(Feb. 15, 2019) Seniors Kevin Beck and Margie Rayne will represent Stephen Decatur during the 3A indoor track state championship meet, Tuesday at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.
Their top-four performances during the 3A East Region meet at the Baltimore Armory on Feb. 5 earned them a spot in the state competition.
Beck finished in second place in the 800-meter run. He crossed the finish line in 2:04.04.
“I really pushed myself and thought I did well, to my best ability, and I ended up coming in second by point-one seconds, which is a little frustrating, but I left it all out there and really felt like I did my best,” Beck said.
This will be Beck’s second time competing in the state meet. Last year he came in fourth place in the 800-meter run. He broke the school record for the event, completing the race in 2:01.89.
Josh Zobenica set the school record of 2:02 in 1998.
“I hope to break two minutes in the 800, so that would be a personal record for myself and I also hope to get better than fourth,” he said. “I believe I have a good shot based on how I’m running this year and in practice I’ve been on pace for getting under two minutes.”
The winners of the 800-meter run in the three regional events get seeded first through third for states. Beck is seeded fourth, but he has the second-fastest time among his state competition.
“I’m always nervous, but I’m excited as well because seeing all the fast runners there really is a special thing [along with] being a part of the state meet,” Beck said.
Rayne took third in the regional shot put event with a throw of 33 feet 3.5 inches to advance to states.
“I think I did pretty good. I threw to the best of my ability and I ended up placing third and I’m happy with that,” she said. “I hope to do better at states though.”
This is her first season competing in indoor track, so to qualify for states is a big accomplishment, she said.
“I’m excited, slightly nervous, but the excitement kind of cancels it out,” Rayne said. “I’m just looking forward to seeing my competition and hopefully placing fourth or better.”
Rayne’s best throw of the season is 34 feet. At states, she hopes to throw 37 feet or better. She would like to break the school record, which is 37 feet 3.5 inches, set by Tiara Stanley during the 2009 state championship.
“I would like to be in the top four, but I won’t be mad with fifth,” Rayne said. “I’m just trying to do my best.”
Rayne is seeded eighth for the state shot put event.
Coach Jody Stigler said Beck and Rayne would focus on different things leading up to Tuesday’s state meet.
“The focus for Margie, she’s going to be overtraining, which means she’ll be throwing the boys’ shot [which is heavier], so that hopefully when she [uses the girls’ shot put] it will feel lighter. She’ll be doing less reps, but more weigh and tapering as the week goes on,” Stigler said.
“Kevin’s doing a lot of pacing workouts. In his [regional] race, he ran a little too fast at the beginning, so were doing workouts so he gets the pace down better and hopefully he’ll be able to run a more consistent race next week,” he added.
Stigler thinks both Beck and Rayne have the potential to place at states. The top-eight athletes in each event will receive awards.
“For Kevin, it’s going to be important to get a good start. I think he has a good chance to place pretty high if he can run a good race and not get boxed in,” Stigler said. “Kevin needs to run a smart race. He needs to run hard in the beginning of the race [and] get himself in that good spot, but not run so hard that he’s going to burn himself out later.”
Rayne, Stigler said, “basically needs throw her best.”
“She doesn’t really have to worry about anybody else,” he added. “She has a good chance to place if she can throw her best.”