There are few groups of athletes in the county as talented as Howard’s shot putters.
The Lions’ throwers are excelling this season, as Collin Greene, Christopher Joseph and CJ Marthins have all qualified for the state meet on Tuesday — and all three credit their success to one another.
“I think it’s just the mindset that no one wants to be a loser,” said Joseph, a senior. “When we see each other make a good throw, we want to match it. That forces me to work harder and push them at the same time.”
Greene, the top shot putter on the team, said the trio doesn’t just improve each other at practice. They lift and play football together, as all three play either offensive or defensive line.
“It’s definitely helped me with the strength aspect,” Greene said of weight lifting. “Playing football, I’m an offensive tackle and they’re defensive ends, so we make each other better and work each other harder there, too.”
Greene, a senior, is one of the best shot putters in the state, and he’s the leader of Howard’s throwers. He owns the top seed time in Class 4A at 53 feet, 7.5 inches, which is only behind Huntingtown’s Kenneth King (Class 3A) by 3.5 inches in the state.
“He’s fine-tuned his technique, and he’s gotten a ton of reps over the years,” said Howard coach Tyler Wade. “He’s also hit the weight room and is getting stronger. Collin’s always had good length and strength in the event, but getting that technique down has helped him.”
He’s not just a star in the shot put circle, though. Greene was accepted to both the Naval Academy and West Point earlier this school year. He chose the Naval Academy, where he will throw as a member of its track and field team.
“That’s been a goal for him for the last four years, ever since I’ve known him,” said Howard coach Zack Dickerson. “It’s awesome to see him achieve that goal.”
“I’m very excited to go there,” Greene said. “It’s my father’s alma mater, and it’s a great opportunity for my future.”
Along with Greene as the leader of Howard’s shot putters is Joseph, who is also a senior. Dickerson said Joseph’s “competitiveness” is what has led him to succeed this season. His personal best is 48-10, which he achieved at the Freddie Hendricks Relay Invitational on Dec. 18. He threw a 48-8 at the 4A Central regional two weeks ago.
“Chris is very competitive in practice and meets,” Dickerson said. “When CJ passed him in the regional meet on the second or third throw, his next throw he threw a 48, and they were all pumped about it. They’re competitive with each other at practice every day, and that translates over well to meets.”
Marthins, meanwhile, said having two seniors like Greene and Joseph has helped him grow as a sophomore. Marthins has improved dramatically this season. After a PR of 37-3.75 last outdoor season, Marthins came back this season and opened his season with a 40-9. Since that throw at the first Howard County intra meet, he’s increased his mark by more than five feet — hitting 46-0 at regionals to qualify for states.
“They’ve helped me a lot,” Marthins said of Greene and Joseph. “I watch them, and it helps me get better.”
Dickerson said Marthins has learned from his older sister, Emma, who is a senior at Howard and also qualified for states. What makes his season more impressive, Dickerson said, is that he’s just a sophomore. He’s the only non-senior to qualify for the state meet in the shot put in Class 4A, while no sophomore qualified in 3A either.
Marthins’ 46-0 throw at regionals is far ahead of where Greene and Joseph were as sophomores. Joseph’s top throw as a 10th grader was 38-8.5, while Greene’s top throw during the 2017-18 indoor season was 43-5.5. Greene didn’t hit 46-0 until regionals of his junior season, while Joseph first hit the mark at states last outdoor season.
“When you look at male throwers, almost all of them at the state meet are juniors or seniors, because it takes time to build that strength and technique up,” Dickerson said. “But CJ is the exception. He’s a sophomore in the state meet, which is awesome to see.”
The three hope to continue their success at the MPSSAA Class 4A championships on Tuesday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning complex. No matter what happens at states, though, Wade knows the three shot putters will keep working hard to improve for outdoor season.
“They just put in the work,” Wade said. “We’ve just been lucky by having talented kids like them who are willing to put in the work.”
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW:
The MPSSAA state championships will take place on Monday and Tuesday, with 1A/2A competing on Monday and 3A/4A racing on Tuesday.
