It’s been 11 years since the Marshall Statesmen captured the Liberty District indoor track and field, but with individual titles from seniors Shannon McVey and Jacqueline Hargrove, the Statesmen pulled away from rival Langley and claimed the crown.
After the first day of competition, Marshall had a slim five-point lead over Langley, Thomas Jefferson and W.T. Woodson. The meet stayed close, with Marshall leading Langley by just two points, 75-73, heading into the 3200m. That’s when senior leadership took over, as the Statesmen picked up 18 points in the event to put the championship away.
Senior Jacqueline Hargrove led the Statesmen by scoring 52 of the team’s 103 points and closing out an impressive indoor career. Hargrove won two district titles, including breaking her school and meet record in the 300m dash with an impressive national-ranking mark of 41.01. Hargrove also finished no lower than second in six other events, including her first loss in the 55m dash in four years. After winning the shot put on the meet’s first day, added second-place finishes in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 4x400m relay.
The reason Hargrove lost in the 55m, was because fellow Marshall senior Shannon McVey surpassed her for the title, narrowly missing the school and meet record set by 1996 champion Melanie Burgess (7.37 to Burgess’s 7.30). McVey also stepped up to the longer sprint and lowered an impressive personal best by over two seconds to take second in the 300m dash. Called upon to lead once more, McVey anchored the 4x200m relay to a regional qualifier and runner-up finish. Freshman Brittany Johnson, sophomore Chandler Dennison and senior Jamie Schiller and joined McVey in the event, turning in the relay team’s fastest time without Hargrove on the roster. Johnson looked to be the leader of the next wave of Statesmen sprinters, as she posted a regional-qualifying mark to take fifth in the 55m dash. She also placed fourth in the high jump.
Sophomore Tara Cappiello placed third in the 1000m, providing the Statesmen with a 12-point swing in the Statesmen’s favor.
With the close margins in the team scoring, a performance from last week’s first day of competition proved important to the team competition — the surprising sixth-place finish in the shot put by Ann-Elise Gustavsen.
On the boys’ side, junior Lance Cheng captured his first district title in the triple jump. Improving on his indoor personal best and district-leading entry mark, Cheng leapt over 41 feet for the second time in his career to defeat rival Jordon Calderwood of Langley for first place. Cheng also broke through in the 55m hurdles by qualifying for the regional championship with fifth place in the event.
Fellow junior Oscar Olazo will join him at regionals after a runner-up performance in the 1000m.