The official results were coming in slowly and this year’s Class 3A state championship meet at Morgan State University was down to its final events. Mt. Hebron boys track and field coach Teyarnte Carter knew her team was in the mix for the title, so she calculated the numbers with her assistants – and recounted them again.
“Coming down to crunch time they didn’t post any results on the wall, so we had to keep checking on the Internet,” Carter said. “One of our assistants was going around talking to other coaches trying to tally up the points.”
After all 18 events were completed, the Vikings pulled off a slim, 58-55, victory over Hereford to capture the program’s first boys state championship.
“At the end of the day, these kids have worked so hard,” Carter said. “The seniors on this team are my first graduating class that I’ve had for all four years. I told them if things don’t go the way we planned, you have to keep fighting. We have to push each other and everything fell into place.”
All spring, Mt. Hebron has competed under the mantra of having all of its runners “all show up on the same day.” That philosophy has been the driving force behind the team capturing county and 3A East region titles this season.
“It’s been four long years that we’ve been waiting for this and for us to finally finish it off at the end of senior year is incredible,” said sprinter Nate Gainey. “We all had great days, between today and yesterday. We had been collecting the points all day and when we found the official results, it was definitely a relief.”
Gainey – who also finished second in the 400 meter dash – won the Vikings’ only individual crown in the 200 with a time of 21.90, but several runners picked up critical points in multiple events.
Runners like Jackson Porter (second in the 100, sixth in the 200), Karl Schmidt (fourth in the 800), Brenden Chavis (fifth in shot put), Andrew Humm (sixth in the long jump) and Brian Shade (eighth in the 400) all had strong showings.
Schmidt, Andy DeLaitsch, Alec Vaughan and June Kim got things started in the first day of competition on Friday with a second place finish in the 4x800 in 8 minutes, 15 seconds.
Howard’s girls were neck-and-neck with Thomas Stone all afternoon but in the end, Thomas Stone slipped past the Lions, 55-54, to capture team gold. All seven of Howard’s runners contributed in the runner-up finish.
“We gave it a good fight, just fell a little short,” Lions coach Tyler Wade said. “We don’t have a lot of girls but they do multiple things and they all performed really well. This is a big accomplishment.”
Virginia Tech-bound senior Christine London picked the sixth and seventh overall state titles of her high school career – including indoor seasons – with wins in the 100 hurdles (14.1) and 300 hurdles (43.8).
All-County basketball player Sydney Biniak transferred her skills on the court to the high jump this season, taking first in the event with a personal best jump of 5-foot-6.
“I’m speechless. I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Biniak said. “I just started doing this about a month ago. My coaches put me in there as a joke and it turns out that I love it.”
Biniak – who also added points as a part of the third place 4x200 relay team and in the triple jump – knew that every point would be crucial in the outcome of the meet.
“We knew that we had a shot at winning this year and with only seven girls, every event is important,” Biniak said. “I have four events, so it’s tiresome but it’ll be worth it.”
Taylor Scaife was third in the shot put (34-10) and sixth in the discus (103-2), while London, Bre Hamilton, Natalie Talley and Kelsey Wright helped the Lions to a third-place finish in the 4x100 relay.
Jermika Miller was the only other 3A runner from the county to win individual gold with a victory in the triple jump on Friday. The Morgan State-bound jumper culminated a stellar career with her first outdoor state title.
The county also produced several top three individual finishers in multiple events.
Mt. Hebron sophomore Taylor Williams placed third in both the 100 and 200, respectively. Centennial’s Ally Driscoll was second in the 1,600 (5:12.46) and Catie Bernhardt was third in the 800 (2:21.18). River Hill’s Allison Krein was second in the 3,200 with a time of 11:24.26.
Rebekah Markovitz – who was a part of Atholton’s record breaking 4x800 relay team that couldn’t compete due to scheduling conflicts – ran a personal best (59.64), breaking one minute for the first time in an individual run.
“Since we couldn’t run the 4x800, I just wanted to blow out all of my three events,” Rebekah Markovitz said. “I did well at regions and I just wanted to show the seniors this is what could have happened if we ran.”
On the boys side, Centennial senior Josh Poole saved his best 400-meter run for last – earning gold in 49.50.
“I really tried to get out hard in the first 100,” Poole said. “On the back stretch the wind was really strong so I tried tucking while maintaining speed. In the finish, I just wanted it more. I kept telling myself that I had to win states.”
Poole will always remember his Memorial Day weekend in 2013.
“These last couple of days have been really good – with graduating and now having a state title,” he said. “And I got third in the 200, so I’m pretty happy about that.”
In the last event of the meet, Poole anchored Centennial’s gold medal winning 4x400 relay alongside Eddie Krahe, Andrew Kutt and Jordan Roberts.
