Freshman runners propel girl’s track and field team to place 7th in the Maryland 3A State Championship


courtesy of Melanie Barger

The 4×400 relay team celebrate after a successful race!

by Elizabeth Rajnik, Reporter

On May 24 and 25, the girls track and field team competed at the Maryland 3A State Championship at Morgan State University. The two day meet proved to be very successful for the Lady Lancers as they placed 7th out of 45 teams with 36 points, the best result they’ve had in many years. Frederick High School (FHS) and Tuscarora HIgh School (THS) placed above Linganore with FHS coming in 2nd and THS coming in 6th. THS earned 37 points, only one more point than the Lancers.

The girls started strong on Day One by successfully placing in both of their relays. The 4×800 relay team consisting of Khelsa Connolly, Gemma Davies, Mikayla Moxley and Savannah Sitler ran a time of 9:40.47, placing 4th. This relay earned crucial points towards the team’s overall placing. The 4×200 team consisting of Payton Arneson, Melanie Barger, Myah Davies and Sarah Moravansky placed 9th in the meet with a time of 1:45.96. Not only did the team shave off five seconds from their original PR, but they also qualified for New Balance Nationals held in Greensboro, North Carolina during June 13 through 16.

Barger said, “I was honestly really surprised that we had qualified for nationals. Our 4×200 team got 5th in the region and only qualified for states because Frederick got disqualified [in regionals,] so we were ranked 15th going into states and got 9th place [in regionals.] We were able to PR by 5 seconds which was amazing and qualify for nationals. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we were really surprised, but also really proud of ourselves.”

The girls competed in many more events on Day Two including two relays and five single events. The same team who competed in the 4×200, Payton Arneson, Melanie Barger, Myah Davies and Sarah Moravansky, continued their success in the 4×100. The relay placed 4th overall with a time of 50.02.

The 4×400 team consisting of Mikayla Moxley, Melanie Barger, Gemma Davies and Savannah Sitler also proved to be successful by placing 8th overall with a time of 4:10.25.

Mikayla Moxley, also participated in two single events, the 800 meter run and 400 meter sprint. In the 800, Moxley place 2nd in the meet with a time of 2:16.36, the top ranked freshman in the event. Moxley also placed 9th in the 400 with a time of 59.02. Along with the 4×200 team, Moxley will also be traveling to Greensboro, NC to compete in the 800 and the 400 at the New Balance Nationals.

“I was so shocked and excited when I qualified,” said Moxley, “I’ve been doing lots of sprinting workouts and club track meets to prepare for Nationals.”

Melanie Barger also excelled in a single event, the 300 meter hurdles. Barger placed 5th and was the top freshman in the event running a time of 47:39.

“My favorite event to compete in was the 300 meter hurdles. I just started doing them midway through the season and they really challenged me, but it was good. I have bad experiences from hurdles in the past so it was a big accomplishment for me to overcome all my negative feelings about hurdles and not only make it to states, but also place 5th [at states,]” said Barger.

Khelsa Connolly and Cici Perrone successfully represented Linganore in the long distance events. Connolly placed 14th in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:26, and Perrone place 15th in the 3200 meter run with a time of 12:44.

The girls also have a very talented group who competed in the field events. Stormie Yinger, a first-year thrower for the Lancers, placed 11th in shot-put with a throw of 33’7”. The Lancers also have a very strong reputation for pole vault, and this year, all three vaulters scored points for the team. Myah Davies and Sarah Moravansky each vaulted 10 feet. Davies placed 3rd and Moravansky placed 4th due to the number of attempts. Taylor Biss vaulted 9 feet and placed 7th in the meet.

When asked what about the team propelled the girls to placing 7th in the state, Moxley said, “Everyone has gotten so much closer since indoor [track season] and it really has taken a lot of the pressure away from track for the outdoor season. My teammates and coaches have been so supportive and have helped me to realize what I am capable of doing. The coaches have also helped us by giving us a lot of new drills to work on exactly what each person needs to be working on, which has helped us so much.”

The track and field team will be looking to fall Cross Country to expand the field of participants! If you’re interested in becoming a part of this talented team, contact either Steve Musselman at [email protected] or David Bly at [email protected] to get more information about cross country, indoor track, or outdoor track.