Alexis Groce ran a stellar state qualifying time of 61.88 seconds to win the 400 meters at Haverford College on January 15 to spark the boys and girls track teams last week.
“When I was running the 400, I was hoping to qualify to give us more options,” said Groce, a sophomore. “Now I can do the 400 or the mile at conference.”
Groce helped the girls place runner-up while the boys took sixth in the meet.
The 1600-meter relay team of Alli Henderson, Tyesha Bowman, Shekinah Brown and Groce took first as well with a time of 4:21.69, while the 3200-meter relay team of Molly Bliss, Groce, Kelsey Cabrera and Henderson placed second with at 10:22.21, less than one second away from the school record.
For the boys, the 1600-meter relay team of Alex Vantine, Taiwan Savage, Miles Russell and Josh Johnson took second, while the 3200-meter relay team of Savage, Johnson, Michael Doughty and Carl Richardson placed third with an 8:39.02
“Our 3200-meter squad really came together on Saturday. When we stepped on the track we all had the same goal in mind: win,” said Savage. “Even though we didn’t win, we moved up to third in the state and only seven seconds from the (school) indoor record.”
Other place winners in the meet included: second place: Jon Jones, shot put; third place: Vantine, Bryson Cartwright, Dawan Smith and Miles Russell, 800-meter relay; fourth place: Destiny Sivels, Bowman, Henderson and Brown, 800-meter relay; Sivels, 55 meters; Cabrera, 3200 meters; Smith, long jump; and Bowman, state-qualifying time of 28.3 seconds in the 200 meters; fifth place: Bowman, 400 meters; and Richardson, 3200 meters; sixth place: Savage, 800 meters; and Kari Elzey, shot put.
At Snow Hill, Md., on Wednesday, January 19, the boys scored a first-place finish while the girls placed second, 27 points behind Henlopen rival Cape Henlopen.
Richardson vaulted a state-qualifying height of 10 feet, 6 inches, while Keyanna Winder qualified in the 55 hurdles with a 9.8 and Bliss in the 1600 with a 5:41.
“I was nervous, it was new and I wasn’t sure of the right pace,” said Bliss. “I was in pain at the end but was proud of myself.”
The Bucs will compete in the Henlopen Conference championship Friday, January 28 at the Worcester County Recreation Center in Snow Hill, Md. The state meet will be held Saturday, February 12 at the University of Delaware in Newark.