Vikes hit their stride at Delaware Classic

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Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Cambridge-South Dorchester High School’s Danny VanRiel, center, is one of the Vikings’ leading sprinters. He is seen competing at Kent Island High School on April 14.

CAMBRIDGE — Post-season, here they come.

The Cambridge-South Dorchester High School track and field team visited the University of Delaware on Saturday, where they honed their skills for the post-season at the Delaware Classic. The invitational event is held annually, attracting dozens of schools to compete in high school and college divisions, from as far away as New York and North Carolina.

Among the high schools, all comers competed in the same division, so Viking athletes went up against competitors from much larger schools. The challenge did them good — the girls placed sixth out of 20 teams, while the boys were 11th — but more importantly, Vikings hit personal record times and distances right across the board.

Results like this set them up well for the next few meets, the last of the season.
Tuesday’s contest at Colonel Richardson was too late for this edition, though coaches will use results from that meet and others to choose C-SD’s best three athletes in each event to compete at Friday’s Bayside Conference Championship at Viking Stadium. From there, the team’s top two finishers will go to the Region 1A East Championships at Kent Island High School on May 14 and 16, where they will try to qualify for the state championships at Morgan State University the following week.

From the first days of March, it’s been snow, rain and wind most days of practice for the team, but they have fought through it to see their talents improve as the weather clears and the big tests loom.

Their bus to northern Delaware left school at 6:00 a.m. Saturday. But seeing their efforts pay off against stiff competition kept laughter and conversation lively on the way back home late that night.

Matt Koletsky said, “I ran my fastest mile today at 5:03, then ran my fastest 800 [meters] at 2:09. What a great day.”

Among the team’s best performances were the girls’ 4×800-meter relay, in which Leah Krotee, Katie Ryan, Natalie Anderson and Sarah Noman knocked off about 1 minute 40 seconds from their previous best time, finishing in 12:44.47.

The boys’ 4×200 squad of Kairan Nichols, Anthony Woolford, Em’Braion Jones and Dishawn Elliott earned third with the pedal to the metal the whole way – the fierce foursome beat their previous best time by a couple seconds, finishing in 1:38.53.

In the field, sophomores Tionie Gregory and India Jones grabbed third and fifth in the discus throw, with India setting a new personal record of 75’ 3.75”.

Special mention goes to Zakiya Chikwendu, who tied for second in the pole vault with a jump of 7’ 0”. That was well below her best height of the year, but the Viking senior showed her toughness doing it – with the temperature just above 40 degrees as the event began, it was so cold that most vaulters were unable to clear the opening height, because they were unable to hold onto the poles.

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