Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008

Teams set sights on 3A, 2A regional competitions

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As the dates for the 3A West Region and 2A West Region indoor track and field championships approach, the county’s representatives from those two regions appear prepared.

The 3A West Region championships will be held Wednesday at the Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, while the 2A West Region will be held Friday at Hagerstown Community College.

In the 3A West, which includes Crossland, Friendly, Largo and Potomac, the Largo boys and girls should play prominent roles. The Largo boys captured the county championship Jan. 24 at the Sports & Learning Complex without a single first-place finish. The Largo girls won the 3A⁄2A⁄1A division championship.

Largo coach Darryl Hamilton said his teams are peaking at exactly the right time.

‘‘We’ve been working on a lot of stuff because we had a lot of time since the county championship to work,” he said. ‘‘By region time we should be ready and by states both teams will be right there.”

Reigning state 3A-2A55-meter dash champion Lamaar Thomas of Friendly heads to the regional meet looking to defend his title.

‘‘It would be a good accomplishment for me to show that I can do it back to back,‘‘ Thomas said. ‘‘I know it’s going to be tough. It would be great for me to do it again. We’re getting pretty good weather so I have been able to go outside and get some good work done.”

In the 2A West, which includes Central, Douglass, Fairmont Heights and Gwynn Park, Central is the team to watch. But Falcons coach Ed Bowie said a little bit of good and bad struck the team this week.

‘‘[The mild weather this week] should be a real big deal and it’s definitely a positive,” Bowie said. ‘‘It’s hasn’t helped us a lot because we have a little flu going through our school, and I had hardly anyone on the team come to practice this week so I‘m a little apprehensive about Friday. Warm weather is welcome and for the couple of runners [who were able to practice], we have gotten some good stuff done.”

Individually, Douglass High’s Jonathan Collins will be an athlete to watch at the 2A West meet. The multi-talented senior will try to get over the 6-foot mark in the high jump. He also has a shot to win the 55 hurdles.

Despite his success this season, Collins said things have come slowly for him this winter.

‘‘I think my season has probably been a work in progress up to this point,” Collins said. ‘‘But at this point, I feel pretty confident in myself. If I don’t get first place in the hurdles, I expect to get second. I’m also trying to improve my high jump and see if I can get higher. Hopefully if I keep my mind right, I will go out and do well.”

E-mail Terron Hampton at thampton@gazette.net.