Indoor Track Dominate at States


by Carolyn Frost


Once again, the Oakdale Bears have demonstrated excellence in athletics. On Tuesday, February 21, both the girls and boys track teams traveled to Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex to compete at the Indoor State Championships.


Twelve boys from Oakdale qualified for States, and competed in the 300m, 500m, 800m, 1600m, 4×200, 4×400, 4×800, high jump, and pole jump events.  Five girls made it to States, and competed in the 500m, 800m, 1600m, 3200m, high jump, and pole vault events.


The boy’s track coach, Mr. David Lillard, described how his team prepared:  “Before the season even started, they either participated in a fall sport or came to conditioning. From Day One, the team stayed focused, worked hard, and rested when they were supposed to.”


“We had practice every day leading up to the meet, even days we had off school.  I made sure to go to sleep early and eat healthy,” explained junior Maegan Gabby, who competed in pole vault.


Going into the meet, the Bears were very optimistic, as their season had been going well.  The athletes were nervous, as the atmosphere was extremely competitive, but they knew they would do well.


However, they did more than do well – they did extraordinary.  The boys team ranked second out of thirty high schools, and the girls team ranked sixth out of thirty high schools.


Gabby was very proud, as she came in first in her pole vault event.  “I jumped 9’6”, beating my previous personal record by 9.”


Senior Evan Kowalk, who competed in the 4×400 and the 4×800, was also ecstatic with his results.  “We placed second in the 4×8, which was amazing since we were seeded ninth.  We won the 4×4, setting a new school record.”


Freshman Lauren Leatherman qualified for and competed in the 500m, 800m, and high jump, and medalled in all three events.  These achievements are incredible, especially for a younger athlete.


Every Bear who attended did a great job, and States was a positive experience for all.  “The support from my team was the best feeling,” Gabby stated.


When asked about his goals for track in the future,  Mr. Lillard responded that he hoped his team could win States for outdoor track.


Kowalk also agreed with wanting to win outdoor states.  “I want to break every school record,” he added.


To see the full results of the meet, you can visit
Be sure to congratulate any of our amazing athletes for all their hard work and success!