The Howard girls indoor track and field team has completed step one to follow up the cross county program’s dominant 2019 season with a historic season of its own.
The Lions broke the county record for points to win the 2019-20 Howard County indoor track and field championship on Tuesday at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. Howard scored 147 points — 51 more than any other team and 27 more than the previous record total — en route to its fourth indoor crown in the last six competing years. The triumph comes a few months after the cross country program broke the county record for low score in the county championship meet.
“That’s huge to build off cross country season,” said Howard girls coach Tyler Wade. “We knew in the summer that the cross country team would be special. The distance girls were ready to rock and roll right after the fall. We even took the sprinters and jumpers to the country cross county championship to support the team. Everyone knew that the distance phase would be a strength, but the sprinters and jumpers and throwers put in a ton of work and crushed it today, too.”
It wasn’t only Howard’s girls who were dominant on Tuesday, as the Lions also won the boys meet for the third straight season. Howard tallied 115 points to edge out River Hill by 18 points.
“It was close, and I was sweating for a while,” said Howard boys coach Zack Dickerson. “But to win this three years in a row is great. We fell a little short in the fall in cross country, but the girls are going to try to do that now. Today was a nice bounce back for the boys.”
The boys were coming off Triple Crowns in each of the last two seasons, but River Hill cross country team defeated the Lions’ hopes of a third straight sweep of the running titles this season. However, the Howard girls now have the opportunity to accomplish the feat in the spring.
“These kids sacrifice a lot, whether it’s the hours after school or waking up early on Saturdays or practicing over winter break,” Wade said. “They put in a ton of work, and hats off to them. It’s a good group. There isn’t drama, and they care about the team.”
Howard’s success in recent years, Wade and Dickerson said, is a combination of depth, culture and hard work. The Lions didn’t outright lead either meet in gold medals. The boys team won the same amount of gold medals as River Hill and Reservoir (three), while the Reservoir girls team won four golds to Howard’s three. But the Lions’ depth from top to bottom has led them to continued success.
“Part of it is the depth, but we create an atmosphere where the kids want to be on the team," Dickerson said. "It’s fun, they enjoy it, they get faster and they make friends. We’ve established that culture, and we’ve had consistency with the coaching staff. But it comes down to the kids working hard and busting their tails at practice.”
Leading the boys team was Collin Greene, who won the shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 5 inches, and Ibrahim Khairat, who won the triple jump (43-3.25) and was a member of the Lions’ first-place finishing 4x400-meter relay team.
“Collin has improved five or six feet from a guy who got fourth at outdoor states last night,” Dickerson said. “Chris Joseph (who placed second in shot put) went form 43-44 (feet) to 48-49 this year. They’re working hard, and the commitment Collin, Chris and CJ Marthins (who placed fifth in the shot put) are putting in is fantastic.”
The 4x400 relay team sealed the crown for the Lions and did so in dominant fashion. Jayo Adegboyo had a strong kick on the fourth leg of the relay to give the squad the gold medal by more than three seconds.
“Jayo had a fantastic leg that fourth leg," Dickerson said. "He opened it up. He split 50 seconds on that.”
“We weren’t sure about (the standings)," Adegboyo said. “But we knew if we poured all of our heart that we’d assure the victory for the team, and that’s what we did.”
Amanda Eliker led the girls team with a gold medal in the 3,200-meter run and silver in the 1,600. While Emma Marthins was the Lions’ only other solo winner with a gold medal in the shot put (33-11), Howard did win the 4x800-meter relay. Emily Gorny, Ella Werdell, Jasmine Wilson and Nimrit Ahuja won gold in the relay with a time of 10:07. Ahuja, who also finished second in the 800, trailed by a few stride lengths when she received the baton for the fourth leg and finished 14 seconds ahead of any other team.
“We knew we could win it going into the race,” Ahuja said. “I really wanted to get the first place for my team.”
“We didn’t put Amanda or Sara on that (4x800) relay, but we felt comfortable doing that in part because Nimrit is a monster, and I mean that in a good way," Wade said. "She’s a monster. She’s only a sophomore. She’s going to be one of the better runners we’ve ever had.”
While Howard’s consistency won itself the meet, several individual performers stood out Tuesday. Four girls athletes were double winners, while three boys athletes — including Khairat — won multiple events.
Mt. Hebron’s Sierrah Matthews was the lone athlete to finish in the top three in four events. The defending Howard County indoor track and field Athlete of the Year placed first in the 500-meter dash and second in the 300. She was also a member of the Vikings’ 4x400- and 4x200-meter relay teams that finished first and second, respectively.
Atholton’s Madison Garrigus started her evening with a gold medal in the high jump (4-11) before capping her night with a first-place finish in the pole vault (10-00).
Reservoir’s Adaobi Tabugbo dominated the 55-meter hurdles (8.24 seconds), finished second in the 55 dash (7.37 seconds) and ran the fourth leg of the Gators’ 4x200 relay that won a silver medal. Her 8.24-second time in the 55 hurdles topped the previous county championship record by six-hundredths of a second.
