On bad knee, Pikesville's Smallwood wins 4th pole vault title

Senior soars 11 feet on Day 1 of Class 1A championships despite torn meniscus

Liberty sits in first place with 24 points

May 26, 2011|By Jeff Seidel, Special to The Baltimore Sun

Even though Pikesville senior Sasha Smallwood has spent most of her high school career winning pole vault competitions, her victory Thursday night is one she'll never forget.

Smallwood won her fourth consecutive Class 1A state title despite vaulting on a torn meniscus in her left knee that will require surgery in the coming days. The senior's vault of 11 feet at Morgan State ended her career in a manner that left Smallwood stunned.

"I am amazingly surprised," Smallwood said as she left to go to her senior prom. "I'm shocked. I'm just grateful that my knee held up for so long."

Smallwood's knee has ruined most of her senior year. She tore her left anterior cruciate ligament in a cheerleading mishap, underwent surgery in October and spent the winter in rehabilitation. The senior, headed to Bethune-Cookman, returned for some of the indoor season.

But Smallwood hurt the knee again about two weeks ago, apparently in practice. She was scheduled to have an arthroscopic procedure to repair the problems this week but pushed it back to early June.

Smallwood finishes her high school career with four outdoor pole vault titles and two more indoors. Her efforts also impressed Pikesville coach Jen Slingland.

"She's been in a lot of pain," Slingland said. "But she has gained maturity and perspective in life. I'm proud of her. "

The No. 3 Liberty girls also had a good day. Victories from the 3,200 relay team (9:44.88) and Ashlyn Anderson (discus, 97-3) put the Lions in first place with 24 points.

"They started off strong," said Bobby Ward, Liberty's co-coach with Brandon Lutz. "They knew what they had to do."

Also in Class 2A, there were local victories on the girls side from Winters Mill's Hannah Oneda (3,200, 11:13.65), Willie Austin from Edgewood (triple jump, 37-7.5) and the Overlea 800 relay (1:43.09).

For the Class 2A boys, Rehvon Bryan of Southern took the shot put (49-7).

In Class 1A, Glenelg's Robbie Creese won the 3,200 (9:34.49). Andrew Allen of Forest Park captured the high jump (6-4), and No. 4 Carver took the boys 800 relay (1:29.78).

The Northwestern boys and Western Tech girls both set Class 1A records in winning the 3,200 relays. For Northwestern, the victory came in 8:05.33. Western Tech's girls won it in 9:34.68.

No. 6 Harford Tech's girls are second with 31 points, one behind Boonsboro, thanks mainly to wins in the 800 relay (1:42.20) and discus (Erica Coley, 109-10). Western Tech and Pikesville are tied for third with 20 points.

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