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  • In her first indoor track season, Emily Knight won three county titles and a state championship in the 500-meter dash.
    In her first indoor track season, Emily Knight won three county titles and a state championship in the 500-meter dash.

Athlete Spotlight: Severna Park's Emily Knight

Colin Murphy
View Bio
March 8, 2017

It has been quite the winter for Severna Park track and field athlete — and newly crowned state champion — Emily Knight.

Knight clocked a 1:16.67 in the 500-meter dash at the 4A/3A championship meet at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex on February 21 to win the event and become Severna Park’s lone individual state track and field champion on either the boys or girls side this indoor season.

The state-championship time was a new personal record in the event for Knight, who shaved nearly three seconds off her county-championship winning 500 time of 1:19.35. Knight, a sophomore who also won the county championship in the 300-meter and 800-meter on January 24 to achieve the rare feat of winning the county championship in three events, is having an impressive season not just because she is so young but because she is less than a year into her career as a track and field athlete. Her first track and field season was the spring of 2016; this winter was her first indoor season.

“I did outdoor last year and just kind of came out of nowhere, and I just decided to do indoor this year, and [the success] is kind of surprising to a lot of people,” said Knight about her precocious entry into the sport. “I was super excited and kind of surprised [to win the state title], because I knew it was going to be a tough race, and I was really tired.”

Knight, who also plays soccer, plans to continue her accelerated foray into track and field this spring by competing in the 200-meter, 400-meter, possibly the 800-meter and accompanying relay races for the outdoor season.

Knight said she is now focused on getting her 400-meter time under 56 seconds — she placed third in 57.77 seconds at last May’s state championship meet as a freshman; the winning time was 56.42 — but aside from that, she has no particular goals for track and field. Her track career might eventually supersede her soccer aspirations, but she played in the girls scrub basketball league this winter, will play club soccer this spring and has no immediate intention of dropping any of her sports to focus on track.

“I can’t really decide between track and soccer, because I love both,” said Knight.

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