County champions - again! Milford Mill track and field team wins on and off the field

4 x 100 relay team

Crossing the finish line first is what led the Milford Mill Academy’s women’s outdoor track and field team to be named Baltimore County champions in 2015 – just as it had done in 2014 and 2013.

At the championship on Saturday, May 9, the team turned in another stellar performance. Following is a list of team members (and their grade levels): Yinka Alabi (12), Amanda Chaung (9), Erykah Ellerby (11), Kathryn Green (9), Capria Hawkins (10), Ebone Jones (9), Kyesha King (9), Emmanuela Mbakogu (10), Jada Miller (11), Dasia Molock (11), Destiny Moore (12), Ciara Moseley (12), Alexandra Richardson (9), Aliya Sharp (12), Ayreanna Stokes (9), and Elon Woodson (12).

The women’s 4 x 100 relay team, comprised of Alabi, Ellerby, Moore and Sharp, set a new Baltimore County record, running a time of 47.81 and shaving 0.05 seconds off its previous record set at The Penn Relays just a few weeks before. During the championship, Alabi also won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, Moore came in first in the 100-meter dash, and Sharp took the top prize in the 400-meter competition.

Seniors on the team

The track and field team

The team’s success on May 9 adds to its legacy of excellence. Over the past four indoor and outdoor seasons, team members have secured nine Division 1 track and field scholarships and two junior college track and field scholarships. They also have set six Baltimore County records, one Maryland indoor record and seven Baltimore County meet records.

In view of such accomplishments, one has to ask: what’s the secret? According to James Simms, head women’s track and field coach and a mathematics teacher, it’s that the “Milford Mill women work extremely hard.”

“Extremely hard,” indeed: Simms explains that the team members establish and abide by a set of standards for their season. First, they must maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Second, they commit themselves to training six days a week. Third, they push themselves to run as fast as collegiate athletes. Fourth, they follow the motto that “a disciplined athlete is a successful athlete.” And, fifth, they watch their language and that includes refusing to say “I can’t.”

For Simms, that last standard is particularly important, especially as it relates to higher education.

“What means the most to me is when [team members] sign their National Letter of Intent,” says Simms. “College is expensive, and unfortunately, many kids don’t realize it until their senior year when they try to figure out what’s next. I just use track and field as an alleyway for many of these kids to get to higher education.”

As far as the seniors on the team go, Simms’ approach seems to have worked: in the fall, Alabi, Moore and Sharp will attend University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Coppin State University; and Temple University, respectively. Woodson and Moseley are undecided about their college plans.

Though a fourth victory would heighten the excitement about the Milford Mill team’s winning streak, Simms is quick to note that his primary goal is “not to win championships.If that happens,” he says, “then that’s just a bonus to the girls.”

What an incredible bonus that would be! Congratulations, team, for this year’s victory!

Story by Blake Lubinski, Communications Consultant
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