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Indoor Track and Field Scores Big at States

Photo provided by Michael Anthony Kitchens. The Freedom Boys Indoor Track and Field Team finish second in the state.

On Tuesday, March 2, the Freedom High School Girls’ and Boys’ Indoor Track and Field Teams traveled to the Virginia Beach Sports Center in Virginia Beach, VA to compete in the state championship meet. The girl’s team took third place and the boys team finished state runner-up, both historic finishes for the Freedom Track program. 

The team had to adopt various COVID-19 protocols like wearing masks while running, attending practice with a smaller group of athletes and rotating the athletes on the track each day. 

“It’s definitely harder to run in a mask and it’s a little bit of a distraction, but it keeps everyone safe. It’s [also] different having to practice without the whole team and it’s not the same type of energy, but you still have to adapt to whatever situation that you’re put in if you want to succeed,” said senior Samantha Tiong, who scored 28 of the girls team’s 73 total points and finished first in the 55 meter hurdles, third in high jump and fourth in triple jump. 

“From the whole boys team [each] contributing at least a point for our second place finish at states and the three state champions that we got on the girls side, it was just a wonderful day, a wonderful end to this chaotic and weird season, but I’m so proud of my athletes and how much work they put in and how hard they worked all season,” said Michael Anthony Kitchens, head coach for boys’ track and field.

“I think that a lot of dedication and hard work that our team has shown over the years are starting to pay off, from the hard workouts that our coach planned to conditioning, it all got us to where we are today,” Tiong said. 

Other notable finishes include Morgan Glass who finished first in the shot put, Mackenzie Keller who finished second in the 3200m, Gabe Turner who finished second in triple jump and the girls’ 4x800m relay team finished first. See a list of all the All-State performances below. 

Kayleigh Burke 500m Dash (5th)
Stephen Davis Shot Put (2nd)
Cole Edwards 500m Dash (6th)
Maddie Garber 3200m Run (5th)
Morgan Glass Shot Put (1st)
Oscar Gorman Shot Put (4th)
Mackenzie Keller 3200m Run (2nd)
Emily Kuni Long Jump (4th)
Samantha Tiong 55m Hurdles (1st), High Jump (3rd), Triple Jump (4th)
Gabe Turner Long Jump (4th), Triple Jump (2nd)
Girls 4x800m relay (Mackenzie Keller, Maddie Garber, Maya Porter, Kayleigh Burke) – 1st
Boys 4x800m relay (Cole Edwards, Sumedh Julapalli, Subodh Julapalli, Alex Arriza) – 6th
Girls 4x200m relay (Emily Kuni, Sheridan Traish, Kayla Waterfield, Samantha Tiong) – 6th
Boys 4x200m relay ( Bill Pek, Adam Yun, Samuel Veliveli, Gabe Turner) – 5th
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