McClain introduces self to 2A

May 15, 2009|By ANDREW MASON

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- "I'm no longer the new girl on the block," South Hagerstown junior La Kesa McClain said Thursday.

Yes, winning can do wonders for one's social status.

In January, McClain moved to Hagerstown from Japan, where her father was stationed in the military. And to say she's been a welcomed addition to South's track and field team would be an understatement.

"When I first moved here, I didn't know anybody and didn't talk to anybody," McClain said. "But then I started winning stuff, and people started coming up to me and talking to me and hugging me and stuff.

"A lot of people know me now."

McClain won the girls discus throw Thursday during the first day of action at the Maryland Class 2A West region championships at Winters Mill High School. She topped runner-up Melissa Shirley of Middletown by nearly 12 feet with her winning throw of 113 feet, 2 inches.


The meet resumes Saturday.

"It feels just like any other meet, but I know it's important," McClain said. "I'm No. 1 in the region. I didn't expect that."

South and North Hagerstown are the only Washington County schools in 2A West, and McClain was the county's lone champion Thursday.

Several other county athletes qualified for next week's state meet in Baltimore by placing in the top four in their events.

North senior Matthew Johnston came from behind to place second in the boys 3,200-meter run in a personal-record time of 10 minutes, 7.18 seconds, shaving 16 seconds off his previous best. He finished less than 3 seconds behind champion Avior Zynda of Century.

"I was in last after two laps, and then I started moving up slowly," Johnston said. "I was shooting for 10:20. I would have been perfectly fine with that. But I saw the guy in front, and I wanted to get him. I just didn't have enough left.

"I'm really proud of myself, though. It's my first time going to states ever."

North's Beth Wagner, the state runner-up in the girls high jump last year, will be looking to get back on track next week. She finished third Thursday with a jump of 4-11, not anywhere close to her season best of 5-6.

"It's really disappointing. I don't really know what happened. I guess it was just an off day," Wagner said. "But I qualified. States are next week, and I just have to keep my head up.

"It's a little scary, though, because it's a week before states. I just have to put it behind me."

The North girls also got a third-place finish in the 4x200 (1:48.03) and a fourth-place finish from Whitney Garvin in the triple jump (31-11 1/2).

In the boys long jump, North's Alec Nelson was second (21-2 1/2) and South's Devaun Bowie was third (20-8). In the boys shot put, South's Kyle Toms placed third (48-0 1/2).

While North teammates Dominic Sink and Ben Kelly tied for fifth in the boys pole vault at 11-2, they advanced to states by meeting the qualifying standard (11-2).

North's Katie Ritter, who won region titles in the 100 and 400 and placed second in the 200 last year, said she is aiming to win all three Saturday.

"Yeah, that's my goal," said Ritter, who won her preliminary heats in the 100 and 200 Thursday. "We'll see what happens."

Md. 2A West Championships


Day 1 of 2


Team scores (through 6 of 18 events): 1. Walkersville 36; 2. Clarksburg 34; 3. Middletown 26; 4. Century 22; 5. North Hagerstown 20; 6. South Hagerstown 16; 7. Winters Mill 12; 8t. Liberty, Francis Scott Key 10.

Winners and North and South top-6 winners

3,200 -- 1. Avior Zynda (Ce) 10:04.51; 2. Matthew Johnston (NH) 10:07.18.

4x200 -- 1. Clarksburg 1:28.76; 5. South 1:32.72.

4x800 -- 1. Winters Mill 8:04.19; 6. North 8:30.63.

Long jump -- 1. Brandon Brownfield (Wa) 22-3; 2. Alec Nelson (NH) 21-2 1/2; 3. Devaun Bowie (SH) 20-8; 5. Ian Anderson (SH) 19-9.

Pole vault -- 1. Alex Edelmann (Mi) 13-2; 5t. Dominic Sink (NH), Ben Kelly (NH) 11-2.

Shot put -- 1. Robert Thompson (Cl) 50-4; 3. Kyle Toms (SH) 48-0 1/2.


Team scores (through 6 of 18 events): 1. Middletown 46; 2. Clarksburg 42.5; 3. Century 31.5; 4. North Hagerstown 19; 5. Liberty 17; 6. Walkersville 12; 7. South Hagerstown 11; 8. Northwood 4; 9. Rockville 2; 10. Winters Mill 1.

Winners and North and South top-6 winners

3,200 -- 1. Brittney Caudle (Mi) 11:13.87.

4x200 -- 1. Clarksburg 1:44.88; 3. North 1:48.03; 6. South 1:50.62.

4x800 -- 1. Century 9:42.02; 5. North 10:23.36.

High jump -- 1. Bailee Freeman (Cl) 5-1; 3. Beth Wagner (NH) 4-11.

Triple jump -- 1. Sarah Wrieden (Mi) 34-6; 4. Whitney Garvin (NH) 31-11 1/2; 6. Amber Elliott (NH) 31-9.

Discus -- 1. La Kesa McClain (SH) 113-2.

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