Tabugbo wasn’t the only Reservoir runner atop the leaderboard in the 55 hurdles. Teammates Kimayah Faye and Kat Parris finished second and third, respectively, with personal-record times. Faye also won the triple jump (35-03) and won a bronze medal in the long jump (15-04.50).
“It’s really nice to sweep it,” Tabugbo said. “Before the race, I had a sense of confidence that we would do it.”
On the boys side, Reservoir’s Jalen Jasmin was a double-winner, as the speedster won the 55-meter dash with a personal record time of 6.51 seconds and finished first in the long jump with a distance of 23-07 to set the county record by more than a foot.
“I came out kind of slow in the long jump, but I got better on each jump,” Jasmin said. “It’s cool to set the county record.”
River Hill’s Anish Nanjappa, who is the two-time Howard County boys cross country Runner of the Year, won the 3,200 (9:51) and 800 (2:00) and finished second in the 1,600 (4:26).
“I didn’t have the best race in the mile, and I really wanted to come back and win the 800,” Nanjappa said.
Other top girls performers from the championships were Glenelg’s Kaila Spence, who won the 800 (2:25) and placed third in the 500 (1:22.75); Atholton’s Morgan Nasir, who finished first in the 300 and second in the long jump; Centennial’s Katerina Talanova, who won the 1,600; River Hill’s Janasia Bucker, who won the 55-meter dash (7.32 seconds) and won a bronze medal on the Hawks 4x200 relay team; and Reservoir’s Asha Taitt, who won the long jump with a distance of county-record distance of 17-11.50.
On the boys side, River Hill’s Austin Weltz ran a blazing 35.70-second 300-meter dash; Long Reach’s Cameron Hindle won the 1,600 (4:24); Wilde Lake’s Thomas McCoy took home a gold medal in the pole vault (12-00); Hammond’s Loick Amouzou crushed the field in the 55 hurdles with a meet-record time of 7.57 seconds; Oakland Mills’ Rahsaan Foster won the high jump (6-03) and placed third as a member of the Scorps’ 4x400 relay; and Centennial’s Thomas Altman won the 500 by more than two seconds (1:06.70).
“This was my second time ever running the 500,” said Altman, who is mainly a 400 runner. “I missed the school record by (two tenths of a second).”
1. Howard 147
2. Reservoir 96
3. Mt. Hebron 81
4. Atholton 72
5. River Hill 61
6. Centennial 54
7. Glenelg 39
8. Oakland Mills 21
9. Long Reach 8
10. Hammond 4
T-11. Marriotts Ridge 1
T-11. Wilde Lake 1
1. Howard 115
2. River Hill 97
3. Reservoir 87
4. Oakland Mills 73
5. Centennial 64
6. Mt. Hebron 39.5
7. Long Reach 36
8. Hammond 21
9. Atholton 20.5
10. Wilde Lake 15
11. Glenelg 10
12. Marriotts Ridge 6
55 dash: 1. Janasia Buckner, River Hill, :07.32; 2. Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir, :07.37; 3. Araoluwa Omitowoju, River Hill, :07.39.
55 hurdles: 1. Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir, :08.24; 2. Kimayah Faye, Reservoir, :08.83; 3. Kat Parris, Reservoir, :08.84.
300 dash: 1. Morgan Nasir, Atholton, :40.99; 2. Sierrah Matthews, Mt. Hebron, :41.57; 3. Jamie Adams, Reservoir, :42.02.
500 dash: 1. Sierrah Matthews, Mt. Hebron, 1:21.54; 2. Lara Abedin, Mt. Hebron, 1:22.45; 3. Kaila Spence, Glenelg, 1:22.75.
800 run: 1. Kaila Spence, Glenelg, 2:25; 2. Nimrit Ahuja, Howard, 2:25; 3. Faith Meininger, River Hill, 2:29.
1,600 run: 1. Katerina Talanova, Centennial, 5:18; 2. Amanda Eliker, Howard, 5:18; 3. Nimrit Ahuja, Howard, 5:21.
3,200 run: 1. Amanda Eliker, Howard, 11:36; 2. Faith Meininger, River Hill, 11:49; 3. Aanchal Kasargod, Atholton, 11:51.
4x200 relay: 1. Reservoir (Jamie Adams, Adeola Opadina, Sophie Davison, Adaobi Tabugbo), 1:46); 2. Mt. Hebron (Sierrah Matthews, Garcelle Pierre, Jordan Foster, Meghan Porter), 1:46); 3. River Hill (Janasia Buckner, Larasia Buckner, Chelsea Baker, Araoluwa Omitowoju), 1:47.
