(May 24, 2019) Four Stephen Decatur outdoor track and field athletes will compete in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 3A state championship this weekend at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
The Seahawks advanced to the championship meet by placing fourth or better during the 3A East Region meet last Wednesday and Saturday at Reservoir High School in Fulton, Maryland.
“Overall, I think regionals went pretty well. The competition was difficult as we expected,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “The competition at states will be strong. We need to focus and have our best meet as states.”
Senior Margie Rayne won the regional discus event with a throw of 115 feet 4 inches.
Rayne already beat the Decatur school record of 104 feet 3 inches set by Martina Collick in 2001 this season when she threw the discus 109 feet 9 inches. During regionals, Rayne topped her own record.
“It’s pretty exciting. It’s my first year [throwing the discus],” she said. “It’s a huge accomplishment. I did it in sixth grade, but I didn’t know what I was doing then that much.”
Rayne placed fourth in the shot put, with a distance of 31 feet 6.5 inches.
“I didn’t do as good as I had hoped to do, but I can make it back up at states,” she said. “I didn’t get much sleep because I had school work to do – a paper – and it was a long bus ride.”
Rayne is the Bayside Conference shot put champion.
She is excited to go to states and not too nervous, because she competed in the indoor track championship meet a few months ago.
“That really helps, because I know what to expect now,” she said.
Rayne hopes to throw the discus over 110 feet at states.
“I need to practice my spinning since I’m pretty new to that, and hopefully, it goes well,” Rayne said on Monday. “I’ve definitely gotten better. When I first started I threw like 50 feet and at regionals I threw 115 feet.”
She is shooting for mid-30s in the shot put.
“I’m just going to try my best and don’t let anyone get in my head. Just stay focused,” she said.
At states during indoor track Rayne finished in seventh place in the shot put. It was her first season competing in the event.
Sophomore Jessica Janney came in second place in the high jump at regionals. She jumped 5 feet 2 inches to tie the school record.
Janney holds the record with Billie Jo Burbage (1994) and Brittany Harris (2005).
“I didn’t know so it was very exciting to hear. I was literally shaking at the end of the meet,” Janney said. “It was unbelievable. For my first year doing high jump, I think that’s pretty good.”
Janney’s goal is to jump at least 5 feet 2 inches at states.
“I would love to get 5 [feet] 4 [inches], that’s what I’m really striving for and just to have that school record, but I also have a few years to get if that doesn’t happen,” she said. “I’m just really happy to be there in the first place and to see how everyone else is doing and maybe I can learn something.”
Janney said she is excited for states, but thinks some nerves may set in once she gets to the competition.
“At the beginning of the season people who knew me said I’d have a pretty good chance because they know I can jump from basketball and to actually do it this whole year, getting higher and higher, it’s really amazing especially since it is my first year,” she said. “Pretty much every meet I’ve always gone higher.”
Sophomore London Drummond also finished in second place in the high jump, with a height of 6 feet 1 inch.
“I don’t think I did really well. I think I could have done a lot better,” he said. “The heat, I was a little fatigued and I also had other events that day. I’m hoping to do my best at states.”
His goal is to jump 6 feet 6 inches at states.
Drummond, who is the Bayside champion in the high jump, said to be successful it will take “a lot of concentration, having the little things down, getting a good rest and staying hydrated because it’s going to be hot.”
“I’m very excited. I’m really eager to go. I’m excited to jump,” he said. “I went last year to states, but it will still be a little nerve-racking because it’s states.”
Drummond tied for 13th place in the high jump at states during the 2018 outdoor track season.
Senior Daletez Smith will join his teammates at states. He took fourth in the shot put at regionals, with a throw of 41 feet 2 inches.
“I feel like I could have done better. I shouldn’t have lifted [weights earlier in the day],” he said. “It’s my second time going to states – I went for wrestling [during the winter]. I have something to prove and hopefully [it motivates] me to push the shot further and actually win.”
Smith said he was not nervous during practice on Monday, but once he gets to states and is standing in the pit, it might hit him then, he added.
“I know there’s some people that throw way further than me, but I just want to place top three,” he said.
He hopes to throw around 46-47 feet.
“This year I threw 43 feet but I’ve been practicing with the college shot, so I feel like I’m getting stronger,” he said. “I just need to have a mindset of saying even though those guys might be topping me in the first two or three throws, right before finals I just got to do my own thing and worry about beating myself rather than everybody else.”