Almost every Howard County indoor track and field coach said the same thing during the MPSSAA 3A East region meet Tuesday at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
They all lauded the competition in the 3A East region, with multiple coaches describing the region as “stacked.” Ten of the 16 schools at the meet are from Howard County, but top programs like Huntingtown, Northern-Calvert and North Point made an already competitive region into arguably the best in the state.
Despite the tough competition, a few Howard County teams had strong performances. On the girls side, Reservoir and Mt. Hebron finished second and third, respectively, while Oakland Mills was the top HoCo boys team with its third-place finish.
“This region is stacked," said Reservoir coach Phil Rogers. "I think there’s probably three or four of the top five or six teams in the state in our region on the guys side. Then with the girls, you have Northern, which is stacked with distance runners. Then you throw in Hebron’s sprinters and our sprinters and River Hill’s distance runners, and you see why so many athletes are going to qualify for states out of this region.”
The Reservoir girls team, led by its strong sprinters and hurdlers, placed second with 70 points — 16 points behind first-place Northern-Calvert. Rogers hopes the solid performance propels his team into a strong showing at the state meet on Feb. 18.
“I was happy with the girls," Rogers said. "Very little can I look back at and say we could’ve done more.”
Mt. Hebron’s girls, which scored 64.5 points to finish third, were also led by their sprinters, specifically Sierrah Matthews. The junio won gold medals in the 300-meter dash and the 500-meter run and two other relay medals.
“The best thing I like about her is she’s still so new and raw to the sport,” said Mt. Hebron coach Teyarnte Carter. “She ran a little bit when she was younger, but she’s so raw. If she can put a few things together, she can really put some amazing times together.”
Oakland Mills’ boys scored 58 points to finish in third behind North Point (65) and Huntingtown (75). The balanced Scorpions got solid contributions from their sprinters, mid-distance runners and field athletes.
“To get third in this region is incredible," said Scorps coach Chris Brewington. “I think when we looked at it there are four or five of the top teams in the state coming from this region,”
Nine Howard County girls won multiple medals, with only one local athlete — Matthews — winning multiple events.
Matthews, who also won a silver medal and a bronze medal as a member of the Vikings’ 4x400- and 4x200-meter relays, ran a personal-best time of 40.20 seconds in the 300-meter dash and won the 500 by nearly five seconds with a time of 1:17.30. About two weeks ago at the Virginia Showcase, the 2018-19 Howard County indoor track Athlete of the Year ran a 1:13.85 in the 500, which ranks her seventh in the nation.
“It felt really good to PR in the 300,” Matthews said. “I felt like I could’ve done better. I have that baseline now, and I still have states. And then it’s on to nationals.”
For Reservoir, a significant portion of the Gators’ points came from their hurdlers. Adaobi Tabugbo, Kat Parris and Kimayah Faye repeated their county-championship performance with a sweep of the top three spots in the 55-meter hurdles. Tabugbo, who also finished third in the 55-meter dash and was a member of the Gators’ first-place finishing 4x200-meter relay team, won the race with a time of 8.28 seconds.
“It feels good,” Tabugbo said. “We were a little bit skeptical about whether we made it or not, but we stayed confident and we swept it. We’re very pleased.”
The other girls to win multiple medals were Reservoir’s Sophie Davidson (silver in 55, gold in 4x200) and Jamie Adams (silver in 300, gold in 4x200), Mt. Hebron’s Lara Abedin (bronze in 500, silver in 4x400), River Hill’s Janasia Buckner (gold in 55, silver in 4x200), Atholton’s Katherine Morris (silvers in 800 and 4x800) and Aanchal Kasargod (silvers in 3,200 and 4x800) and Centennial’s Katerina Talanova (bronze in 800, silver in 1,600).
“She had a very good day today,” said Centennial coach Kevin McCoy. “This is her first indoor season. She’s a junior, and she decided she wanted to do all three this year. She jumped in and has been able to stay consistent.”
Atholton’s Madison Garrigus represented Howard County well in the field with a county record in the pole vault. The senior cleared 11 feet for the first time in county history. She won the event by more than four feet.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Garrigus said. “I have waited quite a while. My last PR was 10-06. It’s so exciting to get 11 (feet).”
Four boys from Howard County won multiple medals, with none of them taking home more than one gold medal.