4x400 relay: 1. Mt. Hebron (Garcelle Pierre, Natalie Lewis, Sierrah Matthews, Lara Abedin), 4:09; 2. Howard (Michaela Greene, Magi’ Harris, Sammy Brother, Ellie Wiechert), 4:17; 3. Oakland Mills (Megan Gunther, Ciara Lott, Arianna Marshall, Alana Oppermann), 4:18.
4x800 relay: 1. Howard (Emily Gorny, Jasmine Wilson, Ella Werdell, Nimrit Ahuja), 10:07; 2. Glenelg (Meredith Arterburn, Katie Melesko, Hope Wilmeth, Emily Schittino), 10:21; 3. River Hill (Cynthia Xi, Katherine Kitzinger, Mackenzie Cooper, Chloe McGeehan), 10:21.
High jump: 1. Madison Garrigus, Atholton, 4-11.00; 2. Annaliese Mmari, Howard, 4-09-00; 3. Ruth Smith, Howard, 4-09-00.
Long jump: 1. Asha Taitt, Reservoir, 17-11.50; 2. Morgan Nasir, Atholton, 16-10.50; 3. Kimayah Faye, Reservoir, 15-04.50.
Triple jump: 1. Kimayah Faye, Reservoir 35-03; 2. Doreen Okeh, Howard, 32-10.25; 3. Cherakie Pierre, Centennial, 32-09.
Pole vault: 1. Madison Garrigus, Atholton, 10-00; 2. Abigail Dua, Howard, 7-06; 3. Sophia King, Howard, 7-00.
Shot put: 1. Emma Marthins, Howard, 33-11; 2. Liv Ragonese, Centennial, 33-07; 3. Na’shae Early, Mt. Hebron, 33-02.50.
55 dash: 1, Jalen Jasmin, Reservoir, :06.51; 2. Ayomide Agbayewa, Reservoir, :06.55; 3. Jayo Adegboyo, Howard, :06.63.
55 hurdles: 1. Loick Amouzou, Hammond, :07.57; 2. Isiah Rucker, Oakland Mills, :07.92; 3. Jadon Ra-Akbar, Hammond, :07.97.
300 dash: 1. Austin Weltz, River Hill, :35.70; 2. Djavan White, Long Reach, :36.05; 3. Jayo Adegboyo, Howard, :36.17.
500 dash: 1. Thomas Altman, Centennial, 1:06.70; 2. Djavan White, Long Reach, 1:09.12; 3. Julian Vissering, Reservoir, 1:09.29.
800 run: 1. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 2:00; 2. William Jones, Mt. Hebron, 2:02; 3. Baidy Ba, Oakland Mills, 2:03.
1,600 run: 1. Cameron Hindle, Long Reach, 4:24; 2. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 4:26; 3. Antonio Camacho-Bucks 4:27.
3,200 run: 1. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 9:51; 2. Kendall Phillips, Howard, 9:52; 3. Jacob Hauf, Mt. Hebron, 9:59.
4x200 relay: 1. Reservoir (Ayomide Agbayewa, Dakota Mayfield, Dylan Bradford, Chi Aoe Awanto), 1:32; 2. River Hill (William Amankwah, Joseph Somori, Jeffrey Du, Alex Steadman), 1:32; 3. Howard (Reese Jamison, Ethan Mitchell, Kyle Harris, Jayo Adegboyo), 1:33.
4x400 relay: 1. Howard (Reese Jamison, Kyle Harris, Ibrahim Khairat, Jayo Adegboyo), 3:31; 2. River Hill (William Amankwah, Alex Steadman, Samuel Akolo, Austin Weltz), 3:35; 3. Oakland Mills (Isiah Rucker, Christopher Evans, Josh Whitaker, Rahsaan Foster), 3:36.
4x800 relay: 1. Oakland Mills (Andrew Bray, Andrew Mayhew, Marcus Gibson, Baidy Ba), 8:27; 2. Reservoir (Collin Carter, Elliott Pochettino, Julian Vissering, Vincent Stevens); 3. River Hill (Darren McGowan, Sean Krein, Bradley Hoffman, Rishi Shet), 8:37.
Long jump: 1. Jalen Jasmin, Reservoir, 23-07; 2. Mekhi Landon, Reservoir, 21-08.75; 3. Nate Menk, Howard, 19-11.50.
High jump: 1. Rahsaan Foster, Oakland Mills, 6-03; 2. Alex Kohn, Oakland Mills, 5-11; 3. Nate Menk, Howard, 5-09.
Triple jump: 1. Ibrahim Khairat, Howard, 43-05.25; 2. Nate Menk, Howard, 41-04.25; 3. Oluwatobi Folorunso, River Hill, 40-11.50.
Pole vault: 1. Thomas McCoy, Wilde Lake, 12-00; 2. Atharv Ananth, Centennial, 11-06; 3. Christian Bowens, Long Reach, 10-00.
Latest Howard County Sports
Shot put: 1. Collin Greene, Howard, 50-05; 2. Chris Joseph, Howard, 46-04; 3. Jack Ragonese, Centennial, 46-02.