Local track teams use Last Track to Philly meet to tune up for championship season

Entering the Last Track to Philly meet at Georgetown Prep on Saturday, Reservoir pole vaulter Eric Higgins was trying to tie the school record he’d set earlier this season.

But Higgins had to switch poles, as the one he was previously using had become worn down and was bending too much.

After clearing 12 feet 6 inches in his first day with the new pole, Higgins attempted to clear his previous high mark of 13 feet but came up just short in an effort that still gave him a first-place finish.

Higgins said his ultimate goal is to clear 13-6, and he still has it in his mind to reach that mark by the season’s end.

“I’m just trying to continue to break the school record before I graduate,” he said. “I want to get it as high as I can so no one else can break it. That’s my main goal.”

With the Howard County Indoor Track Championships on Monday, Higgins is hoping Saturday’s vault gives him good experience for when it matters most.

“This pole is actually a foot higher, so I should be able to jump higher than I did [Saturday],” Higgins said. “But six inches under your [personal record] is fine. Especially when it’s my tuneup.”

Most of the local schools participating Saturday used the Last Track to Philly as a preparation meet.

Wilson and McKinley Tech were both using the day as a competitive practice for Wednesday’s DCIAA Championship meet.

Wilson scored a win in the girls’ 4x55 shuttle hurdle relay with a time of 32.81 seconds. Its boys’ team placed fourth in the 4x200 relay (1 minute 36.21 seconds).

“I was preparing myself for Wednesday’s track meet,” said Wilson’s Acey Calhoun, who ran in the 4x200 and the sprint relay. “Everything is setting up for Wednesday’s meet. We won it last year, so we might as well defend our title.”

McKinley Tech’s boys placed seventh in the 4x200 (1:37.04). Emmanuel Thomas, who was on Saturday’s 4x200 team, said he’ll likely run the 300, 500, 4x200 and 4x400 on Wednesday.

“We have excellent sprinters, we have excellent mid-distance runners,” Thomas said. “I really think we can bring this home.”

Bowie won the boys’ 4x200 relay with a 1:33.76.

Marshall distance runner MacKenzie Haight stretched his arms out in celebration as he crossed the finish line as the winner of the one-mile run. Haight’s 4:27.51 was good enough to outlast a tough race from Bowie’s Joshua Wilkins, who timed a 4:28.93.

“I’m happy with the win, but it’s definitely not a time that I wanted,” said Haight, who ran a 4:22.87 at the Montgomery Invitational earlier this year. “But I know we have the rest of the season and the outdoor season to chase fast times.”

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