 6-2.
“I felt pretty good coming into today. I got second in the county championships to the top seed [Northwest senior Joseph Williams] so I wanted to come out and put up a good fight against him today. That was the goal today.”
Walt Whitman sophomore Clare Severe continues to shine after surprising during her freshman season. She won the girls’ 1,600 in a personal-best 5:06.42.
“I felt a lot more comfortable this time around because to win it was a complete surprise,” Severe said. “I really thought I would be able to win. It was great to have such good competition.
Top Team Scores
1 – Northwest (82.5 points)
2 – Thomas Wootton (57 points)
3 – Bethesda-Chevy Chase (55 points)
4 – Walt Whitman (49 points)
4 – Clarksburg (49 points)
1 – Clarksburg (124 points)
2 – Northwest (89 points)
3 – Quince Orchard (61.50 points)
4 – Paint Branch (44 points)
5 – Winston Churchill (25 points)
5 – John F. Kennedy (25 points)
55 Dash – (Deborah Olawuni/Montgomery Blair; Gwen Shaw/Thomas Wootton; Lauren Woods/Sherwood)
300 Dash – (Gwen Shaw/Thomas Wootton)
500 Run – (Sylvia Deppen/Thomas Wootton; Alsia Plybeah/Gaithersburg; Naomi Sheppard and Tiara Wellman/Northwest; Tise Taiwo/Richard Montgomery)
800 Run – (Brittany Wade/Bethesda Chevy-Chase; Clare Severe/Walt Whitman; Lucy Srour/Winston Churchill; Naomi Sheppard/Northwest; Grace McDonald/Sherwood; Helen Webster/Bethesda-Chevy Chase)
1,600 Run – (Clare Severe/Walt Whitman; Caroline Beakes/Bethesda-Chevy Chase; Abbey Daley/Clarksburg; Lucy Srour/Winston Churchill; Helen Webster/Bethesda-Chevy Chase; Grace Hanger/Richard Montgomery; Lela Walter/Walt Whitman; Sydney Almeida/Springbrook)
3,200 Run – (Caroline Beakes and Laura Nakasaka/Bethesday-Chevy Chase; Abbey Daley/Clarksburg; Regina Schreiber/Quince Orchard; Sydney Almeida/Springbrook; Lela Walter/Walt Whitman)
55 Hurdles – (Gwen Shaw and Sylvia Deppen/Thomas Wootton; Alexus Pyles/Clarksburg; Kafilat Olaidiran/Montgomery Blair; Jasmine Benjamin/Richard Montgomery; Laila Ismail/Bethesda-Chevy Chase; Sabrina Silva/Winston Churchill)
800 Relay – (Magruder; Northwest; Montgomery Blair; Walt Whitman; Paint Branch; John F. Kennedy)
1,600 Relay – (Northwest)
3,200 Relay – (Northwest; Bethesda-Chevy Chase; Walt Whitman; Winston Churchill)
High Jump – (Alexus Pyles/Clarksburg; Hayley Henshaw/Northwest)
Pole Vault – (Catherine Panasenkov/Quince Orchard)
Shot Put (Ozioma Edokobi/Richard Montgomery; Claudia Ababio/Clarksburg; Tiffany Afolabi-Brown/Richard Montgomery; Ameerat Olatunde/Sherwood)
55 Dash – (Paul Joseph/Clarksburg; Solomon Vault/Gaithersburg)
300 Dash – (Paul Joseph/Clarksburg; Jalen Walker/Northwest; Josua McDonald; Tavis Holland/Clarksburg; Kayuza Masanja/Gaithersburg)
500 Run – (Dahri Jahn-Richardson/Northwest; Tavis Holland/Clarksburg; Joshua McDonald/Northwest; Darius Oxley/James Blake)
800 Run – (William Bertrand/Clarksburg)
1,600 Run – (William Bertrand/Clarksburg; David Fitzgerald/Winston Churchill; Daniel Kosogov/Walter Johnson; Edward Smith/Walt Whitman)
3,200 Run – (William Bertrand/Clarksburg; Diego Zarate/Northwest; Nathanial Reese/Walter Johnson)
55 Hurdles – (Paul Joseph/Clarksburg; Devon Hairston/John F. Kennedy; Eric Kaczmarek-Addison/Quince Orchard; Alan Banks/Thomas Wootton; Alieu Cole/John F. Kennedy; Boubacar Diallo/Springbrook)
800 Relay – (Northwest; John F. Kennedy; Quince Orchard; Paint Branch; Clarksburg)
1,600 Relay – (Northwest; Clarksburg)
3,200 Relay – (Northwest; Paint Branch; Quince Orchard)
High Jump – (Jack O’Keefe/Quince Orchard; Matthwe Adedji and Jack McCloskey/Clarksburg; Joseph Williams/Northwest)
Pole Vault – (Kyle Beatty/Winston Churchill)
Shot Put – (Donovan Tyler/Quince Orchard)