Former Harford Tech star Caitlyn Bobb joins her father and coach David in UMBC track and field book – Baltimore Sun

Like any caring father, David Pope will do practically anything for his daughters. This includes transporting food, clothing, and other items from his home in Bel Air to his oldest, Caitlyn, a new runner for the UMBC Women’s Track and Field Program.

Last month, Kaitlin Pope asked her father, who is also the head coach of the indoor and outdoor Retrievers, to bring her an insulated bag the day the team flew to Philadelphia for Penn Relays. He hung it on the door to remind himself to take it – then forgot about it.

“So he had to get one of my Aldi’s,” Kaitlyn Pope said with a laugh.

“I was going through my mental checklist and unfortunately it wasn’t at the top of my priority list versus making sure I had the permits, tickets, meal money, etc,” David Pope said. So when she texted me, ‘Hey, did you bring the cold bag? ‘ There was an awkward pause and then, ‘No, I didn’t. I forgot that.'”

It was one of the few mistakes Kaitlyn Pope had. She has already claimed the America East indoor and outdoor titles in the 200, 400 and 1,600 meter relays, and won Women’s Best Track Performance, Most Promising Novice and Coaches Award for most points scored at both tournaments.

Bobb has already set three conference meeting records. She ran the 200 in the outdoor championship on Sunday in 23.44 seconds, teaming with seniors Colisei Daly, Ariella Garcia and Ayanna Johnson to finish the 1600 relay in 3:39.24, and joined forces with the same trio to complete the 1,600 indoor relay in 3:44.39.

Bobb also holds school records at 400 (53.50 indoors and 53.58 outdoors), 400 relays (45.63 in Penn Relays) and 800 relays (1:36.42 in Penn Relays). In fact, her name is on the same page as her father’s name, a 2002 graduate and first NCAA Division I All-American at UMBC who still has marks at 60 (6.72 in 1997), 200 (20.85 in 1996) at home and 100 ( 10.18 in 1997), 200 (20.63 in 1997), 400 relays (39.41 in 1994), and 800 relays (1:24.63 in 1994).

“It’s something I’ve been wanting to have for a while,” Caitlyn Bobb said of adding her name next to her father’s name before noting that she had a younger sister, Madison, a rookie runner at Harford Tech. “I feel like we’re building a legacy because when you look there, you see Bob and Bob. Hopefully other people in our family will make it Bob and Bob and Bob.”

David Pope, who has run the show for the past 24 years, seemed like a proud father, but also noted that his daughter has benefited from having equally talented co-workers.

“It’s good to see her experience, it’s good to see her progress, and it’s good for her and her teammates,” he said. “Her beauty is in the relays, everyone might think it’s just her, but she and three other guys are strong and help out with the relays and contribute their parts too.”

Caitlyn Bobb’s success might not be terribly surprising given her family’s legacy. In addition to her father, her mother, former Donette Douglas, represented Bermuda at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, ​​Spain, where she competed in the 100’s and 200’s after her freshman year in Maryland.

Donette Bob said she got a glimpse into her daughter’s running ability as a four-year-old when she excelled in a sports day at her school in Bermuda and then the following year as a kindergartener at her elementary school. Soon, the family moved to Maryland, but Donnett Bob closed off the idea of ​​running in favor of sports activities such as basketball, swimming and volleyball.

“People dig into you once you’re good at something, and then you can’t see what you’re good at either,” she said. “She’s a good volleyball player, and that’s just because we didn’t let her run. If not, you run so much that after a while, it’s like, ‘What?’ On a college level, I don’t want it to be overextended.”

As a freshman at Harford Tech, Caitlyn Bobb played volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter before switching to an outdoor track in the spring. In her first season, she won Class 2A state titles in the 200, 400, 400 and 800 relays.

Bob held 13 other state championships at home and abroad during her time with the Cobra. As good as it was, Harford Tech coach Daryl Diamond said Bob is committed to improving.

“I worked as hard on the team as anyone we’ve ever had,” he said. “She never missed any training, she made it through the exercises, and she learned very early on how to be a student of the sport in terms of how to take care of herself, and I think she probably got that information from Dave and Downnet.”

Recruited by powerhouse programs at LSU, North Carolina, Texas, and Texas A&M, Caitlyn Bobb instead chose UMBC because COVID-19 restrictions had weakened her ability to visit campuses and she wanted to major in biology education.

Kaitlyn Pope, who represented Bermuda in the 400 at the 2021 World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, said Aug. 18, but was ineligible in her heat due to a lane violation. “It was only 45 minutes from my house.”

David Pope described himself as “high” when his daughter informed him of her decision.

“Throughout the whole process,” he said, “I wanted her to choose where she would be most comfortable and where she would be happy.” “The family environment has been huge in making sure that the values ​​that were instilled in them at a younger age, that they can still hold, that they can still mature and grow and deal with the things that emerge as young adults.”

With the Retrievers, Bob oversees the entire program on the men’s and women’s side, leaving his daughter to work with sprint/hurdles coach Tyrone Logan. He said he wanted to avoid any signs of nepotism and give Caitlyn Bobb the space she needed to grow as a young adult.

“Even though she’s my kid,” he said, “I have to do what’s best for all the student-athletes on the team.”

Kaitlyn Pope said she enjoys being close to her father.

“It’s a nice feeling,” she said. “This is also why I chose UMBC. It was like home, an extension of home. So if something is bothering me or I have a problem, I can go to my parents.”

Dawnnette Bobb has said Caitlyn is a hybrid of her parents, combining her father’s long legs with her mother’s petite stature. She said watching her husband and daughter work together to help UMBC succeed is a blessing.

“It’s rewarding because the records you create, she has a record and he has a record,” she said. “It’s a warm feeling. It’s so interesting that when the kids are young, you don’t see what’s coming. So it’s cool, it’s fun, and I appreciate that.”

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