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Boys Indoor track: Century takes second at Class 2A meet, backed by pair of state champions

Kyle Bryant (pole vault) and Alex Stefanick (high jump) won 2A state titles for Century

With the Class 2A boys indoor track state meet in its final race of the night, Century coach Tony Griner stepped away from the sideline and made a joke that he was tired of settling for second place.

Griner quickly made sure those around him knew he was kidding — the Knights coach is very satisfied any time he brings a group of athletes to the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.

With a pair of individual state champions, Century totaled 54 points and earned runner-up status at Monday's meet. Westlake took the team title with 78.

"We had some tough things, things that don't go your way we planned it, but what ever goes the way it's planned?" said Griner, whose team performed well in a season that saw the county meet get canceled and left athletes coming up with alternative training methods in bad weather.

"It's word of the mouth from the kids, it's what goes on year after year. It's the younger guys being taught and mentored the [more] experienced athletes."

Carroll went 1-2-3 in the pole vault, and Century once again claimed a state title. Junior Kyle Bryant took the gold medal by clearing 13 feet, 6 inches, and said he had been preparing all year for his chance to finish on top.

"I kind of had a rough start at the beginning of the year, I wasn't really PR'ing that much," Bryant said. "I got 14 feet at [practice] last week, so I was real ready. ... It feels great. When I cleared that 13-6 bar, the pressure was off."

Liberty junior Braedan Balch was second and Century senior Seth Jacobs finished third.

Bryant was joined by fellow state champion Alex Stefanick, who cleared 6-4 in the high jump and bested the field.

Stefanick said he received his share of workout routines and exercise regimens to stay sharp while things weren't exactly ideal for outdoor practice. The extra work paid off at the biggest meet of the season.

"I was pretty nervous, because we haven't had much time outside at all," Stefanick said. "But in my head I knew that nobody else did; everybody's facing the same conditions. When I came out here [Monday] my legs felt so good. I just knew it was going to be a good day."

North Carroll's 1A 4x800 relay team came in looking for a third-place finish, said senior lead runner Drew Resh. But funny things happen at state track meets, with seasons coming to a close and athletes saving every ounce of energy for one final run.

Resh was followed by sophomore Carter Cigrang, junior Oscar Osuna, and sophomore Andrew Jackson, and the Panthers surprised themselves with a state championship in 8 minutes, 47.68 seconds.

"We just shaved a lot more time than we thought [we could] off all our times," said Resh, referring to the Panthers' qualifying time of 9:09.3. "That's kind of why we're so shocked."

When Jackson, a cross country runner in the fall, grabbed the baton from Osuna, North Carroll was out in front. And Jackson said he had one thing to do.

"I was kind of nervous, because I wasn't expecting it," Jackson said. "But then I knew I had to keep the lead. So I just went out as hard as I could, and the last lap was a full-out sprint."

The Panthers came in sixth in the 1A team standings with 26 points, and Manchester Valley was 17th (5.5).

South Carroll got second-place runs from junior Remy Mezebish (800) and senior Brian Cave (3,200), helping the Cavaliers place seventh with 28 points. Liberty was 10th with 18 points and Winters Mill finished 13th with 12.

Century, meanwhile, came in second for the third season in a row after winning the indoor state crown in 2013.

Griner wasn't hanging his head, and neither were his assistants or any of his athletes.

"We have a lot of young athletes who are having great success," he said. "They want to work. You see all the coaches, they never leave the box. They're all in it. The kids are all in it.

"You see other teams, they're not here. But this you can count on every meet."

1A TEAM SCORES (top 5 plus Carroll)

1. Fairmont Heights 89, 2. Smithsburg 78, 3. Boonsboro 75.5, 4. Pikesville 47, 5. Brunswick 26.5, 6. North Carroll 26, 17. Manchester Valley 5.5.

1A INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (top 3 plus Carroll)

55 dash: 1. Ellia Brown (Pikesville) 6.65, 2. Hezikiah Hawkins (McDonough) 6.77, 3. Allan Williams (Edmondson) 6.79.

300 dash: 1. Ellis Brown (Pikesville) 36.35, 2. Michale Reyes (F. Heights) 36.84, 3. Micah Daigneault (Smithsburg) 37.27.

500 dash: 1. Micah Daigneault (Smithsburg) 1:07.02, 2. Michale Reyes (F. Heights) 1:08.82, 3. Sean Dodson (North Carroll) 1:10.56.

800 run: 1. Micah Daigneault (Smithsburg) 2:01.86, 2. Malik Jackson (NAF) 2:02.5, 3. Anthony Glasgow (F. Heights) 2:04.67.

1,600 run: 1. Will Merritt (Smithsburg) 4:30.36, 2. Anthony Glasgow (F. Heights) 4:36.31, 3. Malik Jackson (NAF) 4:39.02.

3,200 run: 1. Will Merritt (Smithsburg) 10:08.77, 2. Anthony Glasgow (F. Heights) 10:31.86, 3. Declan Horner (S. Garrett) 10:35.65.

