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Beck 4th in 800M run during indoor track state meet

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Mar 01, 2018
Courtesy of: JODY STIGLER Stephen Decatur junior Kevin Beck took fourth in the 800-meter race during the 3A state championship meet last week.

(March 2, 2018) Stephen Decatur junior Kevin Beck not only placed fourth in the 800-meter run during last Tuesday’s 3A indoor track state championship meet at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, but he also broke the school record for the event.

“I was seeded ninth. I did better than expected,” Beck said. “I was hoping to finish top seven and beat the school record. That’s what I was going for.”

Josh Zobenica set the school record of 2:02 in 1998.

“It was a tough record to beat,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “Josh was a really good runner [and] three-time state champion.”

Before the state race, Beck said he was nervous, but excited to compete.

“I knew it was my last race of the year, so I wanted to go all out and do my best,” he said.

He crossed the finish line in 2:01.89, good for fourth place.

“They were all fast. They pushed me to go faster,” Beck said. “It was great to end the season on a high note.”

Beck said it was “cool to see all the fast runners in the state” competing.

“It was an honor to be part of that,” he said.

“I knew he had a good chance to place, but my goal was for him to run his best time, which he did by two seconds,” Stigler said. “His goal was to break the school record in the 800 for indoor and he did that as well, so I think we were definitely pleased with the performance. He was also the top-finishing underclassmen, so he has high expectations next year.”

Beck captured the Bayside Conference title in the 800-meter race this season. He hopes to continue to drop his time in the event, next winter season.

Sophomore Alyssa Romano joined Beck at the state competition. She participated in the pole vault event. Although she didn’t clear the opening height of 6 feet 6 inches, Romano enjoyed the experience of competing in a state championship and was glad to qualify for the meet, especially as a sophomore.

“It was kind of cool to see the other girl pole vaulters, and the boys too. At states, everyone is so good,” she said. “My nerves definitely took over, and I drove back from Florida the day before [from a lacrosse clinic] so I was a little tired.”

Romano said she was surprised how well she did this season, attempting the pole vault for the first time.

“The opening height for states was at Alyssa’s PR (personal record), which is difficult to come in and do right away,” Stigler said. “Normally she has a chance to warm up at a lower height and that helps her to have better attempts when she gets to higher heights.”

Stigler said it was a good accomplishment for her just to make it to the state meet.

“She has only been pole vaulting since about December and pole vault is an event that takes a while for an athlete to pick up as it is a very technical event, so I was definitely pleased with her season and her progress,” Stigler said. “Many of the other girl pole vaulters at the state meet have been pole vaulting for two, three or four years and those repetitions and experiences are really invaluable in the pole vault even more so than in other events.”

Romano placed second in the pole vault and Beck took fourth in the 800-meter race during the 3A East indoor track regional meet to advanced to the state championship.

Stigler thought the indoor track season went well overall. He expects both the boys’ and girls’ teams to be strong next year.

“We have a very young [group], so many will be returning. We only have a few seniors,” Stigler said.

Some athletes will compete in outdoor track for Decatur during the spring season. Practices began yesterday, Thursday.

Earlier this week, Stigler presented awards to several indoor track athletes during the team banquet. Beck and Romano received MVP awards.

Other awards went to: Top Newcomers: sophomore Gabby Izzett and junior Gavin Bunting; Coaches Awards: seniors Emma Stubblebine and Laila Mirza, junior Chad Fischer, sophomores Sam Rakowski and Austin Cheynet and freshman Jabria Lewis; Bill Riddick Thrower’s Award: senior Tyler Cook; and Sportsmanship: senior Jack Reimer.

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