Local youths have fine showing at Junior Olympics


  Five young athletes from Harford County earned All-America honors in the National Junior Olympics of the USA Track and Field July 26-30 in Baltimore.

A Harford Track Club foursome of Lydia Cross, Katherine Eckart, Emma Bowditch and Sophia Kudla captured the honors in the age-13-14 girls' 4x800 relay on the Morgan State University track.

Christina Riggins, a member of the Aberdeen Soaring Eagles Club, was also named All-American for her eighth-place finish in the 13-14 girls' 100-meter dash. She ran 12.38 seconds in the final behind the meet-record performance of Kaylin Whitney of Clermont, Fla. Riggins ran a personal best 12.16 in the semifinals.


In the relay, Cross clocked 2:46 on the first leg and Eckart moved the team up seven places with a 2:29 carry on the second. Bowditch held the team's position through the third half-mile with a 2:43 and Kudla staved off a challenge by a team from Las Vegas to secure the eight-place finish in 10 minutes, 40 seconds.

"We needed Sophia's 5-second PR and sprint at the finish to reach All-American status," coach Larry Pickett said.

The meet drew a record field of 8,000 young athletes from across the U.S., each having qualified in regional competition in six two-year age divisions.

Competitors from three Harford County track clubs competed. From the Aberdeen Soaring Eagles, Alexandria Mann placed 16th in the 7-8 girls 100 dash in 15.57. Keivon Bowman was 24th in the 11-12 discus in 70-11 and Nicholas Alleyne was 31st in the same event at 64-6. In 17-18, Nia Alleyne triple-jumped 36-1 1/2 to place 26th.

Cyniah Lewis of the Joppatowne Track Club competed in three age-7-8 dashes, finishing 13th in the 200 in 32.32 and 15th in the 400 in 1:15.74. She also qualified for the semifinals in the 100 in 15.75.

Devon Teagle of Joppatowne placed 22nd in the 15-16 triple jump at 41-0 1/2. The team of Brandon Chase, Chavez Cheatham, Tobin Dixon and Randy Thrower took 13th in the 17-18 boys 4x100 relay in 42.11. Chase ran 21.95 for 18th in the 200 dash, but was disqualified for a false start in the 400, the event in which he was likely to medal.

From the Harford County Track Club, the 15-16 boys team of Mark Pickett, Bryce Ferrell, Danny Vinton and Braeden Ferrell placed 11th in the 4x800 relay in 8:57.33. Pickett placed 30th in the 1500 in a personal best of 4:31.14. Bryce Ferrell was 35th in the 3000 in 10:35.89. In the age 17-18 boys 3000, Matt Hoerr placed 24th in 9:59.62. In the 15-16 long jump, Djimon Harried placed 32nd at 16-4 1/2.

Kieran McDermott placed 41st in the 11-12 boys 800 in 2:34.12. Katherine Eckart finished 23rd in the 13-14 girls 800 in 2:27.46.