Kimberley Ficenec relies on a mantra whenever her muscles are locking up in races and doubts about her finishing kick creep inside her head.
“When there’s 200 meters left, I always ask myself the same question: Do I have more to give?” Ficenec says. “The answer is never ‘No.’ It has to be ‘Yes.’”
Ficenec’s gut check produced another brilliant performance on Friday night, under the lights at the Southern Track Classic. The Mountain View senior tucked into second place for most of the 800 meters before blasting by Cosby’s Megan Moye on the final stretch and winning in a personal-best 2 minutes 6.84 seconds. That is fastest by a Washington-area girl this season and is the No. 4 time in the country.
Ficenec’s athleticism and leggy, 5-foot-8 frame are two advantages that come naturally. Fortitude is something she’s learned to develop, mostly through hours of intense practices against the boys.
It gave the All-Met the edge on Friday at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond. Moye tried to re-take the lead from Ficenec in the last 100 meters, but Ficenec swatted away the challenge en route to breaking the meet record of 2:07.38 set by Fauquier’s Sarah Bowman in 2005.
She also gave her season a big boost ahead of the Virginia AAA championships next month. The Alabama signee, who has won two indoor state titles in the 1,000, is looking to capture her first outdoors.
“I definitely want to go faster,” Ficenec said.
Ahmed Bile won the boys’ 800. The race was called back after the Annandale senior All-Met got tripped up and fell within the first few strides.
After the field was reset, and with a few fresh cuts on his hip and back, the Georgetown signee powered to a decisive win over Chancellor’s Michael Waller in 1:52.12.
South County junior Felecia Majors won an impressive double. The All-Met Athlete of the Year indoors took the pole vault with a personal-best 12 feet 7 inches and won the 400 comfortably ahead of the field in 55.18.
Lake Braddock’s Sophie Chase and Hannah Christen went 1-2 in the mile. They were the only runners to break five minutes. Chase won in an area-leading 4:51.65. Christen crossed in 4:56.40.
A pair of area boys won two events. Heritage senior Marcus Finney won the 110 hurdles (14.47) and 300 hurdles (38.76) while Annandale junior Alex Ellison captured the 100 (10.93) and 200 (21.83).
Gonzaga senior Mike Crozier won the 3,200 in 9:09.22.
The girls from Battlefield established themselves as the clear front-runners in the 4x400 relay at the state meet. They won the event by five seconds on Friday as Jessica Rolle, Virginia Hill, Ellison Grove and Jasmine Hill brought the baton around in 3:49.57.
Georgetown Visitation freshman Emily Kaplan won the 800 and the 1,600 at the Independent School League championships Saturday at Holton-Arms.
Her efforts helped lift the Cubs to the team title, their fourth straight. They finished well ahead of National Cathedral and Holton-Arms.
Kaplan earned a seven-second victory in the 1,600 (5:15.24) before doubling back in the 800, finishing just ahead of teammate Sarah Wyckoff in 2:19.73 on a hot day in Bethesda.
Georgetown Day romped to its second straight Mid-Atlantic Conference championship, also in Bethesda. The Northwest school outscored runner-up Sidwell Friends by more than 100 points. St. Andrew’s was third.
“I don’t know if 226 points is the most points scored at a championship, but it’s got to be close,” said 14th-year Hoppers Coach Anthony Belber. “We spread it around, giving some of our younger kids a chance, and they were scrapping for every point.”
Anthony Campbell accounted for a significant number of those points. The senior won the high jump (5-8) and triple jump (meet record 46-1), was on Georgetown Day’s winning 4x400 relay team (meet-record 3:27.29) and was runner-up in the long jump behind teammate Matthew Seifu, who leaped a meet-record 21-9.75.
Senior Daniel Samet also keyed the Hoppers with a victory in the 1,600 (meet-record 4:21.98) and a second-place showing in the 3,200.
Holton-Arms junior Natiaha Hinnerichs leaped a personal-best 5-7 to win the high jump. She also was the triple jump champion with 34-5.5.
Bowie won the girls’ team title and Wise captured the boys’ at the Prince George’s County championships Saturday in Upper Marlboro.
The Bulldogs outscored Eleanor Roosevelt and Largo behind junior Charde Barnes. She was voted most outstanding performer after wins in the 1,600 and 3,200 and placing second in the 800.
Douglass senior Quincey Sutton was the boys’ most outstanding performer after dominating the shot put (personal-best 55-8) and discus (personal-best 161-1.5). But Wise still finished ahead of the Eagles and Oxon Hill was third.
Douglass also got big contributions from senior Kyle Smith, who won the 110 hurdles (14.34) and 300 hurdles (38.61).
Wise was led by senior All-Met Champ Page. The Ohio State signee won the 200 (21.77) and also anchored the Pumas’ 4x200 that won in a meet-record 1:27.15 and 4x400 that was second to Laurel (3:17.16).