Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Stanton a 'workhorse' for Knights

Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year: Stanton a 'workhorse' for Knights
Century's Jalen Stanton is the 2018 Carroll County Times Boys Track & Field Player of the Year. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Jalen Stanton seems to have a knack for trying new things, and swiftly succeeding at them.

The Century junior was a dynamic fixture for the Knights in multiple events in the winter, earning Times Indoor Track Athlete of the Year honors. One of his accomplishments was capturing a county title in the 55-meter hurdles after he began hurdling only midway through the season.


He shined in his main events — the 55 dash, high jump, and 4x200 relay — as well.

This spring was no exception, and the Times Track & Field Athlete of the Year continued to prove himself across the board.

Stanton won individual county titles in the 200 dash (21.85), 110 hurdles (15.49) and cleared 6 feet for high jump county gold. At the Class 2A West meet the following week, he won regional titles in the same events to qualify for states at Morgan State University.

Stanton finished first in the preliminary round of the 200 in 21.8 seconds to qualify for the finals at the 2A state meet. He turned in the fastest 200 time in Carroll boys history — an impressive feat considering Stanton made his debut in the 200 in late April.

“I knew the 200 would always be a good event,” Stanton said. “I ran the 4x200 in indoor because I was open to it and I had pretty good split times so the only thing I was worried about was long jump. I wanted to long jump too so that was one of my goals and having another running event, the 200 would just mess everything up.

“I said I would give it a shot and I asked my coach if I could run it and she said it was fine. I ran it at Gator, had a slow time, but I knew I could do a lot better so she actually put me in it again at counties because I knew I could get a good time because my heat was fast. She threw me in and I ended up doing really well.”

Stanton ran a leg on the 4x200 relay that finished third at counties, second at regionals, and seventh at states. Stanton placed second in the 200 dash and 110 hurdles, and cleared 6-4 for second in the high jump.

Century won its sixth straight county title, took second at the 2A West meet, and finished sixth at states.

“I think it helps a lot just being able to hop in a relay team and get points in a relay team and get points in individual events as well,” Stanton said. “It helps the team out a lot, scoring points, and it ends up bringing us success.”

Century's Jalen Stanton won the boys high jump at the Carroll County Track and Field Championship at Manchester Valley High School Tuesday May 8, 2018.
Century's Jalen Stanton won the boys high jump at the Carroll County Track and Field Championship at Manchester Valley High School Tuesday May 8, 2018. (Ken Koons / Carroll County Times)

When Stanton entered his first outdoor season as a sophomore last spring, he dipped into long jump, high jump and the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. His original plan was to solely high jump but he was placed in a relay after a former teammate was unable to compete. He did well, he said, and remained a fixture on those relay squads the rest of the season.

Long jump was short lived for Stanton. He performed well during championship season as a sophomore, but admitted he didn’t necessarily care for the event. His talents were needed elsewhere.

“I did like long jump, there’s a lot more competition in long jump,” Stanton said. “I knew it would be better for the team if I could stick to a relay team and help us get points there, like fifth or sixth always helps here and there.”

Knights coach Dyron Johnson said Stanton’s ability to push his teammates and compete at a high level are testaments to the kind of athlete he is.

“His ability to come up big is great as a coach because you love to have those athletes who are consistent every day regardless of the conditions,” Johnson said. “He is dominant and always performs for the team. He knows they count on him and he makes it his mission each meet to be his best.


“Doing multiple events, we have the ability to grab many more points and he thrives in being the one to be the workhorse for the team. He is that committed to the team’s success.”

The state meet is spread over the course of three days, and Stanton said it gave him a good chance to take breaks between events. He capped his junior season with a strong showing, leaving continued opportunities for success as his senior year awaits.

“The seniors this year were talking about how they ended their season and how it flew by and it went quick,” Stanton said. “My goal for next year is just to cherish the moments as I go through them because I know it’s going to fly by and just try to do everything I can to make sure I don’t slip up…that’s just my main goal right there.”