Track & field: Westfield sweeps Carolyn Legard Relays

April 7, 2013

Westfield’s track and field teams rode home from the Carolyn Legard Relays Saturday excited with a pair of first-place finishes.

Junior Devon Burns was already happy that the gloomy winter weather finally took a backseat to a bright, spring day.

Burns won the long jump (21 feet, 3.75 inches) and sophomore James Gibson placed first in the triple jump (42-07) to help lead the Westfield boys to victory in the Legard Relays at W.T. Woodson. The Westfield girls tied for first with Lake Braddock in the meet, which featured a welcome break from an outdoor track season that has been marred by unseasonably cool temperatures and precipitation.

“[Devon]’s just excited to have the weather better,” Westfield coach Kelly Deegan said. “He did indoor for us, and he’s one of the kids who doesn’t really like the cold.”

Deegan had the added satisfaction of her teams winning the event named for one of her former college coaches at George Mason University.

“It wasn’t expected,” she said. “We just had several girls have their best performances. Even though it’s early in the season, it’s a good way to get things started.”

Sophomore Rachel Penaranda stood out for her performances on the sprint and distance medley squads, Deegan said. The men’s 4x1600 team of seniors Max Chambers, Jeff Edmonson, Thomas Lazor and junior Nick O’Connell rolled to an impressive win as well, with a time of 18:23.53 that was more than 40 seconds faster than the runners-up.

At last weekend’s Leslie Sherman Invitational, the boys placed second while the girls took fifth. This time, the Bulldog boys cruised with 96 points to distance themselves from runner-up Chantilly (61.5) and third-place Robinson (60.5). The Westfield and Lake Braddock girls’ tied with 63 points, and West Springfield finished with 53.

Edison sophomore Jenell Grier-Spratley turned in a state-qualifying high jump of 5 feet, 4 inches to take first in that event, and teammate Anna Williams, a senior, made a strong return from the indoor season with a winning long jump (17-1.25) and triple jump (37-7.25), the latter good enough to qualify for the Virginia AAA state meet.

Briar Woods senior Daryll Gadsden won the boys’ high jump with a leap of 6 feet.

Chantilly dominated the pole vault event at Legard, with senior Eric Nguyen’s vault of 13 feet, 6 inches more than good enough for first place and a state qualification. Chargers seniors Lauren Crafton (9-06) and Valerie Claunch (9-0) grabbed first and second in the girls’ vault.

Washington-Lee junior Elli Panagiotopolous’s state-qualifying discus throw (116-04) also earned her a first-place finish.

Edison pulled double-duty this weekend, with some athletes attending the Colonial Relays at William & Mary. Among them was junior All-Met Louis Colson, whose time 3,000-meter time of 8 minutes, 49.41 seconds was nearly 15 seconds ahead of the field.

“A couple people Louis was expecting to go against didn’t show up, but he still ran what would be a 9:10 two-mile,” Edison coach Ivan Chirinos said. “So it was still pretty much right where he left off at indoor.”

Lake Braddock All-Met Sophie Chase took first in the 3,000 by nearly 20 seconds (9:49.73), and Loudoun County senior Patrick Joseph won the 1-mile run (4:18.51).

The Crimson Tide Invitational at Spingarn also featured top performances over the weekend, with the Leonardtown girls (68.50 points) and Thomas Stone boys (67) taking first overall, respectively.

Thomas Stone sophomore Juwuan Briscoe (22.38) captured the 200-meter dash and was part of a runner-up showing in the 4x400 relay, won by Tuscarora (Md.). Leonardtown senior Daltyn Earl took home first in the shot put (44-09) and discus throw (132-09).

Leonardtown senior Heidi Reed (5:19.24) won the 1,600, Hayfield junior Kerisha Goode won the 100 (12.48) and 200 (25.67), and Dunbar juniors Nalo Fauntroy and London Freeland took first in the 800 (2:27.96) and 400 (57.30), respectively.

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