Prince William News
Mon., Jan. 21 - patriot-girls-woodbridge-boys-win-nokesville-meet
Patriot girls, Woodbridge boys win Nokesville meet
© Gainesville TimesThe indoor track and field meet hosted by Patriot High School in Nokesville on Saturday but run by Osbourn Park had a little good news for everyone in the county it seems, whether living on the eastern or western ends.
Home team Patriot took home first place for the girls with 131.5 points while Woodbridge claimed No. 1 for the boys, earning 110 points, according to statistics provided by Milestat.com.
Meanwhile, Osbourn Park, arguably the high school dividing the east from the west, came in second for the girls (118 points) and boys (108).
Another silver lining to the meet came in the form of the winter jacket donation drive run by OP volunteers.
So many jackets came in that a Subaru station-wagon parked just outside the entrance gate could be seen stacked with coats all along the trunk space and back seat, from floor to roof.
Around the track, few athletes could claim as much to boast about as Osbourn Park senior captain Teague Peck by the end of the day.
Not only did he win the long jump with a bound of 20 feet, 2 inches, topping Gar-Field's Adamma Cain by 4.25 inches, but he also set a school record in his state-qualifying 500 meter dash run.
Peck crossed the finish line in 1:06.47, good enough for first place.
What makes that school record particularly strong is that Osbourn Park opened in 1976, making it the fifth oldest out of the 11 county high schools.
Still catching his breath after the race, Peck said that he could "really feel the improvements" in his game after running the prior week.
Stonewal Jackson senior Bria Harrison won two events too, checking in first for the 55 meter dash (7.35 seconds) and the 300 meter dash (43.94).
"In order to excel in sprinting, it really is just mental," said Harrison, adding later that what she likes about the short races is that "you can run a distance in under a minute" by the time it's over.
Host team Patriot earned some golden honors of their own too, with wins by Meredith Hackerson in the girls 500 meter dash (1:22.08), Joseph Taye in the 55 meter dash (6.71 seconds), Alex Orellana in the 300 meter dash (35.81), Nick Bussian in the 1,000 meter run (2:42.28), Kerianne Gallagher in the pole vault (7 feet, 6 inches), and Amber Cowthran tying Hylton's Britney Nguetta for first in the high jump (4 feet, 10 inches).
Orellana earned a state bid with his run.
Cowthran gathered with her 4x200 teammates Naomi Nvodjo, Crystal Hunt and Zya Savage after they came in second place behind Hylton by less than one second, missing out on a regional cut by 0.62 of a second.
"The wind was crucial," said Savage, explaining how the blustery conditions made the track meet harder to complete quickly than a comparable one during the spring outdoor season.
Other state qualifiers came from Gar-Field senior Naihla Rose-Delia (shot put; 36 feet, 5 inches), Hylton's Hali McFadgen (long jump; 17 feet, 5 inches) and the Woodbridge girls 4x400 meter relay team of Olivia Coopwood, Kady Badham, Farrah Suber and Jewel Christian (4:01.59).
Coopwood also won the 55 meter hurdles (8.76 seconds) and came in fourth in the high jump (4 feet, 8 inches).
What made her two victories particularly impressive is what she has overcome to earn them.
The senior explained in an interview that while she is not entirely deaf, she is hard of hearing, so much so it's affected her speech patterns by giving her a discernible accent.
On the track, that can affect her ability to set correctly prior to the gun blast signaling the start of a race because she may not hear the judge tell the runners to put themselves into position or hear someone yell her name from the sidelines.
However, even with her disability, she still finds a way to put herself in the zone, drown out her surroundings and win.
"I'm not going to let that pull me back," said Coopwood.