Tim Virostek, the Howard County Times Indoor Runner of the Year, won his first outdoor state title in the 800 – edging several county runners down the stretch in 1:55.18.
“The outdoor times are much faster and I was really happy that I pulled it out today,” Virostek said. “These guys really pushed it and it ended up being a fast race.”
Virostek’s hopes of doubling in the 1,600 came up short by less than a second as Hereford’s Jon Luckin held him off.
“I was in good position in the mile,” Virostek said. “Going into the last lap, I was in second on the guy’s shoulder, right where I wanted to be. When I made my move, he had a fantastic kick.”
Atholton’s Jordan Palmer outlasted the field in the triple jump with a first place distance of 46-8.5 and Danny Rau of Howard was second in the two miles (9:18.11) to round out the top three individual finishers.
Howard’s Josh People’s swept through the county and regionals in both the 100 and 200 but a hamstring pull slowed him down. With a noticeable limp, he still finished third in the 100 (11.4) and anchored the 4x100 relay (third place) and 4x200 (second place).
The Long Reach boys followed up their 2A South regional championship with a second place finish at states.
Tosin Oyewole led the charge with a first-place finish in the 100 (10.73) and was second in the 200 (21.67).
“This was my first individual state title,” Oyewole said. “I had a really good start. Throughout this outdoor season, my starts have been pretty bad. I finally got it together and had a personal best.”
Oyewole cited the team’s regional title as the catalyst for such a strong showing.
“We really came together as a team after winning the region,” he said. “We performed very well both in distance, field and sprints. Things came together and we did what we had to do.”
Robert Carter earned second in the 100 hurdles (14.32) and third in the 300 hurdles (40.60). He also a part of the Lightning’s second-place finishing 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams with Oyewole, Brian Crandell and Eric Thomas. Teammate Dominic Williams took second in the discus with a toss of 134-feet.
Oakland Mill’s Jackie Galloway had a busy day, finishing third in both the 100 (10.95) and 200 (21.67) before earning a silver medal in the 400 (50.39).
On the girls side, Glenelg’s Julia Nardone was the lone individual champion, backing up her indoor 3,200 state title with a gold in the same event. The race was scheduled for Thursday but inclement weather postponed it until Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
Nardone shook off the early start and the roaring wind to post a time of 11 minutes, 14 seconds to capture first place.
“It was early to run the two mile but the weather was so much better than on Thursday,” Nardone said. “I just went in with the mindset that hey, it’s states so I had to just let it all go.”
A little over two hours later, the Glenelg sophomore was back on the track in the 1,600 and took third place.
State championships (May 23-25 at Morgan State University)
Girls team scores: 1. Oakdale, 89 points; 10. Long Reach, 24; 12. Glenelg, 17; 17. Oakland Mills, 13.
Top county individuals:
400: 7. Zaynab Gholston, OM, 1:00.34.
800: 7. Britt Lang, OM, 2:24.08.
1,600: 3. Julia Nardone, G, 5:19.39; 7. Michelle Vanagas, LR, 5:33.33.
3,200: 1. Julia Nardone, G, 11:14.43.
100 hurdles: 4. Cassandra Pope, OM, 14.85; 6. Bria Hill, LR, 15.64.
300 hurdles: 5. Bria Hill, LR, 46.89; 7. Taylor Selber, LR, 48.24.
4x100: 7. Oakland Mills, 51.46.
Long jump: 6. Kristen Fawole, LR, 16-4.
Pole vault: 8. Sammy Creese, G, 8-6.
Long jump: 6. Kristen Fawole, LR, 16-4.
Boys team scores: 1. Century, 111; 2. Long Reach, 62; 15. Oakland Mills, 20; 19. Marriotts Ridge, 13;
Top county individuals:
100: 1. Tosin Oyewole, LR, 10.73; 3. Jackie Galloway, OM, 10.95.
200: 2. Tosin Oyewole, LR, 21.67; 3. Jackie Galloway, OM, 22.31.
400: 2. Jackie Galloway, OM, 50.39.
1,600: 8. Robert Kramer, MR, 4:37.86.
3,200: 5. Charles Moran, LR, 9:58.05.
110 hurdles: 2. Robert Carter, LR, 14.32.
300 hurdles: 3. Robert Carter, LR, 40.60; 7. D'Ante Colbert, LR, 41.71.
4x100: 2. Long Reach, 43.33.
4x200: 2. Long Reach, 1:30.20.
4x400: 3. Marriotts Ridge, 3:31.18.
4x800: 5. Marriotts Ridge, 8:18.60.
Discus: 2. Dominic Williams, LR, 134-0; 7. Lyle Fugate, MR, 118-9.
Girls team scores: 1. Thomas Stone, 55 points; 2. Howard, 54; 11. Mt. Hebron, 26; 14. Reservoir, 25; 15. Centennial, 24; 17. Hammond, 16; 18. Atholton, 15; 21. River Hill, 11; 31. Wilde Lake, 3.
