Before the indoor track and field team’s meet on Dec. 27, sophomore Keith Cartwright, one of the team’s top sprinters, decided to compete in the long jump for the first time. The decision was a good one.
“I guess I expected to do pretty well but not anywhere near to as well as I did,” Cartwright said. “When the official working the pit told me my distance I remember being stunned and very excited about it.”
Cartwright leaped an astounding 20 feet, 2.75 inches, a new school record for indoor track and field.
The jump placed Cartwright third in the county and catapulted him into states contention. In addition to the jump, he placed 12th in the 55-meter sprint, setting a new personal best in the event, and placed 23rd in the 300-meter.
The performance was historic. In addition to breaking the indoor school record for the long jump, Cartwright’s performance would have placed third in school history for outdoor track and field and ranked as the seventh-best performance by a sophomore in Montgomery County since 2006.
All three of Cartwright’s events ranked as top 10 performances in the history of the indoor track and field team.
Distance also had a stellar day. Sophomore Richard Qiao broke the 5-minute barrier in the mile (4:59.2) and sophomore Erin Chelf debuted in the 800m with a time of 2:37, good for 10th out of 61 competitors. Seniors Valerie Hubert (5:57 and 10th in the 1600) and Sarah Shapiro (13:16 and sixth in the 3200) also placed within the top 10 of their events. The team still awaits the season debuts of seniors Troy Davis and Gwen Klein and junior Mitchell Fanger.
In the sprinting events, junior Ana Scherf and freshman Grace Osman led the team in the 55m and 300m, respectively, with both finishing in the top 25 of their events.
Cartwright was the top boy for the Patriots in both sprinting events, and Steven Zou joined Cartwright in the top 20 in the 55m.
Senior Abbie Tran and junior Ambrose Devine were the team’s leaders in the 500m, as both placed in the top 25.
“As always, there’s a lot of work to do,” head coach Matthew Davis said. “But this is the part of the season where we’ve done a lot of miles and now it’s time to step on the track and start polishing up. We’re starting to get into the championship season.”
The Dec. 27 meet, known as MCPS 3, was the second official meet of the season after the Georgetown Prep Practice Meet, planned for mid-December, was canceled.
Next up, the team will compete in the Montgomery Invitational on Jan. 14 prior to the Montgomery County Championships on Jan. 18.