Redemption, Western style

Class 3A and Class 4A indoor track state championships

Doves win 3A crown, make up for losing in city meet

February 24, 2010|By Jeff Seidel | Special to The Baltimore Sun

LANDOVER — After No. 6 Western saw its 18-year winning streak in the Baltimore City championship meet end last month, coach Alicia Williams told her team to keep fighting because it still had chances in the regional and state meets.

The Doves followed their coach's advice. They came back to win the region and then beat Damascus by one point Tuesday night for the Class 3A state championship in the title meet at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

This is Western's first indoor state championship. The Doves (51 points) needed Damascus to finish lower than fourth in the night's final event, the pole vault, and they got their wish as the Hornets took fifth to finish with 50 points.

"I preach resiliency, knowing how to bounce back," Williams said. "It's very seldom you're going to have a perfect day, so you have to [rebound]."

Brinae Robinson bounced back nicely. She's one of the area's top middle-distance runners but got sick during the city meet and had to watch Digital Harbor capture the title. That gave the junior added motivation.

She won twice in the regional meet and then captured the 500 in 1 minute, 18.13 seconds at the state meet, edging teammate Syrita Hunt (1:18.89). Robinson also took second in the 800 and ran on the fourth-place 1,600 relay.

"[The city meet] just made me want to do better," Robinson said. "I knew if I had my mental [game] together, everything would be fine here." In the state meet, the Doves also showed the resilience Williams preaches as they overcame dropping the baton in two relays. They held it together and won the 800 relay, which proved crucial.

The Damascus boys (51.5) ended No. 7 Reservoir's state title dreams, edging the Gators (46). Yao Adantor (shot put, 55-1.5) and Chris Yamoah (high jump, 6-2) gave Reservoir first-place finishes.

Mount Hebron teammates Becky Yep (3,200) and Eryn Donaldson (high jump) also won Class 3A state titles. Hereford's Jordanna Lehmann did the same in pole vault. Wilde Lake's Kikanae Punyua won the 3,200.

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