Parker leads Hawks to fourth in invitational

WINCHESTER –Jamal Parker showed everyone he’s back on Saturday at the Apple Blossom Track and Field Invitational at James Wood.

The Skyline senior hadn’t participated in a full meet all season until Saturday due to a knee injury. In his first time doing jumps he won the long jump and placed second in the triple jump to held lead the Hawks to a fourth-place boys team finish.

“My coaches told me I wasn’t going to jump until conference, but I talked them into letting me jump,” Parker said. “I think I proved it to them I was ready.”

Parker jumped a 21-01.25 to win the long jump. He then leaped a 40-08.00 in the triple jump for second place.

He also finished second in the 100 with a time of 11.36 and was fifth in the 200 in 23.73. Parker was also part of the 4×100 relay team, which placed fourth (45.06).

The boys meet was won by Handley with 59 points. Skyline finished with 46 points, while Sherando was fifth with 37 points. Warren County was 15th with 10 points, and Strasburg was tied for 17th with eight points in the 21-team meet.

Briar Woods won the girls meet with 72 points. Sherando finished seventh with 29 points, while Strasburg was 12th with 18 points. Skyline finished 13th with 14 points, and Warren County was 20th with one point.

Warren County’s Quay Caison scored all of his team’s points by winning in the shot put. Caison’s throw of 48-01 was a personal best and qualified him for the state meet.

“I’m happy I threw that, because I worked hard in practice to really get there,” Caison said. “I’m just really psyched [to qualify for states]. To get the qualification for states out of the way is really good. I’m happy I didn’t have to take as much time as I did last year. I’m really ready to go back, and hopefully I can back there and take it.”

Sherando’s Trent McCarty won in the discus, despite not having his best day.

The senior said he struggled to make the final, and just needed to take a little break and rebound from the slow start.

“I was kind of putting some stress on myself,” McCarty said. “I took a little jog, gave myself some time to calm down — think about what I had to do. I finally got a big throw out there and that’s what got me out in first.”

McCarty threw a 148-06 on his second throw in the finals to pull out the win.

Sherando’s 4×800 boys relay team (Thomas Shea, Jahlil Northover, Jonah Pearson, Trevor Whiteside) won the event with a time of 8:18.32.

“Those boys are doing a great job,” Sherando coach Tom Grim said. “Last year’s team set a school record. I think this team has the possibility of going after that record here towards the end of the year — when we get some good weather.”

Strasburg had a couple solid second-place finishes.

Rachel Tischler finished second in the 3,200 with a new PR of 11:33.25, besting her previous PR by 14 seconds. She hung tough with Loudoun County’s Grace Howard, but couldn’t quite pass her at the end.

“Congrats to her, she ran a great race,” Tischler said. “I was trying my best. I was trying to just stick with her. I’m fine with how the results happened, because it still made me go faster when she started kicking. It was a great race.

“It’s really great to have that kind of competition here. To see kind of what other people are doing to help prepare me for the state meet.”

Tischler also finished fourth in the 1,600, with a new PR of 5:25.71.

Elijah Waters finished second in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.47.

“I don’t think I did as well as i could have,” Waters said. “I know that I had a really fast start, but I need to work on the last couple hurdles if I want to get better.”

The last couple hurdles proved costly for Sherando’s Davina Lane in the 300 hurdles. Lane hit one of the hurdles near the finish of the race and stumbled. She regained her balance, but the stumble was just enough to allow Briar Woods’ Jasmyn Bostic to win the race. Lane finished second with a time of 48.13.

“I got up to [the hurdle] really close before I took off, and then I was like ‘oh no,'” Lane said. “So, I just threw up a leg and when I landed I was just really off balance. I didn’t think that girl was that close behind me, and she was just right there, and I was like ‘gosh darn.'”

Lane was also second in the 100 hurdles (15.84) and fifth in the 200 (27.59).

Skyline’s Olivia McGill finished second in the 100 with a time of 12.99. The freshman won her race in the final heat, but Frederick’s (Md.) Jaida Smith ran a 12.91 in the previous heat to win it.

“She’s still young and has time to learn,” Skyline coach Steve Burton said. “She didn’t get a great start in the 100, so she got clipped there to take second.”

McGill turned things around in the 200. She was able to take third in a time of 26.85 from the next-to-last heat.

Strasburg’s Rachel Funkhouser placed third in the discus (111-08). Sherando’s Jacquari Hayes was third in the triple jump (39-07.25), and Skyline’s Ronnie Clifton was fourth in the discus (136-11).

While many of the participants were in the middle of their season, and trying hard to get a qualifying time, Parker was just happy to be back at full-strength in a track meet.

“The very first meet [of the season] our team actually won, and I felt terrible because I couldn’t contribute,” Parker said. “This is one of the most fun sports I’ve ever played. I love track. I’m so glad to be back.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or

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