Zania Gavins walked out of the DC Interscholastic Athletic Association last week feeling overwhelmed. Dunbar’s triple jumper failed to make a qualifying jump at the league’s final meeting ahead of the DCIAA Championship on Thursday.
But at Saturday’s Last Track to Philly meeting at Georgetown Prep, she had another chance to prove she could compete for the title.
“Not everyone has that kind of enthusiasm and drive to show that they really want to do it in the triple jump,” Gavins said. “[On Saturday], I saw it as: “This is my chance to really get noticed by someone, get a medal, really get into the hole and show that I’m worthy enough to be here.” ”
Having missed every one of her three chances to qualify for the jump just a few days earlier, Gavins placed third at the Georgetown Preliminaries with a 32ft 2in jump.
Heading into the DCIAA championship, Gavins said it’s all about building on the improvement she’s already made.
“When you think about all the bad things that can happen… that’s exactly what will happen,” she said. “So I remain positive that I will go over 34 feet this Thursday. I hope it’s in my future.”
With the championship season fast approaching, the girls at Bethesda-Chevy Chase have set themselves an ambitious goal: to reclaim the state crown. After they won a 4A/3A meeting in February 2020, the pandemic-altered 2021 season preceded a runner-up finish against rival Walter Johnson last year.
Coach Jason Blanken said that despite the whole team having the same goal, it has largely gone unspoken this season.
“I tried to make sure this wasn’t the kind of conversation we have all year long because I think it puts unnecessary pressure on them,” he said. “You won’t swim well when you feel pressure and tension.”
Instead, the Barons took a personal approach to their postseason goals. This season is the 50th in B-CC sailing history and Blanken has had access to the team’s records and data since 1972.
Blanken said at least three of the girls’ recent team records are within reach. And with a group of talent returning to the Barons last year — led by state 50-yard freestyle champion and county record holder Nina Allen — Blanken hopes more records will fall along the way to their ultimate goal.
“The goal I’m going to set for the girls is, ‘What’s the county record?’ in the respective race,” he said. “Come on, let it be golden time.” ”
On Friday night, Montgomery County’s top teams entertained the packed Cabin John Ice Rink. The difference in Walter Johnson’s 4-1 win over Ivins Orchard was depth.
Despite being at the top of the Montgomery 2 division, the Cougars (8-2-0) compete as the smallest team in the county with a two-line roster (plus two extra players). Quince Orchard has no freshmen and thus an uncertain future which could mean teaming up with another school to compete next year.
For a while on Friday, the Cougars used Jeremy Yeager’s strong defense and quality play to stay in the game. Leading 1-0 at the start of the third period, Walter Johnson (10-1-0) began to change lines faster to stay fresh on the ice.
“The idea was to hit them hard and fast,” Wildcats coach Malcolm Farr said. “This is one of those that played out the way we planned.”
A shorthanded goal by Brendan Klotz midway through the third period forced Walter Johnson to budge, giving way to two more goals before the end of the period from senior Alex Chung and junior Adam Pyott.
Dylan Ayester brought the Cougars to the board to avoid the lockout with just over two minutes left. Quince Orchard coach Andy Cato said he thought his team outplayed their opponent in part of the game, but “it cost us the game – our depth.”
A young team with a new coach who ended an undefeated season, Gonzaga came out last week with a 5-7 record in doubles. Five of those losses came by six points.
The Eagles (14-8) start the breakout by finishing the week 9-1, winning Saturday’s Bubba Bunting Duals in the Potomac. Jake Hascoll, Andrew Irisari, Jack McDonough, James Shoji, Matt Van Says and Bo Sulk won the individual titles for Coach Reggie Snowden’s First Year Team by beating Mercersburg, DeMata, St. James, Heights and host Bullis.
“This week has been a fun one for us,” said Snowden, a DC native and Jackson-Reed alumnus who has taught at Florida A&M and MIT. “Finally we are starting to put the pieces together and make sense of everything.”
In Maryland, Marriotts Ridge (353) passed Blair (346) to take the tag team title at the Falcon Invitational at Winters Mill High in Westminster on Saturday. Freshman Boden Pistorio (106 lbs) and senior Atlee Turner (132) secured the individual titles for Marriotts Ridge, while senior Nelson Manzoeto won the 170 lb title for Blair. In addition, CH Flowers hosted the Winter Blitz in Springdale, where the Jaguars (174.5 points) went out of the field with 21 teams, beating Wise (164) and Bowie (161). … In Virginia, Battlefield beat Westfield in a thriller 33-31 to win the Highlander Duals from McLean.