Anish Nanjappa, who is the two-time defending Howard County cross country Runner of the Year, won the 3,200-meter run (9:30) and placed second in the 800.
“I wanted to hit 9:25 (in the two-mile)," Nanjappa said. “I fell short of that. I fell off the pacing early on. I didn’t hit the fast paces I wanted to. ... It didn’t happen, but I still won so I’m happy.”
Baidy Ba led Oakland Mills with a third-place finish in the 800 and a silver medal in the 4x800-meter relay. Relay runners Isiah Rucker and Christopher Evans also placed in two events for the Scorps, as their relays placed third in the 4x200 and second in the 4x400. Rucker also finished third in the 55 hurdles.
“It’s always great to have good relays," Brewington said. "We like to load up our relays. It’s nice to send four guys to states instead of just one. They get into them, too. They love those relays, and they have a bond.”
Five other boys won events on Tuesday. Centennial’s Atharv Ananth finished first in the pole vault (12 feet, 6 inches) ahead of Wilde Lake’s Thomas McCoy (12-00); Hammond’s Loick Amouzou won gold in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.65 seconds; Oakland Mills’ Alex Kohn won the high jump (6-02); Centennial’s Thomas Altman easily won the 500 with a school record-setting time of 1:06.51; and Djavan White won the 300 in 35.27 seconds — edging out Anthony Smith from Huntingtown by six-thousandths of a second.
“He was right there, and all I had to do was find another gear to push it in,” White said. “That’s a PR for me. It feels really good to come out here and get my PR.”
The 1A/2A state meet will be held on Feb. 17, while the 3A/4A meet will be on Feb. 18. Both days will be at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
(Editor’s note: Check out a full list of the Howard County athletes who qualified for the state meet at the bottom of this story.)
1. Northern-Calvert 86; 2. Reservoir 70; 3. Mt. Hebron 64.5; 4. North Point 63; 5. River Hill 51; 6. Atholton 47; 7. Centennial 31.5; 8. Huntingtown 23; 9. Oakland Mills 18; T-10. Great Mills 11; T-10 St. Charles 11; 12. Hammond 10; T-13. Chopticon 8; T-13. Wilde Lake 8; 15. Long Reach.
Individual Howard County results (top three):
55-meter dash: 1. Janasia Buckner, River Hill, :07.26; 2. Sophie Davison, Reservoir, :07.36; 3. Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir, :07.39. 55-meter hurdles: 1. Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir, :08:28; 2. Kat Parris, Reservoir, :08.68; 3. Kimayah Faye, Reservoir, :08.74. 300-meter dash: 1. Sierrah Matthews, Mt. Hebron, :40.20; 2. Jamie Adams, Reservoir, :41.30; 3. Morgan Nasir, Atholton, :41.92. 500-meter run: 1. Sierrah Matthews, Mt. Hebron, 1:17.30; 3. Lara Abedin, Mt. Hebron, 1:22.40. 800-meter run: 2. Katherine Morris, Atholton, 2:24; 3. Katerina Talanova, Centennial, 2:25. 1,600-meter run: 2. Katerina Talanova, Centennial, 5:14; 3. Faith Meininger, River Hill, 5:16. 3,200-meter run: 2. Aanchal Kasargod, Atholton, 11:45. 4x200-meter relay: 1. Reservoir (Jamie Adams, Adeola Opadina, Sophie Davidson, Adaobi Tabugbo), 1:45.42; 2. River Hill (Janasia Buckner, Chelsea Baker, Larasia Buckner, Araoluwa Omitowoju), 1:45.54; 3. Mt. Hebron (Sierrah Matthews, Garcelle Pierre, Jordan Foster, Meghan Porter), 1:47.06. 4x400-meter relay: 2. Mt. Hebron (Garcelle Pierre, Sierrah Matthews, Natalie Lewis, Lara Abedin), 4:09. 4x800-meter relay: 2. Atholton (Isha Santhosh, Katherine Morris, Sara Carlisle, Aanchal Kasargod), 10:05; 3. River Hill (Katherine Kitzinger, Chloe McGeehan, Mackenzie Cooper, Cynthia Xi), 10:12. Shot put: N/A. Pole vault: 1. Madison Garrigus, Atholton, 11-00; 2. Brooke Weinig, Wilde Lake, 6-05; 3. Maison Holcomb, Mt. Hebron, 6-05. High jump: N/A.
