ABINGTON >> His mind occupied only by the 100 meters in front of him, Austin Montgomery was in full command of his lane.
“I was much more focused this race,” the Norristown freshman said. “I wasn’t worried about the people around me. I just ran my own race.”
Quick and smooth, Montgomery motored to an impressive victory in the 100 dash Friday night, part of a strong showing by locals at the 9th Annual Jack Armstrong Invitational at Abington High School.
“The past couple weeks, I wasn’t really doing that well so today I prepared well before the race,” Montgomery said. ““Today I felt pretty loose, pretty fast.”
He ran the top prelim time with a 11.13, then shaved off more than a tenth of a second, dropping to a 10.99 to win finals on this cool night on the track at Schwarzman Stadium.
“I didn’t wanna worry about (finding out my prelim time) because I knew I had a good race and my form was good,” Montgomery said with a smile. “I just came into (finals) and just executed.”
Montgomery was the only sprinter to break 11 seconds, outracing Neshaminy’s Savion Hebron (11.24) for top honors, with North Penn’s Kasseem Cartwright II racing to third (11.27).
“I’m just trying to P.R. as much as I can,” Montgomery said. “I hope to make it to districts and states.”
Other postseason aspirations that were set in motion Friday night came in the form of the Upper Dublin boys 4×8, tops in their field with a time of 8:27.21.
“It was only a matter of time before we had a really good race like this,” said junior Jeff Shepherd, “an opportunity to get gold.”
Junior Josh Skinner got it started, then handed to senior Danny Michels, onto Shepherd, and then junior Ben Brugger anchored things home, tossing the baton up and catching it to celebrate the victory when all was complete.
“After today, I think we can shave off a few more seconds,” Brugger said.
“The work’s starting to pay off so that’s great,” added Michels.
It’s a team with history on its side, the foursome developing a familiarity with one another throughout years of indoor and outdoor, their chemistry greasing the wheels.
“We still have more to go though,” Skinner said.
Cheltenham’s Chanel Brissett was out in front the whole way in the 100 hurdles, crossing with a winning time of 14.16.
“I tried to have a good start,” the senior said. “I’m okay with (where I’m at in the season), pretty happy.”
Brissett said she looks forward to racing on the 4×1 and 4×4 squads this coming week at The Penn Relays — she would help the Panther 4×1 win team win gold Friday night with a 48.08.
“I think we have a great team,” Brissett said. “Our freshmen have been really strong this year.”
Top Photo: Cheltenham’s Chanel Brissett finishes first in the girls 100 meter hurdles at the Jack Armstrong Invitational on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)