SNOW HILL – Four first-place finishes.
Each finish a winter-league season record.
Delmarva high school indoor track and field, meet Matt Koletsky.
“Well, they were definitely new races,” the Cambridge-South Dorchester senior said. “I had never run a 300 or 500 [meter event].”
Matt is an experienced competitor in cross country in the fall, and the spring track and field season, but the winter league feature races of different lengths, on a much smaller track with tighter curves. “I felt like when I took turns, I was going to fall over,” Matt said with a laugh.
On Jan. 4, the C-SD boys grabbed a fourth-place finish at the Worcester County Recreation Center, with 65 points. That’s up from eighth place the previous week in their first-ever indoor meet, when the Viking men scored 8.
North Caroline won the boys’ event with 96 points, while James M. Bennet placed first among the girls, with 96.5.
Matt also won the 800-meter race and, with Trevor Goodwin, Carson Taylor and Connor McCroy, took first in the 4×800-meter relay in the blistering time of 8:39.60. That’s a time that has the men from Cambridge thinking about making a run at the state title in the 4×800 next month.
The Lady Vikes also saw significant improvement in their second outing, with 8 points and a 12th-place finish. At their first meet, the C-SD girls did not score.
About 20 teams competed on Jan. 4, with 14 of the girls’ squads scoring, and 17 of the boys’ teams earning points. At meets with eight or more teams, first place in an event gets 10 points, second place 8, third place 7, and so on down to 8th place, with 1 point.
With indoor facilities rare, teams come from Maryland, Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Virginia to run, jump and throw at Snow Hill. There are no size restrictions, so C-SD is one of the smaller schools present.
The Vikings bring specialists in all the venues of track and field, including pole vault, where seniors Zhihong Pang and Ian Mason are consistent scorers. Jan. 4 belonged to Zhihong, who set a personal-best record of 11’ 0”, while earning second place at the meet.
For the girls, the 4×200-meter relay squad of Courtne’ Jenkins, Janee’ Quailes, Ronke Oyerinde and QuaNiya Quinones provided their share of excitement on the way to a fifth-place finish in a time of 2:02.92. The versatile Quailes also placed sixth in the triple jump, with a distance of 31’ 1.5”.
But sometimes the biggest cheers come at unexpected times.
One “B” relay squad was allowed for each team. That is, the “A” team would be the fastest runners, and the “B” group sort of the junior varsity version.
The Vikings have always enjoyed sending out a “Big Boy 4×200,” featuring not the typically slender runners, but men from the shot put squad. Those guys might be large and in charge when throwing a 12-pound hunk of iron, but they don’t do a lot of running.
No matter. Hunter Brown, Ike Foreman, Ryan Fraccaroli and Jamaal Banks are good all-round athletes with plenty of school spirit, so the burly boys – probably averaging close to 100 pounds heavier than the other runners – headed out onto the track.
They actually beat a few teams, but that’s not what grabbed the crowd’s attention. It was their effort, team pride and love of sport that got everybody yelling.
The roar that went up when Ryan came barreling down the home stretch said it all.
“They got the biggest cheer of the day,” Head Coach John Shaw said. “Everybody – players, coaches, parents. They loved it.”
The Vikings hit the road to Snow Hill again today. Action starts at 2:00 p.m.