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Herndon Holds its Own at District Track Championships

Both Hornet girls’ and boys’ teams earn high makes at Concorde postseason meet.

All in all, the Herndon High indoor track and field teams had a solid showing at the recent Concorde District Championship meet. The two-day postseason event, held at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center in Landover, Md., began on Jan. 28 with preliminary events. The second and final day of action took place a week later on Feb. 4 with event finals.

The Herndon girls finished third in the team standings with 86 points, behind champion Oakton (109) and second place Robinson (104). The Herndon boys’ team, meanwhile, was fourth with 67.66 points. Two boys’ teams tied for first place honors – Centreville and Robinson, both with 108 points. Chantilly was third.

Herndon coach Pete Sherry was particularly proud of his girls’ team showing.

“The girls really stepped up,” said Sherry. “We’re pretty happy. We could have scored more points but the people who needed to advance [to regionals] did.”

At districts, the top three relay teams automatically advanced to the upcoming Northern Region Championships, which will take place on Feb. 20 at George Mason University. Also, the top six finishers in individual events at districts qualified for regionals.

The good showings by the relay teams – on both the girls’ and boys’ sides – were one of the highlights of the district meet for Herndon. Both of the Hornets’ 4x800-relay teams earned second place finishes, behind relays from Centreville. In the 4x200 relay, the Herndon boys were second behind Robinson, while the Hornet girls were a strong third behind first place Robinson and second place Oakton.

The Herndon girls’ 4x400 relay team finished second behind Robinson.

“We were very happy with all the relays,” said Sherry.

<b>HERNDON’S CAROLYN HENNESSEY</b>, a junior, won the 1000 race and finished second in the mile (behind Robinson’s Taylor Crosson) to pace the girls’ team.

“She ran smart and very patient,” said Sherry, of Hennessey’s victory in the 1000.

Of Hennessey’s second place finish in the mile, the coach said, “She did everything right, but just got beat.”

Another distance runner, sophomore Belle Burgess, was second in the two-mile race behind Robinson’s Crosson. Burgess took a fifth place in the one mile.

“Belle looked great [in the two-mile],” said Sherry. “She just got beat by a Robinson girl who was just better. Belle was with her through at least a mile. The last six laps [Crosson] probably pulled away. But it was probably Belle’s best race this year.”

In field events, senior Danielle Theberge won the girls’ high jump. In sprints, sophomore Carina Peter took first in the girls’ 55 dash and was fourth in the 300.

Other Herndon girls’ top six place finishers were: junior Tania Hassan (6th in both triple jump and pole vault); senior Sarah Roethel (3rd in high jump); senior Nazuk Kochhar (6th in high jump); senior Destinee Beckham (6th in shot put); and senior Mehnaz Haq (5th in 500).

<b>THE HERNDON BOYS</b> had stellar district outings from seniors Kirk Nguyen and Jack Jasper, along with sophomore Josh Schow. Nguyen was the champion in the shot put. Jasper, meanwhile, was third in both the mile and two mile races. And Schow was third in the 55, sixth in high jump and also anchored the second place 4x800 relay.

“I was happy with Josh’s anchor [in the 4x800 relay],” said Sherry. “He looked like he had his leg speed back and that’s an indication of good things to come.”

Also putting together an exceptional meet for the Herndon boys was senior Shariff Mazlan, who placed in three events – the triple jump (3rd), long jump (6th) and 55-hurdles (6th).

Austin Miller, a sophomore, impressed his coach by placing fourth in pole vault with a mark of 10-feet, 6 inches. He had not cleared eight feet during the regular season, although the 10th grader had only vaulted in a couple of meets prior to districts.

“He really came through and looked great,” said Sherry, of Miller. “That was probably the biggest surprise.”

Other place finishers for the Herndon boys were junior Jimmy Luehrs (3rd in 1000, 6th in 1600) and senior Austin Moore (5th in shot put).