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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
ArlingtonSportsW-L girls first at track and field invitational

W-L girls first at track and field invitational

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Was winning a chilly invitational meet enough of a positive new experience for the Washington-Liberty Generals?

“You bet. It was a lot of fun,” W-L coach John Bacon said.

To start the 2022-23 indoor track and field season, the high-school team wanted to participate in a different competition against unfamiliar opponents for a change. So the Generals entered the Bobcat Blizzard Invitational at Battlefield High School in Haymarket.

The W-L girls team left with the team championship, winning the title comfortably against 19 other squads with 78 points, 23 more than the runner-up. The meet was held outdoors on the Battlefield track.


“It was a team effort and the girls did great in a lot of different events,” Bacon said. “Every little point we scored helped. The weather was good, not that cold. But it’s amazing, kids don’t get cold.”

Washington-Liberty was led by the strong and versatile individual performance of Ella Kaplan. The sophomore won the 500-meter run in 1:23.51. She was second in the long and triple jumps, third in the high jump and fourth in the 55 hurdles. She also ran on a relay.

“She was a dynamo,” Bacon said of Kaplan.

Washington-Liberty’s Morgan Brown was second in the 55 dash. Amela Male was third in the shot put, Therese Johansson sixth in the 500, Alena Topchy seventh in the 55 hurdles, Lily Kuzdzal eighth in the 1,000, Annabel Friedman eighth in the shot put  and Alba Edsall ninth in the 3,200.

The Generals were strong in the three relays, finishing first in the 4×800 in 10:28.99, second in the 4×400 and fourth in the 4×200.

The 4×800 was the first event of the meet, with the W-L foursome consisting of Kuzdzal, Johansson, Emily Buckwalter and Kate Floom. Buckwalter, a freshman, and Floom, a sophomore, were substituted into the event.

“We won that race right at the start and that kind of let the other teams know about Washington-Liberty,” Bacon said. “We subbed in a couple of runners in that race and they handled it like champions. That showed the team effort.”

The 4×400 relay was Kaplan, Johansson, Thalia Lynch and Annie Trucano.

The Washington-Liberty boys team was fourth in the boys meet with 46.67 points. Patriot won with 96.

Leading the W-L boys was shot put champion Jonah Friedman with a throw of 55-11/2.

William Gellenthien was second in the 55 dash and seventh in the 500, Ian Naff was second in the 500 and Benjamin Tahu was third in the high jump.

In the relays, the W-L boys won the 4×400 (3:34.44). The 4×800 was third and the 4×200 eighth.

The winning 4×400 consisted of Naff, Gellenthien, Fletcher Emmott and Joaquin Lynch. Bacon said Naff “rallied” to anchor the relay after being tired from running a strong 500 with a state-meet-qualifying time.

“We thought that meet would be a fun one and it was,” Bacon said.

NOTE: Bacon explained he chose the girls 4×800 and the boys 4×400 relays as the Athletes of the Meet for the teams to emphasize teamwork, instead of choosing individuals.

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