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Cambridge Track & Field Continues Record Setting at Milton Showcase Invitational, March 1-2

Cambridge Track & Field Continues Record Setting at Milton Showcase Invitational, March 1-2
The Track & Field Bears traveled to nearby Milton on Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2, to participate in the 12th Annual Milton Showcase Invitational.  As they have the last couple of years, the team continued to improve from the first few meets, and set 7 new school records along with 18 personal bests performances.  The Lady Bears earned 4th place overall out of 22 teams, many being 7A schools, and the boys finished in 11th out of 23 teams.
 
The first school record broken was in the 5000m distance race on Friday evening.  Senior Jack Filan ran an impressive 15:08, finishing first, to beat his 5K personal record from cross country, as well as the previous school record held by Zach Morgan ('17) by over 1 minute and 22 seconds.   His time was 3 seconds shy of setting a new stadium record.   This was followed with a 30 second faster 1500m  by Clarissa Beck ('20), setting the new school record at 5:01.7 and bringing home the third place medal.  Fellow senior, Carson Ertwine, then set the school record in the boys' 1500m, and beat his indoor 1500m PR by 13 seconds, with a time of 4:18.   The last school record set Friday night, was the 400m hurdles race.   This was the first time the event was included at a Cambridge meet and Caelan Jones finished in 1:01 to earn the silver medal for his efforts.  On Saturday morning, in the first race of the day, Ashley Sechrest came in one half second behind South Forsyth's Madelynne Cadeau in a very tight two mile race that saw both girls beat the previous stadium record of 11:19 by nearly 10 seconds.   The two mile is not a common race distance, and when converting the time to an equivalent 3200m, this improved upon Ashley's school record by 10 seconds.   Connor McDaniel then cleared a height of 6'2" for a new school and personal record, besting his performance just Wednesday by 2" and earning a silver medal.   The final school record to be broken was for the 4x800m relay.  Teammates Yahya Merchant ('20), Mark VanDeWater ('19), Carson Ertwine ('19), and Jack Filan ('19) ran an impressive 8:17 4x800 to beat the previous school record by six seconds.
 
Day 1:  Friday Night Lights
 
The meet started late Friday afternoon, with only track events being held that evening.   The first race was the 4x400m relay, and the girls team finished in 4:10.6 for 3rd place to get the Lady Bears on the score board with six points.  Making up the 4x400 relay were Grace Wolf ('20), Taya Jackson ('19), Kathryn Suplee ('21) and Michaela Prevallet ('20) for an average time around the track of 1:02.5.   The boys 4x400m finished just out of point scoring territory in 9th place, with a time of 3:37, and was composed of Evan Bell ('19), Hayden Gardella ('21), Kyler Wilson ('19), Jack McHale ('20).   The next race was the 5k, made up of what some say is a tedious 12 and a half laps around the track.   No Lady Bears competed in the girls' race, but Jack Filan led the entire boys' race to finish in 1st and his 10 points put the boys' team on the score board.  Raleigh Matthews ('20) and Spencer Gray ('20) competed in the girls' and boys' 300m dash respectively.  While both were out of scoring range, it was Raleigh's first time attempting the 300m race, and Spencer set a personal best time of 40.76.  Halfway through Friday's events was the 400m hurdles.  As noted above, this is an event not included at many GHSA track meets, but Milton likes to showcase some unusual length races each year, such as the 1500m and the 1 mile instead of the 1600, 2 mile instead of 3200, and decided to add this one.   Cambridge entered one runner from each team in this event, and sophomore Sydney Todd earned 2nd place and 8 more points for the Lady Bears with her time of 1:19, while fellow sophomore, Caelan Jones, ran a record setting 1:01 to bring home silver as well for the boys. 
 
The last three races on Friday evening were for the distance athletes more than the sprinters.   First was the 1500m, in which Clarissa Beck ('19) and Carson Ertwine ('19) both broke school records. Clarissa's time of 5:01.7 was less than two seconds behind first place, and less than a second behind second, giving the Lady Bears another six points to their team total.   Also running for the girls' was freshmen Emily Meeker, who finished in 5:33, also faster than the previous school record, but out of scoring range.    For the boys' team, Carson's time of 4:18 earned them another 2 points as he crossed the finish line in 7th place, and Yahya Merchant ('20) crossed the finished line 13 seconds later for 15th in a field of 33 runners.  In the 800m race, Lola Merrill ('21) finished in 11th place, but her time of 2:33 was the fastest official 800m time this season for a Lady Bear (and 10 seconds off the school record set last year).  Freshman Faith Hirschi finished in 22nd, with her debut in the 800m being completed in 2:47.  Senior Kyler Wilson edged out sophomore Kaine Dudley by .1 seconds as they finished in 19th and 20th place in the boys 800m race in 2:07.6 and 2:07.7.   Both set new personal best times, Kyler by nearly five seconds and Kaine by two seconds.  The final race of the evening was the Distance Medley Relay, or DMR.   This event has four runners hand off a baton, with the first athlete running 1200m, the second 400m, the third 800m and the final leg running 1600m for a total of 4000m.  The girls team earned silver, with a time of 13:02, six seconds shy of the school record.   Running the first leg was Afton Hirschi ('20) who set a solid pace for her three laps, followed by middle distance specialist Kat Suplee ('21) with a very fast 400m, then Clarissa Beck ('19) ran a great time of 2:31 in the 800m despite having already run a 1500m not long before, and finally, Ashley Sechrest ('20) ran a time of 5:14, 1 second shy of her school record in the 1600m,  to complete the final leg and ensure 8 more points for the Lady Bears.    The boys  race saw another point added to the team score, as the team of Oscar Ng('21), newcomer to Cambridge late in the fall, Christopher Manna ('19),  Rishi Murudkar ('19), and Josh Gargan ('20) finished in 8th.   At the end of day one, the girls' team was sitting in 2nd place and the boys' team was tied for third.
 