1. Huntingtown 75; 2. North Point 65; 3. Oakland Mills 58; 4. Chopticon 48; 5. Centennial 44; T-6. Mt. Hebron 40; T-6. Reservoir 40; 8. Northern-Calvert 24; 9. River Hill 22; 10. Long Reach 21; 11. St. Charles 20; 12. Hammond 16; 13. Atholton 12; 14. Wilde Lake 9; 15. Great Mills 8; 16. Marriotts Ridge 4.
55-meter dash: 2. Jalen Jasmin, Reservoir, :06.52. 55-meter hurdles: 1. Loick Amouzou, Hammond, :07.65; 3. Isiah Rucker, Oakland Mills, :07.82. 300-meter dash: 1. Djavan White, Long Reach, :35.27. 500-meter run: 1. Thomas Altman, Centennial, 1:06.51; 2. Julian Vissering, Reservoir, 1:08.25; 3. Justin Evans, Mt. Hebron, 1:08.33. 800-meter run: 2. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 1:59.49; 3. Baidy Ba, Oakland Mills, 2:01.90. 1,600-meter run: 3. Antonio Camacho,Bucks, Centennial, 4:31. 3,200-meter run: 1. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 9:30; 2. Centennial, Jacob Cole, 9:35. 4x200-meter relay: 3. Oakland Mills (Malachi Rogers, Christopher Evans, Isiah Rucker, Quincy Julien), 1:33.60. 4x400-meter relay: 2. Oakland Mills (Isiah Rucker, Christopher Evans, John Tatum IV, Rahsaan Foster), 3:33. 4x800-meter relay: 2. Oakland Mills (Andrew Bray, Andrew Mayhew, Marcus Gibson, Baidy Ba), 8:19. Shot put: 3. Miguel Moran, Atholton, 44-03.50. Pole vault: 1. Atharv Ananth, Centennial, 12-06; 2. Thomas McCoy, Wilde Lake, 12-00; 3. Christopher Bowens, Long Reach, 10-00. High jump: 1. Alex Kohn, Oakland Mills, 6-02.
4A CENTRAL REGIONAL
Howard, the lone 4A school in Howard County, had a solid showing at the 4A Central region meet on Wednesday night at the Baltimore Armory. The boys team finished second of 11 schools, while the girls team placed third.
Kendall Phillips led the boys team with gold medals in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Phillips crossed the line in 4:44 and 10:08, respectively. Ibrahim Khairat won the high jump at 5-08, while teammate Nathanael Menk took home a silver medal in the event at 5-06. Collin Greene and Christopher Joseph also performed well in the field for the Lions, placing first and third, respectively, in the shot put. Greene’s top throw was 53-07.50, while Joseph’s was 48-08.
On the girls side, the distance runners scored a significant amount of the Lions’ points. Amanda Eliker finished first in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs with times of 5:28 and 11:54, respectively. Nimrit Ahuja finished third in the 800 and second in the mile. The Lions’ 4x800-meter team — comprised of Emily Gorny, Jasmine Wilson, Ella Werdell and Eliker, took home a bronze medal as well.
Girls: 1. Urbana 134, 2. C.H. Flowers 87, 3. Howard 74, 4. Wise 55, 5. Bowie 54, 6. Eleanor Roosevelt 38, 7. Leonardtown 27, 8. DuVal 19, 9. Parkdale 10, 10. Laurel 2, 11. Bladensburg 1.
Boys: 1. Wise 115, 2. Howard 98, 3. Bowie 84.5, 4. Eleanor Roosevelt 56, 5. Urbana 35.5, 6. Parkdale 23, 7. Laurel 21, 8. DuVal 20, 9. C.H. Flowers 18, 10. Leonardtown 18, 11. Suitland 8,.
