Bella Mastria had lived up to her expectations.
With five out of six jumps completed in the Class 2A long jump competition at the state track and field championships last month, the Century junior sat in third place, right where she hoped to be going into the weekend.
Mastria’s best jump of the season entering the state meet was 16 feet, 9 1/4 inches, which she set in April. She soared past 17 feet for the first time on her fifth jump at the state meet, landing for the moment in third place at 17-6 1/4. She reached her goal.
But she had one jump left.
“Coach [Alexis] Bush just told me to give it a really big push before I went, because that’s what I struggled with in my other jumps,” Mastria said. “She was like, ‘Keep your feet up.’ And I tried to do all of that. It was my last jump of the season, so I thought I at least got to try something different because nothing else is working.”
Mastria produced the best jump of her life. She leaped 17-11 1/2, a state championship-winning distance.
Her state title came a few weeks after she won two firsts and two seconds at the Carroll County championships. Her achievements earned Bella Mastria the title of 2022 Carroll County Times All-County girls outdoor track and field Athlete of the Year.
“I did not,” Mastria said bluntly when asked if she thought a championship was in reach. “I was like a foot-and-a-half behind the girl who was supposed to win. So that was definitely very shocking. I was just at least trying to place in the top three for a medal. I was not expecting that.”
This year’s track and field season was a new world for Mastria after her first two varsity years were the pandemic-canceled 2020 season and then the abbreviated 2021 campaign.
“It was definitely a lot different than last year,” she said. “Last year was COVID, so the training was hard and the competition was a little different because not all of the schools were participating, so this year was a lot harder than last year. I was a little bit shocked by that.”
Mastria won the long jump at the county championships, as well as the 200 meters. She finished second in the 100 and 400.
In the 100, she was second to teammate Jasmine Stanton. Century boasts a strong group of runners who all work to help make each other better.
“It definitely does push me because we’re all very competitive, so we’re always trying to win each workout, and we end up dead by the end of it. But it works,” Mastria said.
Mastria also mixes in with the mid-distance group at times, giving her another group to compete with.
“I don’t run the 800 so I’m not going to do the same workouts they are. So it’s always interesting to come into the open events and see how you do against one of our mid-distance runners, because I don’t run with them I never know how I would do against them,” Mastria said. “It’s very competitive in that aspect.”
Mastria will take on more of a leadership role next year as a senior and defending state champion. She hopes she can show the up-and-coming Knights what it takes to reach that level.
“I probably want to tell them that even though it’s going to suck when you finish a workout you need to try as hard as you can or you’re not going to get the results you want to get for that season,” she said. “And just listen to the coaches, they really do know what they’re talking about.”
Madelyn Boyce, South Carroll, senior
Boyce anchored the Cavaliers’ state championship-winning 4×400 relay that finished in their season-best time of 4:07.9. Individually, she was county champion in the 400 and finished fourth at counties in the 200.
Sarah Gassman, Westminster, junior
Gassman cleared a personal-best 12 feet to finish second at the 3A state championships. That height broke the previous county record of 11 feet set in 2015. She also won county and regional titles in the event and was third at counties in the triple jump.
Rubie Goffena, Manchester Valley, senior
Goffena was the county champion in the 3,200 and ran a season-best time in the event to finish second at regionals in 11:33.03. She finished eighth at the 3A state championships. She also anchored the county-winning 4×800 relay for the Mavericks.
Audrey Houle, Westminster, junior
Houle won the county championship in the 800. At the 3A East Regional, she ran a personal-best 2:23.86, finishing fifth and qualifying for the state meet. She finished fourth in the 1,600 and ran in the second-place 4×400 relay at the county meet.
Summer James, Westminster, senior
James won the county title in the triple jump with a personal-best 32-1. She finished fourth at the 3A East Regionals and qualified for states in the pole vault. She also qualified for states as a member of the 4×400 relay.
Adeline Kraics, Francis Scott Key, sophomore
Kraics was the county champion and 1A state runner-up in the discus. She finished no lower than third in the event during the season and had a top throw of 114-1. She was also second in the county in shot put and third at states.
Emily Mitroka, Century, Freshman
Mitroka finished third at the 2A state championships in the 1,600. Her best time came when she finished second at regionals in the 5:19.77. She was also sixth in the 800 and seventh in the 3,200 at states. Mitroka was also second in the county in the 1,600 and third in the 3,200.
Carrie Moore, Manchester Valley, junior
Moore was the county champion in the 100 hurdles. She ran her personal-best time at the 3A East Regionals in 18.09, finishing fifth. She also finished fourth at the county championships in the high jump.
Ashleigh Porter, Francis Scott Key, sophomore
Porter won the Class 1A state title in the high jump during both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Her best jump this season was at the county championships, where she won by clearing 5-3. She also finished eighth at the New Balance Nationals in the Rising Stars competition.
Emma Reeves, Westminster, sophomore
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Reaves won the county title in the shot put with a personal-record 33-11 1/2 and finished fifth at the 3A state championships. She was second in the county and fourth in the state in discus, where she had a personal best throw of 99 feet.
Jasmine Stanton, Century, junior
Stanton won two indoor gold medals and split time in the spring also playing on the state championship girls lacrosse team. She won the 100 at the county championships in 12.62 and set a personal record of 12.47 at the Liberty Road Challenge.
Sophia Taylor, Century, sophomore
Taylor won the county championship in the 300 hurdles. Her personal best came at the Chuck Zonis Invitational, where she ran 48.75 and finished second. She also ran on the 4×800 relay that finished second at counties and fourth at states.
Hannah Toth, Westminster, junior
Toth finished second in the 1,600 at the 3A state championships. Her season-best time of 5:00.53 led to a second-place finish at regionals. She was the county champion in the event and second at counties in the 3,200. Toth was also second at regionals and sixth at states in the 800.