Day 2:  Great Performances Continue
 
Field events started at 10am on Saturday, and while some injuries left a few events short of CHS participants, the Bears still had a strong showing.  The girls' started with the shotput and pole vault, followed by the discus.  Freshman Liv Bollenbacher set a new personal best by 2.5 feet to finished in 8th place, while junior Michaela Prevallet cleared 9'6" for fourth place.   In the shotput, Harmoni Brown ('19) fell short of her personal best, but threw for a mark of 27'10" to come in 15th, and freshmen Jaida Turner had a mark of 27'2.25" for 20th in a field of 32, with 10 ladies recording marks greater than 30 feet.   For the discus, Annastacia Regnier ('19) had a personal best mark by 4 feet of 76'6.25" to place 16th out of 30 athletes, and teammate Harmoni was in 17th with a mark of 74'11.5". The top six throwers in the event all had marks greater than 100 feet, longer than Harmoni's school record of 97'2".   The boys' team had participants in the High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, Discus, Shot Put and Pole Vault.  Connor McDaniel ('19) set the standard with his second place 6'2" clearance in the high jump that broke his own school record by 2".   Teammate William Stewart had an off day, and didn't make the minimum height that morning.  Both athletes then participated in the long jump, with Conner landing at 18'9" and William getting a mark at 16'9.5", not adding any points to the team score with their 16th and 26th place finishes.   In the discus throw, Christian Wong set a new PR by just over 3ft with his mark of 88'8", but didn't make it into score range.  Miguel Rodriguez was the only participant for Cambridge in the triple jump, and his landing at 35'8.75" was just over a foot shy of his PR.    The pole vault field was pretty deep, but Christian Graham cleared 9' for a 12th place finish out of 17 competitors.   Freshman and pole vault newcomer Noah Prevallet made a valiant attempt but didn't make the the height cutoff for the event, but he'll surely continue to improve as he follows in his sister's footsteps.   The final event for the boys was the shot put, and Andrew Pardo beat his personal best mark by 11" with a throw of 25'11".
 
The races on the track started with the two mile on Saturday morning, and juniors Ashley Sechrest and Afton Hirschi represented the Lady Bears.   Ashley stayed with the leaders throughout the race, and her final time of 11:09.58, as noted above, broke the stadium record but was a half second behind the leader.  She now has the CHS school record in the two mile, and bested her PR in the 3200 (about 18m shorter than a two mile) by 10 seconds.  Afton finished in 12:28 for a two mile personal best, and 1 point added to the team score for her 8th place finish.    Senior Jack Donovan and junior Adam Schaich represented the big "C" for the boys' two mile.   Jack finished in 11th with a time of 10:43, and Adam's time of 11:12 earned 21st.   
 
The 4x100m relay was next, and the Cambridge girls' A team of Quiniche Peets ('19), Katherine Moore ('29) , Michaela Prevallet ('20), Grace Wolf ('20) zipped around the track for fifth place in the fourth and final heat, and a sixth place overall time of 51.66.  The 'B' team was comprised of Taylor Barnes ('21), Natalie Bell ('20), Grace Counsell ('21), and Cely Regnier ('21), finished 4th in their heat, but 17th out of 28 teams overall.  The two boys teams didn't score points, but finished in 14th and 24th out of 30.  The A team, comprised of Connor McDaniel ('19), CJ Thompson ('19), Hayden Gardella ('21), and Christian Graham ('20) finished 3rd in their heat with a time of 45.28, one second shy of the school record, and the B team members of Cade Ellington ('22), William Stewart ('19), Jack McHale ('20), and Andrew Kochman ('22) finished 7th in the same heat with a time of 47.67.
 
The girls 4x800 was the next race of the day, and the girls' team comprised of Olivia Sanford ('20), Lauren Harris ('19), Camilla Montes ('22), Delany Goodell ('19) finished fifth in their heat and sixth overall in 11:08 to add three more points to the Lady Bears' team score.  This was quickly followed by the 400m dash events.   Competing for the girls' team was sophomore Kat Suplee, who won her heat, and finished 4th overall, with a personal best time of 1:02.06.  Evan Bell ('19) and Jack McHale ('20) competed in the 4th and 5th heats for the boys. Evan finished 4th in his heat and 20th out of 39 with a time of 54.31, and Jack McHale ran a personal best time of 52.07 to finish first in his heat and fifth overall, adding four more points to the overall score.
 
