Hawkins, Steward capture region gold; Kent sends 5 to state indoor track meet

LANDOVER — Beginner’s luck?

Nonsense.

While Kent County High School senior Larry Steward, 18, and sophomore Ke’yare Hawkins, 16, won region titles in their first indoor track season, they are hardly novices.

Last year, as first-timers on the high school outdoor track and field circuit, they also captured region championships.

So, actually, they’re two-time champs.

Plus, they own school records in their signature events — high jump for Steward and shot put for Hawkins.

In Hawkins’ case, she re-established her own record. 

Steward and Hawkins are the program’s first region champs since Samantha Collier won the 500 meters in 2015.

The Class 1A East Region indoor track meet was Feb. 9 at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. It’s the qualifier for the 1A state championship meet, which is tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 20), also to be held in Landover.

The first-, second- and third-place finishers in each event automatically advanced — up until this year it was the top four place-finishers  — as well as the next top seven times or marks overall from the three regions.

KCHS has three automatic state qualifiers: Hawkins, Steward and junior Tyrell Fennell, who was third in the region in the 55 meters.

Two more Trojans also are state-bound: sophomore Rah Zir Wilson, who was fourth in the high jump, and junior Gavin Larrimore, who was fifth in the shot put.

All five of Kent County’s state qualifiers realized PRs at regionals.

It also appears as if Amara-Chi Hollins established a school record of 4 feet, 2 inches in the high jump.

“We did absolutely phenomenal at our regional competition,” first-year head coach Kalyn Stout told The Evening Enterprise in an email. “There were 16 teams in the men’s division and we placed 7th! Last year (as a team) we only had 4 athletes qualify (for regionals) and this year we had 20 attend the meet with us! As a team last winter we only scored 3 points and did not have anyone qualify for states; this year we scored 45.5 points as a team and had 5 athletes qualify for states.”

Kent County also can boast of a New Balance Nationals qualifier in Fennell (March 7-9 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston).

High jump state qualifiers Steward and Wilson are taking advantage of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association’s new dual-sport option that allows athletes to play two sports in the same season. Basketball is their primary sport.

Steward’s championship jump of 6 feet, 2 inches broke the school’s decades-old record of 6 feet-even that Hugh Dolan established in February 1983. 

Wilson was one of three jumpers that tied for second at 5-10; he ultimately placed fourth on criteria.

In the 55 meters, Fennell advanced to the finals after running 6.70 in the prelims.

He was faster in the finals, stopping the timer in 6.58 to take third behind Friendly High School’s Donte Long (6.48) and Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Tori Willis (6.55).

Larrimore continues in hot pursuit of the school shot put record of 44 feet, 9.5 inches — established in 1982 and the longest-standing program record. His best throw to date is 41-1.5.

Hawkins has been beaten only once this indoor season, last month at the Bayside Conference championships for all Eastern Shore schools of various enrollments.

She established the school record of 33 feet, 10.5 inches on Dec. 13 and equaled that mark on Jan. 3. And then she set a new mark at regionals with a throw of 35-3,25. 

The nearest challenger was senior Sydnee Gomez of Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, a STEM public charter school in northern Prince George’s County, with a throw of 30-9.5.

What’s Hawkins’ secret?

Part of her success, Hawkins told The Evening Enterprise, could be that she practices throwing a 12-pound shot put — which is the boys weight. The girls shot put weighs 8 pounds.

Printed here are complete 1A East Region results for Kent County High School

GIRLS

3200 meters: Sophie Cousineau, 15:03.55, seventh.

55-meter hurdles: Jaeda Hoxter, personal best of 11:20, 13th; and Amara-Chi Hollins, personal best of 12:39, 14th.

4×200-meter relay of Michelle Menequin, Angel Cote, Tess Fuchs and Hoxter, 2:07.07, 11th.

High jump: Hollins, school record of 4 feet, 2 inches, sixth.

Shot put: Ke’yare Hawkins, school record of 35 feet, 3.25 inches, first; and Kaydence Hawkins, 24-3.0, 10th.

BOYS

55 meters: Tyrell Fennell, personal best of 6:58, third.

800 meters:  Trent Johnson, personal best of 2:16.68, 11th; and Jack Spray, 2:26.32, 13th.

3200 meters: Spray, personal best of 11:44.30, eighth; and Kevin Stroup, 13:06.51, 13th.

4×200-meter relay of Colbyn Lopez, Rah Zir Wilson, Taion Johnson and Fennell, season best of 1:40.39, seventh. 

4×400-meter relay of Trent Johnson, Nick Stead, Stroup and Lopez, season best of 4:07.49, 11th.

4×800-meter relay of Trent Johnson, Stroup, Spray and Stead, season best of 9:46.87, eighth.

High jump: Larry Steward, school record of 6 feet, 2 inches, first; and Wilson, personal best of 5-10, fourth.

Shot put: Gavin Larrimore, personal best of 41 feet, 1.5 inches, fifth; Ryan Myers, 34-11.1, 11th; and Harrison Gibby, 34-1, 12th.

 

 

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