Forty Howard County athletes are projected to medal at the state meet, with seed times that place them in the top three of their respective events. Here’s a breakdown by classification:
Glenelg is the lone Howard County team in Class 2A. The Gladiators have 17 athletes competing at the 2A state meet Monday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
Kaila Spence is team’s best chance to win an individual gold medal, as the mid-distance runner has the top seed time in the 800-meter with a time of 2:23. The Gladiators’ girls 4x800-meter relay of Spence, Meredith Arterburn, Hope Wilmeth and Katie Melesko have the top seed time in 10:08.
On the girls side, more than 20 girls are projected to medal at the highly competitive 3A meet on Tuesday. Mt. Hebron’s Sierrah Matthews could lead the way, as the junior has the top seed time in the 300-meter dash (40.2 seconds) and 500-meter run (1:17.3). She’s also on the Vikings’ 4x400-meter relay (alongside Garcelle Pierre, Natalie Lewis and Lara Abedin), which has the second fastest seed time in the event.
The only other girl in 3A with the top seed time in an individual event is Reservoir’s Adaobi Tabugbo, whose time in the 55 hurdles is more than four-tenths of a second faster than the field at 8.28 seconds. She’s followed by teammates Kat Parris (8.68 seconds) and Kimayah Faye (8.74 seconds), who have the second and third fastest seed times, respectively. Tabugbo is also on the Gators’ 4x200-meter relay (alongside Jamie Adams, Adeola Opadina and Sophie Davidson), which has the top seed time in the event.
Two other Howard County relays are projected to perform well on Tuesday. Atholton’s 4x800-meter relay of Isha Santhosh, Katherine Morris, Sara Carlisle and Aanchal Kasargod has the third fastest seed time, while River Hill’s 4x200-meter relay of Janasia Buckner, Chelsea Baker, Larasia Buckner and Araoluwa Omitwoju has the second fastest seed time. For the Raiders, Kasargood is also projected with the third fastest seed time in the 3,200-meter run at 11:45, while Madison Garrigus has the second best seed mark in the pole vault at 11 feet, 0 inches.
Two local distance runners will be running side by side in the 1,600-meter run on Tuesday, as Centennial’s Katerina Talanova (5:14) and River Hill’s Faith Meininger (5:16) have the second and third best seed times in the event, respectively.
On the boys side, more than a dozen local athletes are projected to medal. At 55 hurdles, Hammond star Loick Amouzou has the fastest time at 7.65 seconds. Centennial’s Thomas Altman, meanwhile, is projected to win the 500-meter run with a seed time of 1:06.51.
The only other athlete to own the top seed time is River Hill’s Anish Nanjappa, whose 9:30 in the 3,200-meter run will likely have him setting the pace. He also has the second fastest seed time in the 800-meter run at 1:59.49. In the two-mile, however, Centennial’s Jacob Cole should be right behind, as the junior’s time of 9:35 is the second fastest in the field. Also for the Eagles, freshman Antonio Camacho-Bucks has the third fastest seed time (4:31) in the 1,600-meter run.
Oakland Mills was the top Howard County boys team coming out of the vaunted 3A East regional. The Scorpions’ relay teams are projected to carry them, as their 4x400- and 4x800-meter relays have top-three seed times. The 4x400 team of Isiah Rucker, Christopher Evans, John Tatum IV and Rahsaan Faster have the third best seed time (3:33.01), while the 4x800 team of Andrew Bray, Andrew Mayhew, Marcus Gibson and Baidy Ba own the second fastest time (8:19). In the field events, Oakland Mills jumper Alex Kohn has the second best seed mark at 6-02 in the high jump.
Howard is the lone Howard County team in Class 4A. Only one Lions athlete is projected for a medal, and that’s shot putter Collin Greene, whose seed mark of 53-07.50 is tops in the field.
In total, the Lions has 21 athletes traveling to the state meet on Tuesday. The boys side is led by field athletes Greene, Christopher Joseph (shot put), CJ Marthins (shot put), Ibrahim Khairat (high jump), Nathanael Menk (high jump) and Zach Pamukcoglu (pole vault).
The girls, meanwhile, are led by a host of mid-distance and distance runners who advanced, including Amanda Eliker (1,600, 3,200), Nimrit Ahuja (800, 1,600), Emily Gorny (1,600), Jasmine Wilson (3,200) and Sara Kindbom (3,200).
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 at regionals 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).