(Feb. 2, 2018) Junior Kevin Beck took home the only indoor track Bayside title for Stephen Decatur – winning the 800-meter race – during the conference championship meet last Wednesday at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill.

“It was a good feeling when I crossed the finish line, knowing that I won,” he said. “That I was the only one [from Decatur] to win made it extra special … I’m hoping to get to states this year.”

Beck completed the race in 2:05.68 – a new season record. Kent Island freshman Isaiah Schulties was close behind, finishing in 2:05.88.

“Out of the start, I got ahead and kept the lead, but he was right on my back,” Beck said. “Coach [Brenda] Hommel yelled at me to ‘speed up’ at the end. I could hear his footsteps. I had to give a last push at the end.”

Beck was seeded first in the race and Schulties was second.

“I was seeded first based on my time, and that put some pressure on me,” he said.

Beck was also successful in the 1,600-meter run, where he came in third place (4:53.28).

He ran a portion of the relays for Decatur in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. Both teams placed third.

In the 1,600-meter event, juniors Chad Fischer and Gavin Bunting, and sophomore Sam Rakowski, joined him. They crossed the finish line in 3:54.17.

Beck, Rakowski, Fischer and sophomore Austin Cheynet recorded a time of 9:05.70 in the 3,200-meter relay race.

“Kevin ran his best race of the season thus far in the 800 at Baysides. He has consistently been one of our top performers this year and has been working hard to really improve his times,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “After he finished the 800, he ran the next event, which is the 1,600 relay and helped our team to place third in the relay.

“This is a physically grueling double and he pulled it off well,” Stigler added. “I can count on Kevin to give his best effort when he steps onto the track.”

Decatur athletes who also scored points for the team for placing eighth or better in their individual events were: Fischer (500-meter run, fourth, 1:15.37), Cheynet (800-meter run, seventh, 2:19.51), senior Jack Reimer (3,200-meter run, seventh, 11:22.70) and sophomore Eric Bontempo (shot put, seventh, 34 feet 9 inches).

Kent Island won the boys’ competition, scoring 100 points. North Caroline came in second (79) followed by Parkside (67). Decatur tallied 39 points and finished seventh.

Decatur’s girls’ team placed nine overall in its competition, with 18.5 points. Kent Island earned top honors, recording 112.5 points. North Caroline was second (88) and James M. Bennett took third (80.17).

“Overall, it was about what I expected,” Stigler said. “Compared to previous years, we have been traditionally very strong in the field events and we were a little weaker there this year. We have a very young [boys’ and girls’] team, so we will have many returners next year.”

Decatur Lady Seahawks who scored points for the team were: sophomores Alyssa Romano (300-meter dash, seventh, 46.34 seconds; pole vault, seventh [tie], 6 feet 6 inches) and Gabby Izzett (800-meter run, seventh, 2:47.51; 1,600-meter run, eighth, 6:06.04), junior Dori Krasner (800-meter run, eighth, 2:52.68) and senior Kate Carpenter (55-meter hurdles, sixth, 10.65 seconds).

Izzett, Krasner, senior Laila Mirza and freshman Lydia Woodley took fifth in the 3,200-meter relay race (11:41.80).

Izzett, Krasner, Carpenter and Romano came in sixth in the 1,600-meter relay race (4:55.27).

Carpenter, junior Dimond Lockwood, senior Emma Stubblebine and freshman Jabria Lewis crossed the finish line eighth in the 800-meter relay race (2:07.90).

Decatur will compete in the 3A East Regional meet on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Prince George’s Sportsplex in Landover, Maryland.

“To prepare for regionals, we will just continue to work hard and strive to improve and have our best performance at regionals,” Stigler said. “Additionally, they will need to adapt mentally and prepare for tough competition.”

Stigler said Decatur is at a disadvantage compared to other schools in its region for two reasons.

“First, we have a three-hour bus ride to get to the regional meet. Second, there are 16 teams in our region and the only one that we have competed against this season is James M. Bennett,” Stigler said. “That means, the other 14 teams we haven’t seen and the athletes don’t really know what to expect.”

Stigler thinks the Seahawks sometimes “psyche ourselves out because of all the uncertainty and not have our best performance because of that.”

“I think we have a few athletes who have a chance to qualify for the state meet if they have their best performance,” he said. “It will be close and very difficult because of the size of our region. They have combined regions for indoor track, which means seven extra teams are put into our region.”

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