Emily Ward was North Hagerstown’s slugger at the Maryland Class 3A West Indoor Track & Field Championships on Wednesday evening at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.
The sophomore went 3-for-3 with a home run.
“Three races and top-three finishes in all three,” North coach Brian Myers said.
Ward’s blast came in the girls 1,600-meter run as she won by nearly 6 seconds in 5:29.49. She also placed second in the 3,200 in 12:19.40 and teamed with Michey Moody, Christine Randall and Emily Simmons to place third in the 4x800 relay in 10:16.51.
“Emily Ward really wanted to do well, especially in the mile (1,600),” Myers said. “She wanted to bust it in the mile. She was gung-ho for the mile and took it by storm.”
While Ward was the top seed in the 3,200, she had to settle for second as Moody, her teammate, was the surprise winner in 12:12.71.
“We knew she was going to be strong,” said Myers of Moody, who was seeded fourth in the 3,200. “We knew the potential was there, but we didn’t quite expect that.
“She was amped up to run. The 4x800 had already qualified for states, and then she wanted to make a statement for herself too.”
The top four finishers in each event Wednesday qualified for the Feb. 21 state meet, as did those who met the advancement standards.
The South Hagerstown girls were led to states by Hayley Freeman, who finished second in the 300 in a school-record time of 41.90 seconds. She also teamed with Elizsha Streeter, Whitney Jarrett and LaTraya Landsdowne to place fourth in the 4x200 in 1:49.62.
“Hayley has worked hard,” said South coach Dwayne Freeman, her father. “She knew going down there with the 3A competition that she’d have to put in a good week of practice, and I was really pleased with her effort. I was proud as a coach and father.”
The South boys had one state qualifier, Daniel Hockensmith, who placed fourth in the 1,600 in 4:36.67 in a breakthrough performance.
“He’s worked hard all year and was determined,” Freeman said. “It was a heck of a race.”
North had a handful of other qualifiers — Emily Smith in the girls pole vault (tied for third, 7-7), Charlotte Anderson in the girls shot put (fourth, 35-8 3/4) and Jason White in the boys pole vault (sixth, 10-4).