Individual Howard results:
Girls 800-meter run: 3. Nimrit Ahuja, 2:27. Girls 1,600-meter run: 1. Amanda Eliker, 5:27; 2. Nimrit Ahuja, 5:28. 3,200-meter run: 1. Amanda Eliker, 11:54. 4x800-meter relay: 3. Emily Gorny, Jasmine Wilson, Ella Werdell, Amanda Eliker, 10:30. Girls pole vault: 2. Abigail Dua, 8-04. Boys 1,600-meter run: 1. Kendall Phillips, 4:44. 3,200-meter run: 1. Kendall Phillips, 10:08; Boys high jump: 1. Ibrahim Khairat, 5-08; 2. Nathanael Menk, 5-06. Boys pole vault: 3. Zach Pamukcoglu, 8-05. Boys shot put: 1. Collin Greene, 53-07.50; 3. Christopher Joseph, 48-08.
2A WEST REGIONAL
As the lone Howard County school in Class 2A, the Glenelg track team traveled to Hagerstown Community College on Saturday, Feb. 1, for the 2A West region meet. The Glenelg girls team finished fifth out of 15 teams, while the boys placed eighth out of 15 schools.
The Gladiators had two winners on the girls side and one on the boys side. Kaila Spence won the girls 800-meter run with a time of 2:23, while the Gladiators’ 4x800-meter relay team of Spence, Meredith Arterburn, Hope Wilmeth and Katie Melesko won with a time of 10:08. The lone boys winner from Glenelg was Grant Smith, who won gold in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.33 seconds.
Girls: 1. Seneca Valley 71.5; 2. South Carroll 70; 3. Century 69.25; 4. Frederick Douglass-PG 54; 5. Glenelg 53; 6. Oakdale 40; 7. Liberty 32; 8. Middletown 30; 9. Boonsboro 22.5; 10. Winters Mill 18; 11. Francis Scott Key 13; 12. Williamsport 11; 13. Poolesville 9; 14. Walkersville 8.75; 15. Crossland 4.
Boys: 1. Oakdale 99; 2. Century 70; 3. Frederick Douglass-PG 50; 4. Walkersville 43.5; 5. Liberty 42.5; 6. Williamsport 39; 7. Middletown 34; 8. Glenelg 32; 9. South Carroll 31; 10. Potomac 25; 11. Boosnboro 19; 12. Francis Scott Key 10; 13. Poolesville 4; 14. Seneca Valley 3; 15. Crossland 1.
Individual Glenelg results:
Girls 55-meter dash: 3. Jessica Bradford, :07.52. Girls 800-meter run: 1. Kaila Spence, 2:23. Girls 1,600-meter run: 3. Alexis Shumate, 5:37. Girls 4x200-meter relay: 2. Sarah Johnson, Jessica Bradford, Bailey Allmon, Sage Huger, 1:51.67. Girls 4x800-meter relay: 1. Meredith Arterburn, Hope Wilmeth, Kaila Spence, Katie Melesko, 10:08. Boys 55-meter hurdles: 1. Grant Smith, :08.33. Boys 4x200-meter relay: 2. Arya Vahdatshaar, Everett Stimler, Ian Higgins, Matt Leavitt, 1:36.56.
In total, 142 athletes from Howard County qualified for the state meet in 121 different events. Either a top-four finish or hitting the qualifying time gave the athletes a spot at states. In the girls meet, 65 HoCo athletes qualified in 59 events, while 77 boys qualified in 62 events.
Here’s every Howard County athlete who qualified for the MPSSAA state meet held later this month, broken down by school:
Girls: Morgan Nasir (300), Katherine Morris (800), Aanchal Kasargod (3,200), 4x800 relay (Isha Santhosh, Morris, Sara Carlisle, Kasargod), Madison Garrigus (PV).
Boys: 4x800 relay (Justin Werner, Shane O’Brien, Sean Powell, Matt McDonald), Miguel Moran (SP).
Girls: Katerina Talanova (800, 1,600), Sara Jurkovic (3,200), 4x400 relay (Charlotte Pilcher, Amaiya Brickhouse, Danielle Koerner, Cherakie Pierre), Avery Powers (PV).
Boys: Thomas Altman (500), Antonio Camacho-Bucks (800, 1,600), Jacob Cole (3,200), 4x200 relay (David Leadbetter, Murtaaz Malik, Zachary Garwacki, Altman), Atharv Ananth (PV), Jack Ragonese (SP).
Girls: Jessica Bradford (55), Sage Huber (55), Sarah Johnson (55), Kaila Spence (800), Alexis Shumate (1,600), 4x200 relay (Johnson, Bradford, Bailey Allmon, Huber), 4x400 relay (Huber, Katie Melesko, Meredith Arterburn, Spence), 4x800 relay (Arterburn, Hope Wilmeth, Spence, Melesko).