55 hurdles: 1. Michale Reyes (F. Heights) 8.12, 2. Lawrence Johnson (Surrattsville) 8.28, 3. Adam Burlimann (Boonsboro) 8.83.

4x200 relay: Edmondson 1:36.77, 2. Fairmont Heights 1:37.17, 3. Boonsboro 1:38.05, 5. North Carroll 1:40.34.

4x400 relay: 1. Fairmont Heights 3:40.86, 2. Pikesville 3:41.96, 3. Smithsburg 3:44.27, 7. North Carroll 3:50.34.

4x800 relay: 1. North Carroll 8:47.68, 2. Fairmont Heights 8:49.48, 3. Smithsburg 8:58.29, 5. Manchester Valley 9:11.2.

High jump: 1. Isaiah Elzie (Boonsboro) 5-10, 2. Alex Anukem (Brunswick) 5-10, 3. Rasheed Whitaker (Lake Clifton) 5-10, 5. Adam Melville (North Carroll) 5-6.

Pole vault: 1. Cage Jones (Perryville) 11-0, 2. Bryce Davis (Boonsboro) 10-6, 3. Ellia Brown (Pikesville) 10-6, 7. Jacob Gatland (Man Valley) 10-0.

Shot put: 1. Jordan Churchey (Boonsboro) 43-3, 2. Joe Rinehart (Perryville) 40-2, 3. Jonah Leach (Smithsburg) 39-8.25.

2A TEAM SCORES (top 5 plus Carroll)

1. Westlake 78, 2. Century 54, 3. Largo 41, 4. La Plata 39, 5. Douglass-PG 38, 7. South Carroll 28, 10. Liberty 18, 13. Winters Mill 12.

2A INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (top 3 plus Carroll)

55 dash: 1. Aaron Holliday (T. Stone) 6.5, 2. Will Moten (Westlake) 6.55, 3. Cameron Vereen (Oak. Mills) 6.56.

300 dash: 1. Will Moten (Westlake) 35.42, 2. Tsarte Martin (Largo) 35.5, 3. Jamaine Byfield (Largo) 36.47.

500 dash: 1. Kelsey White (Oak. Mills) 1:07.26, 2. Thomas Alcorn (Westlake) 1:07.33, 3. Remy Mezebish (South Carroll) 1:07.99, 5. Chris Yanchoris (Century) 1:09.23, 9. Ben Carroll (Liberty) 1:09.51.

800 run: 1. Miles Smith (La Plata) 2:00.41, 2. Remy Mezebish (South Carroll) 2:01.59, 3. Anthony Gordon (Douglass-PG) 2:01.61, 9. Chris Yanchoris (Century) 2:12.73.

1,600 run: 1. Miles Smith (La Plata) 4:32.52, 2. Taylor Barakoski (E. Tech) 4:34.28, 3. Brian Cave (South Carroll) 4:35.21, 6, Jacob Spera (Century) 4:40.3, 10. Andrew Miner (Liberty) 4:56.51.

3,200 run: 1. Jay Hall (Westlake) 10:02.35, 2. Brian Cave (South Carroll) 10:05.92, 3. Paul Slotwinski (Catoctin) 10:15.62, 6. Jacob Spera (Century) 10:23.19, 7. Taylor Russell (Winters Mill) 10:23.58, 9. Ryan Rippeon (F.S. Key) 10:26.73, 11. Daniel Saxon (Liberty) 10:39.82, 13. Devon Caples (Winters Mill) 10:48.18.

55 hurdles: 1. Jalen Elliott (Westlake) 7.49, 2. Kollin Smith (Douglass-PG) 7.63, 3. Matt O'Brien (Winters Mill) 7.98, 7. Alex Stefanick (Century) 8.51.

4x200 relay: 1. Westlake 1:32.55, 2. Randallstown 1:33.06, 3. Largo 1:33.07, 7. Century 1:37.42, 8. Liberty 1:39.42.

4x400 relay: 1. Westlake 3:28.98, 2. Largo 3:30.24, 3. Thomas Stone 3:34.34, 9. Century 3:43.55.

4x800 relay: 1. Oakland Mills 8:24.02, 2. Largo 8:28.46, 3. Century 8:31.49, 8. Liberty 9:00.97.

High jump: 1. Alex Stefanick (Century) 6-4, 2. Isaiah Vass (Elkton) 6-2, 3. Anton Black (N. Caroline) 6-2, 4. Elijah Richardson (Century) 6-2, 5. Matt O'Brien (Winters Mill) 5-10.

Pole vault: 1. Kyle Bryant (Century) 13-6, 2. Braedan Balch (Liberty) 13-0, 3. Seth Jacobs (Century) 13-0, 6. Zack Stump (Liberty) 12-0.

Shot put: 1. Alexander Devine (La Plata) 51-11.75, 2. Mike Nash (Hereford) 50-3.5, 3. Hayden Lindsey (Mt. Ridge) 49-6, 5. Josh Cabaniss (Liberty) 47-5, 6. Andrew Haberman (Century) 46-5.75, 9. Devin Naylon (Century) 42-3.75.

pat.stoetzer@carrollcountytimes.com

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