Top county individuals:
100: 3. Taylor Williams, MH, 12.23; 8. Jamila Brown, WL, 12.75.
200: 3. Taylor Williams, MH, 25.27.
400: 4. Rebekah Markovitz, A, 59.64; 7. Elena Kebeck, Ha, 1:00.52; 8. Taylor Williams, MH, 1:00.65.
800: 3. Catie Bernhardt, C, 2:21.18; 4. Amy Oliver, Re, 2:21.36; 5. Rebekah Markovitz, A, 2:22.18; 6. Karli Smiraglia, Re, 2:22.50.
1,600: 2. Alexandra Driscoll, C, 5:12.46; 4. Karli Smiraglia, Re, 5:16.44; 6. Allison Krein, RH, 5:21.14; 7. Cindy Alms, Re, 5:23.84.
3,200: 2. Allison Krein, RH, 11:24.26; 5. Rachel Yep, MH, 11:35.49; 6. Shreya Nalubola, C, 11:37.27; 8. Cindy Alms, Re, 11:41.50.
100 hurdles: 1. Christine London, Ho, 14.17; 8. Yaa Danso, Re, 19.43.
300 hurdles: 1. Christine London, Ho, 43.80.
4x100: 3. Howard, 49.71; 7. Wilde Lake, 50.87.
4x200: 3. Howard, 1:44.34; 8. Reservoir, 1:48.90.
4x400: 4. Mt. Hebron, 4:09.38.
4x800: 3. Reservoir, 9:41.35; 4. Centennial, 10:04.47; 5. Mt. Hebron, 10:08.15.
Pole vault: 8. Katie Krutz, Re, 8-0.
High jump: 1. Sydney Biniak, Ho, 5-6; 3. Natalie Alper, A, 5-2.
Discus: 6. Taylor Scaife, Ho, 103-2; 7. Ona Ichoku, C, 100-6.
Long jump: 5. Jermika Miller, Ha, 17-3.50.
Triple jump: 1. Jermika Miller, Ha, 38-4.25; 6. Sydney Biniak, Ho, 34-7.75.
Shot put: 3. Taylor Scaife, Ho, 34-10.
Boys team scores: 1. Mt. Hebron, 58 points; 6. Howard, 39.5; 9. Centennial, 31; 11. Wilde Lake, 28; 13. Reservoir, 22; 16. River Hill, 15; 23. Atholton, 12; 32. Hammond, 2.
Top county individuals:
100: 2. Jackson Porter, MH, 11.04; 3. Josh Peoples, Ho, 11.14; 7. Glen Taylor, Re, 11.39.
200: 1. Nate Gainey, MH, 21.90; 3. Josh Poole, C, 22.22; 6. Jackson Porter, MH, 22.52.
400: 1. Josh Poole, C, 49.50; 2. Nate Gainey, MH, 49.76; 3. Justin Marsh, Ho, 50.01; 6. Timmy Usher, Re, 50.76; 8. Brian Shade, MH, 51.41.
800: 1. Tim Virostek, WL, 1:55.18; 4. Karl Schmidt, MH, 1:57.38; 5. Timmy Usher, Re, 1:57.57; 7. Cole Rosenberg, Ha, 1:57.73.
1,600: 2. Tim Virostek, WL, 4:21.78; 6. Daniel Rau, Ho, 4:25.26; 7. Chris Heydrick, RH, 4:28.15.
3,200: 2. Daniel Rau, Ho, 9:18.11; 7. Gary Smolyak, A, 9:35.82.
110 hurdles: 8. Samuel Enomanna, WL, 16.43.
300 hurdles: 7. Samuel Enomanna, WL, 41.69.
4x100: 3. Howard, 43.47; 8. Reservoir, 44.02.
4x200: 2. Howard, 1:30.55; 4. Reservoir, 1:31.91; 5. Mt. Hebron, 1:32.21; 7. Centennial, 1:32.49.
4x400: 1. Centennial, 3:27.39; 5. Mt. Hebron, 3:28.73; 8. Wilde Lake, 3:29.89.
4x800: 2. Mt. Hebron, 8:15.29; 6. Centennial, 8:25.76; 7. River Hill, 8:28.49.
High jump: 6. Myles Hicks, Ho, 5-10.
Long jump: 4. Brian Knauff, RH, 20-6; 6. Andrew Humm, MH, 20-3.50; 7. Khari Jackson, WL, 19-11.50.
Pole vault: 7. Kyle Kroll, Re, 11-6.
Triple jump: 1. Jordan Palmer, A, 46-8.50; 3. Brian Knauff, RH, 44-11; 4. Bryan Sosoo, Re, 43-6; 5. Quez Bradley, WL, 42-9.75.
Shot put: 5. Brenden Chavis, MH, 48-11.