The afternoon continued with the 100m dash and 100m/110m hurdle races.   Taylor Barnes ('21) and Quiniche Peets ('19) finished in 31st and 14th place.  Taylor bested her personal record by .19 seconds from Wednesday's meet, finishing 4th in her heat, and veteran Quiniche ran a time of 13.6 seconds, just .1 second off of her PR to finish 7th in her heat.     The boys' team was represented by Connor McDaniel and Christian Graham, who finished in 2nd and 3rd in their heat and 21st and 26th overall.   Connor's time of 11.78 was also a personal best for him.  In the hurdles, the girls' run 100m and the boys run 110m.  Juniors Grace Wolf and Michaela Prevallet ran for times of 16.64 and 15.96 to finish in 4th and 3rd place.   Grace won her heat, and had her best time for CHS in this event, but was shy of her PR set last year at her previous school.  Michaela finished third in the last heat, and was also shy of her school record time of 15.31 seconds.  Michael Hudson was the only CHS participant in the 110m hurdles, finishing 5th in his heat and 20th overall in a time of 19.75 seconds.
 
The boys 4x800 relay race was then run between sprinting events to allow some recovery time, and the Bears set a new school record by finishing in 8:17.2.   Yahya Merchant ('20), Mark VanDeWater ('19), Carson Ertwine ('19), and Jack Filan ('19) ran for an average of just over 2:04 per 800m to finish 2nd overall and add 8 more points to the Bears' team score.   Quiniche Peets then ran 28.25 to finish 2nd in her heat and 14th overall in the 200m dash.  She was 0.1 seconds off her personal record.  Hayden Gardella and Jack McHale ran personal best times in the boys' 200m dash, with Hayden's time of 23.76 tying his previous PR and earning 6th in his heat and 16th overall.   Jack beat his PR by 0.28 seconds that he had just set earlier in the week, finishing 4th in his heat and 20th out of 36.  
 
The 1 mile run, 9 meters longer than the standard 1600m race at GHSA meets, was the final distance race of the day.  Freshmen Katie Malone and Kyra Gould ran the distance for the first time, and finished in 6:02 and 6:33 for 17th and 28th place, both out of scoring range.   The boys one mile was run by freshman Lyle Donovan and junior, but track newcomer Will Carrow, neither of whom had 1 mile PRs but Lyle had run a 1600m race.   Lyle's time of 4:40 bested his 1600m PR by 2 seconds, and earned him 4th place and 5 more points for the team.   Will's time of 4:58 broke that ever elusive 5 minute mile barrier so many runners seek to achieve and only 19 runners have done at Cambridge.
 
The 300m hurdles and the Sprint Medley Relay (SMR, a relay with legs of 100m, 100m, 200m, and 400m for a total of 800m) ended the day.  Grace Wolf ('20) and Raleigh Matthews ('20) ran in the 300mH for the Lady Bears.  Raleigh finished third in her heat, and 16th overall.   Grace was shy of her PR by nearly two seconds, but her time of 46.83 was fast enough for first place overall and the final 10 points earned by the Lady Bears towards their team score.  Juniors Adithya Chimalakonda and Spencer Gray then ran in the boys' race, finishing in 10th and 22nd place.  Adithya ran a personal best time by over 1 second of 50.65 seconds to finish second in the first heat.  Spencer finished fifth in his heat with a time of 44.32.   
 
The SMR ended the day and unfortunately did not change the scores for either team.   In the girls' SMR, the B team of Aaliyah Miranda ('22), Eva Ng ('21), Julia Strickland ('21), and Jaiden Stidston ('20) ran for a time of 2:10.48 for 5th in their heat and 22nd overall.  The members of the A team were Alejandra Murillo ('21), Skye Harley ('22), Kennedy Atkinson, and Liv Bollenbacher ('22), finishing 5th in the third heat and 15th overall with a time of 2:06.8.   The boys also had two teams in the SMR.  The A team of Ryan Beck ('21), Christian Jones ('21), Chris Beck ('21), and Jack Faulkenburg ('22) finished 5th in their heat and 24th overall with a time of 1:50.8, and the B team, comprised of Joshua Jackson ('22), Alex Anderson ('22), Abdullah Umar ('21), and David Serrao ('22), finished in 25th with a time of 1:54.65.
 
As the team scores were added up, the girls total of 75 points put them in fourth place overall, the only 6A team beating them being Johns Creek, and the boys earned 46 points for 11th place with 6A powerhouse Pope in first, and Alpharetta and Roswell placing higher looking ahead to the region meet in April.   
 
The next meet will be a smaller midweek meet at Mt. Pisgah on Wednesday, March 6. 
 
Go Bears!