Together. The Urbana High School girls’ indoor track and field team’s success in recent years has been predicated on that one word.
“We are together every step of the way,” coach CJ Ecalono said. “You might be out there (in an event) all by yourself, but we’re still all together. You have your entire team behind you.”
It was an overall team effort that enabled the reigning six-time Frederick County and region champion Hawks to win their first-ever state indoor track title at the Maryland Class 4A/3A championship on Feb. 19. Though Urbana only won two events, the Hawks scored in 10 of 13 events and had at least two athletes finish in the top five of three of them.
“People say track and field is an individual sport but at the same time, you’re going out there and you’re trying to put on a show for your team,” Ecalono said. “Our motto this whole championship season has been, ‘Take a deep breath, relax and go do what you do. Go put on a show.’ And it’s all (fallen) into place.”
Urbana, which led by only three points with two events remaining, ultimately finished with a 68-40 advantage over Montgomery County’s Northwest—last spring’s outdoor track state champion—in second place. The Hawks took an early lead after sophomore Ella Auderset and junior Lydia Robling took first and fifth in the 500-meter run, respectively. Auderset also finished third in the 300 run.
Seniors Brin Strouse and Mary Miller combined for nine points with fourthand fifth-place performances in the 3,200-meter run and sisters Oni and Ezri Scott placed second and eighth in the high jump—Oni also scored in the shot put. But it was the 22 points earned by Urbana’s pole vault contingent, led by state champion, senior Payton Bohrer, that really widened the gap. By finishing three girls in the top five—senior Kelsey Calabrese finished second and fifth, respectively—Urbana’s pole vaulters alone tallied enough points to finish in the top 10 of team scoring.
Senior Susannah Auderset and freshmen Emily and Karly McDonnell scored in two relays apiece, teaming with junior Riley Johnson for fifth in the 3,200m relay and with senior Lily Morrell for sixth in the 1,600m race.
“We’ve built a culture over the last several years that’s really been spearheaded by these seniors, who have never lost a county, regional or conference championship meet in indoor or outdoor,” Ecalono said. “They expect to go in there (and win) and it trickles down to the juniors and sophomores and freshmen. … Whenever it’s your turn to go out and perform, you’re not just performing for yourself, we’re all together.”
Note: Seniors Cole Jiron and Seth Hajzus finished third and fifth, respectively, in the boys’ pole vault for Urbana.