On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Maclay track and field team made their way to Godby for the 19th Annual Jesse Forbes Invitational. With the season still in the process of getting started, the meet was the Marauder’s second of the year with new head coach John Butler. The girls placed first and the boys 17th. 

“Coach Butler is awesome. He is one of the hardest working and most encouraging coaches I’ve had,” senior Vic Vickers said. “I think that everyone on the team has not only been inspired and determined by coach Butler but have also gotten way better as sprinters.” 

The meet kicked off with the various field events. For the Lady Marauders, sophomore Elizabeth Dowdy placed first in the pole vault with a height of 11 feet, 11.75 inches, in javelin junior Brooke Nohle placed first, throwing 85 feet and sophomore Isabel Davis placed fifth in discus, throwing 84 feet. 

For the boys, Vickers placed third in pole vault, jumping 10 feet-11 inches, and in javelin, senior James Milford threw 135 feet to come in third place.

“I felt that my performance this week was a good baseline for the season,” senior Clayton Knox said. “I PR’d in the 800 and the 1600. I’m excited about improving in the mid distance events, going to state, and having fun with the team.” 

The meet’s running events kicked off around noon. For the individual girls events, senior Rachel Bethke placed first in the 400 meter with a time of 56.46 and second in the 200 meter, clocking in at 25.62. In the 1600 meter, freshmen Caroline Couch placed third, with a time of 5:17, and in the 3200 meter, Couch placed second, finishing with a time of 11:41. For the girls relays, the 4 by 800 team placed first at 9:59 and the 4 by 400 placed second with 4:10. 

For the boys, senior Eli Harrell placed 16th in the 100 meter, running 11.45. Knox had a solid outing, placing sixth in the 1600 meter and 14th in the 800 meter, with times of 4:42 and 2:09. For the relays, the boys 4 by 400 placed tenth with a time of 3:47. 

“I felt pretty good about my performance at the meet,” Bethke said. “I broke the meet record and placed first in the 400m. It’s my first year doing track without doing another sport at the same time, so I’m excited to keep competing and see what I can do this season. We have an amazing team and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can all do.”

The team’s next meet will be Saturday, March 4 in St. Cloud, Florida with a starting time of 9:00 a.m. EST.