Boys track prepares for regionals


Senior Mahiteme Tigabu (Right) and junior Zaid Al-Kahfah (Left) sprint down the stretch at the conference meet.

Ethan Zimmerman, Staff Writer

The boys track team competed at the Patriot Conference Championship meet on Feb. 1 and Feb. 4. The team ran against conference rivals such as Lake Braddock, Woodson, and T.C. Williams.

With many running at the conference finals some excelled in their respective events. A number of runners have qualified to move on to the Region 6A Championship meet on Feb.18.

“Qualifying for regionals was one of my goals, but last year I ran the relay so I had teammates, this year I only have myself to count on,” senior Mahiteme Tigabu said. Tigabu, one of the runners to move on to compete at the regionals meet ran an impressive time of 4:34 in the one mile run at the conference meet.

A total of 10 runners will be moving on in seven different events. This indoor track season has been a major improvement from prior seasons as many more Atoms have qualified to compete at regionals.

The Atoms moving on to the regionals meet will be freshman Jay Pendarvis who ran a 36.68 in the 300-meter dash at conference, Senior Dagim Tigabu and freshman Mikyas Sahlu in the two-mile run each running a 10:02 and a 10:06  respectively, senior Mahiteme Tigabu in the one-mile run, and junior Joseph McCoy and senior Jacob Weber in the 55-meter hurdles running an 8.11 and 7.76.

In the field events at the regionals meet, juniors Matthew McKiver and Ty-ree Anderson will compete in the high jump, senior Jeremiah Bethea will compete in the pole vault and senior Brandon Hunt in the shot put.

“I am very happy with the number of runners going to regionals, however our relay team had a good chance of making regionals this year but we had a mishap, we’re going to work hard to improve before regionals,”Head Coach Phil Harris said.

Three of the Atoms, Weber, McKiver and Bethea excelled in their respective events well enough to already qualify for the state meet later in the month.

“It feels great to know that I have already qualified for states and even nationals, I’m just working on strengthening my calves so I can try to beat the school record,” junior Matthew Mckiver said.

The Atoms competing at regionals will be looking to improve their times and move on to the state meet later this month on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25. If they move on, the Atoms will face tough competition from around the state at the state finals.