Boys: Grant Smith (55H), 4x200 relay (Arya Vahdatshaar, Everett Stimler, Ian Higgins, Matt Leavitt), 4x400 relay (Vahdatshaar, Matthew Finnan, Leavitt, Stimler), 4x800 relay (Timothy Cherry, Dylan Jock, Leavitt, Finnan).
Girls: Morgan Lane (300), 4x200 relay (Lane, Jasmine King, Zoe Miranda, Kirstin Williams).
Boys: Loick Amouzou (55H), 4x200 relay (Talib Pierre, Chase Johnson, Tayshawn Yates, Amouzou).
Girls: Nimrit Ahuja (800, 1,600), Amanda Eliker (1,600, 3,200), Emily Gorny (1,600), Jasmine Wilson (3,200), Sara Kindbom (3,200), 4x800 relay (Gorny, Wilson, Ella Werdell, Eliker), Ruth Smith (HJ), Emma Marthins (HJ), Anna Mmari (HJ), Abigail Dua (PV).
Boys: Jayo Adegboyo (55), Kendall Phillips (1,600, 3,200), Jakob Werdell (3,200), Ibrahim Khairat (HJ), 4x200 relay (Reese Jamison, Ethan Mitchell, Khairat, Adegboyo), Nathanael Menk (HJ), Zach Pamukcoglu (PV), Collin Greene (SP), Christopher Joseph (SP), CJ Marthins (SP).
Girls: Tajah Martin-Palmer (55H).
Boys: Djavan White (300), Cameron Hindle (800, 1,600), Christopher Bowens (PV).
Boys: Grayson Max Crockett (3,200)
Girls: Sierrah Matthews (300, 500), Lara Abedin (500, 800), 4x200 relay (Matthews, Garcelle Pierre, Jordan Foster, Meghan Porter), 4x400 relay (Pierre, Matthews, Natalie Lewis, Abedin), Maison Holcomb (PV), Kaylee Kim (PV).
Boys: Justin Evans (300, 500), Evan Kocsis (500, 800), William Jones (800), Jacob Hauf (3,200), 4x400 relay (Evans, Zion Holmes, John Pitt, Kocsis), 4x800 relay (Ryan Ververs, Connor Croft, Nicholas Snyder, Hauf).
Girls: Ella Harris (3,200), Rosalie Rosenberg (PV).
Boys: Christopher Evans (55, 300), Baidy Ba (800, 3,200), Isiah Rucker (55H), 4x200 relay (Malachi Rogers, Evans, Rucker, Quincy Julien), 4x400 relay (Rucker, Evans, John Tatum IV, Rahsaan Foster), 4x800 relay (Andrew Bray, Andrew Mayhew, Marcus Gibson, Ba), Alex Kohn (HJ), Rahsaan Foster (HJ).
Girls: Sophie Davidson (55), Adaobi Tabugbo (55, 55H), Jamie Adams (300), Kat Parris (55H), Kimayah Faye (55H), 4x200 relay (Adams, Adeola Opadina, Davidson, Tabugbo), Laiya Saunders (HJ), Prisila Alfaro (PV).
Boys: Jalen Jasmin (55), Ayomide Agbayewa (55), Julian Vissering (500, 800), Okechukwu Tabugbo (55H), 4x200 relay (Agbayewa, Chi Aoe Awanto, Dakota Mayfield, Dylan Bradford), 4x400 relay (Bradford, Vissering, Collin Carter, Vincent Stevens), 4x800 relay (Carter, Elliott Pochettino, Vissering, Stevens).
Girls: Janasia Buckner (55), Araoluwa Omitowoju (55), Faith Meininger (800, 1,600), 4x200 relay (Buckner, Chelsea Baker, Larasia Buckner, Omitwoju), 4x800 relay (Katherine Kitzinger, Chloe McGeehan, Mackenzie Cooper, Cynthia Xi).
Boys: Anish Nanjappa (800, 3,200), 4x800 relay (Joshua Galindo, Bryce Handa, Bradley Hoffman, Nanjappa).
Girls: Brooke Weinig (PV).
Boys: William Tripp (3,200), Thomas McCoy (PV).