Last week’s winter weather caused a number of after-school activities to be canceled across the county. For Howard County indoor track athletes, the schedule changes were especially unfortunate, because many teams would not be eligible to claim victories in their respective regional meets.
On Feb. 7, eight 3A East county schools schools competed at the Baltimore Armory for a chance to advance to the Maryland State Indoor Track Championships. In a repeat performance from the county championship meet, the Reservoir girls and Long Reach boys teams walked away victorious.
The Gators scored 107.50 points en route to the overall girls team victory, followed by Wilde Lake (71), River Hill (68), Long Reach (65) and Glenelg (57).
Reservoir Senior Karli Smiraglia contributed to four different gold medal performances in the meet. Individually, the runner nabbed first place finishes in the 800- and 1,600-meter races at 2:30.49 and 5:30.31, respectively. Her efforts as part of the 4x400- and 4x800-meter relay teams led to top finishes for her school as well.
On the boys side, Long Reach’s Robert Carter and Tosin Oyewole put together similar performances to their efforts in the county championship meet. Carter took first in the 55-meter hurdles (7.99) and Oyewole claimed the tip spot in the 300-meter dash (37.64). Additionally, the two ran on the Lightning’s top placing 4x200- and 4x400-meter relay teams.
The Long Reach boys team finished with 75.5 points, which beat out Reservoir (72), Atholton (71), Wilde Lake (68) and Mt. Hebron (61).
The only other multiple-event winner in the meet was River Hill junior Chris Heydrick, who won both the 800- and 1,600-meter runs at 2:03.57 and 4:38.95, respectively.
The 3A schools were originally scheduled to compete at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, a track is widely regarded as being significantly faster than the Baltimore Armory.
The discrepancy in times between the two venues is likely to have changed seeding for the state championship meet later this month, according to multiple coaches and athletes.