Ocean City Today

Decatur’s Romano and Beck qualify for state competition

By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Feb 08, 2018
Courtesy of: JODY STIGLER Stephen Decatur sophomore Alyssa Romano and junior Kevin Beck hold the ribbons they won for placing second in the pole vault and fourth in the 800-meter race, respectively, during Tuesday’s 3A East indoor track regional meet at the Prince George’s Sportsplex in Landover.

(Feb. 9, 2018) Stephen Decatur sophomore Alyssa Romano placed second in the pole vault and junior Kevin Beck took fourth in the 800-meter race during Tuesday’s 3A East indoor track regional meet. Both have advanced to the state championship.

The opening height for the regional pole vault event was 6 feet 6 inches, which concerned Romano, because that is her season-best mark.

“I was scared I wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “During regular meets this season the opening height was 6 feet and regionals was 6 [feet] 6 [inches].”

She cleared 6 feet 6 inches for the first time during the Bayside Conference championship on Jan. 24.

Romano came up short on her first two attempts during the regional meet, held at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover. She got some tips – to swing her feet more and hold the pole higher – and was able to vault over the bar on her third try.

“I thought I did pretty good,” she said. “For the most part, I was pleased – I was definitely happy with the pole vault – but my running events I thought I could have done better.”

The next pole vault height was 7 feet. Romano said her steps were off in her first attempt. Her second attempt was better, she said. On her third attempt, Romano said her leg just skimmed the bar as she went over it, and it fell.

Romano said it is a big accomplishment to qualify for the state meet in her first season competing in the pole vault.

“In the beginning of the year, I never thought I’d make it to states,” she said. “I definitely got better as the season went on.”

Romano is excited and nervous to participate in the state meet, because she knows the competition will be strong.

She plans to practice every day before the state championship, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex.

Her goal is to clear 7 feet.

“It was a really good accomplishment for her to qualify for the state meet, because she has only been pole vaulting for this season and pole vault is one of the more complex and technical events that usually takes time to master,” Decatur Coach Jody Stigler said. “The opening height for states is probably going to be 6 [feet] 6 [inches] or 7 [feet] … If she [can clear that], she could have a very good chance to place.”

Beck faced fast competition in the 800-meter race. He saw some of the same athletes earlier in the night during the mile race, so he knew what to expect for the 800.

“They were all really fast in the mile, so I was a little nervous [going into the 800],” he said.

Beck crossed the finish line in 2:03.55 – his fastest time of the season.

“I thought I did really well. They were all really fast, so I think that helped me go faster,” Beck said. “I tried to stay with the guy in front and that helped me.”

“I thought he ran a pretty good race,” Stigler said. “I think he was a little nervous before the race and he got boxed in a little bit in the beginning, but got out of it and put on a nice burst of speed to make his way toward the front … [It] was by far the strongest field that he has faced all year and he did not let that get to him psychologically, which was encouraging as the competition will be stronger at the state meet.”

This will be Beck’s first indoor track state appearance and he said he is both nervous and excited.

“I know the competition is going to be even faster,” he said.

Beck will be running daily to prepare for states, he said. His goal is to beat the time he recorded at regionals.

“The fact that our region is so tough means that since he got out of our region [and qualified for the championship] he will have a good chance to place at the state meet, granted that he runs a good race,” Stigler said.


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