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Prep Track & Field: North's Jackson saves her best for last in jump for gold

May 25, 2012

BALTIMORE — Raven Jackson finally captured gold.

The North Hagerstown senior won the Class 3A girls triple jump at the Maryland State Track & Field Championships on Friday at Morgan State University.

Jackson’s winning mark of 36 feet, 4 1/2 inches came on her second of six attempts. Albert Einstein’s Anna Ucheomumu was the runner-up at 36-1 1/4.

Last year at states, competing in Class 2A, Jackson placed second in the long jump and third in the triple jump, after placing second in both jumps as a sophomore.

While Jackson didn’t qualify for states in the long jump this year, she made up for it in the triple.

“It was one of those ‘finally’ moments. It was a long three years, but she finally got the gold medal,” North assistant coach Lindsay Zerance said. “She was definitely excited. It was exciting to hear her name over the announcements, and it got all of her teammates pumped up as well.”

Also for the North girls Friday, Emily Ward placed fourth in the girls 3,200-meter run in a personal-best time of 11:42.51, while Emily Smith placed fourth in the pole vault with a personal-best jump of 9 feet.

“It was Emily Smith’s birthday, so it was a great present,” Zerance said. “And it was my birthday too, so I was so happy that everyone did well. We were really excited.”

Through six of 18 events, the Hubs are in third place in the girls team standings with 20 points.

For South Hagerstown on Friday, sophomore Isiaha Smith teamed with seniors Aaron Waters, Jarred Moquin and C.J. Davis to place fourth in the 3A boys 4x200 relay in 1:29.04, breaking the Washington County record in the event for the third time this season. Their previous best was 1:29.17.

“With three seniors on that team, I was pretty happy for them to run their final race and achieve a county record,” South coach Dwayne Freeman said. “I’m sure they’ll want to come back tomorrow and have a good performance in the 4x100.”

The South girls finished a disappointing 10th in the 4x200 in 1:46.30. Their best time of the season (1:43.59) would have placed them third.

“We made an exchange and dropped the baton, and from there, it went downhill,” Freeman said. “In Class 3A, there’s very little room for errors and mistakes, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow and we’ll be focused.”

Classes 1A and 2A began their championships Thursday, classes 3A and 4A started Friday and all four classes conclude today.

Andrew Mason

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