Howard County Times
Howard County Sports

Howard girls, River Hill boys cross country teams win state championships

Two Howard County teams completed cross country season sweeps Saturday at the MPSSAA state championships.

The Howard girls and River Hill boys teams won the Class 4A and Class 3A titles, respectively, to end their seasons as county, region and state champions.


The Lions once again outpaced the Severna Park girls team, which had been pushing Howard all season but were once again unable to usurp the Lions in the sixth meet involving the two squads this season.

Howard proved up to the challenge at Hereford High School, though, defeating the Falcons, 69-110, to win the school’s third state title and first since 2012, as well as their first in the 4A classification. Howard placed three runners in the top 10 in Amanda Eliker (fourth), Nimrit Ahuja (eighth) and Sara Kindbom (10th).


“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Howard coach Zack Dickerson said. “Severna Park is an extremely talented team, they are extremely well coached and we knew that every time we toed the line with them this year, it was going to be a battle. The way our girls responded today was awesome. They were mentally focused and they were ready and while we were the favorites on paper, they didn’t go into the race like that. They went into the race with a game plan to run a smart race and they executed great today.”

River Hill’s Anish Nanjappa, meanwhile, won the 2A state championship last season and was the heavy favorite to win again despite the Hawks moving back up to the 3A classification.

The move turned out to be beneficial to both Nanjappa and the Hawks, as they won the state title over Centennial, their fourth straight straight state title in the 3A classification, while Nanjappa won the title in 15:45.64, 15 seconds ahead of Towson’s Peter Sorensen but 2 seconds behind the course record — something he was chasing furiously after finishing in a nearly identical time at the Bull Run invitational earlier.

“I didn’t make a move this race like I normally do because it wasn’t as much of a pack like it was at Seahawk Invitational,” Nanjappa said. “I really wanted that course record. The only goal I had besides to win was to get that course record but I fell short and it’s just disappointing.”

Despite not getting the record, Nanjappa finished his season undefeated, a major accomplishment for someone who has had a target on his back all year.

“He’s a kid that ran 16:55 as a freshman here, and when you are that good from 9th grade on, it becomes really tough,” River Hill coach Paul Hugus said. “You have such a small margin for performance increases, so he pushed it the last two years really hard, and for him to win a state title as a junior last year is really awesome, and for him to be knocking on the door for a course record was great.”

The Hawks, who were pushed by Centennial at the regional meet, ended up putting a distance between themselves and the Eagles similar to the Howard County meet, winning the state title 70-103 thanks to not just Nanjappa but strong depth in the squad.

“We put five in the top 25 which is huge, that was one of the things that we talked about during our planning meeting a couple of days ago,” Hugus said. “I’d like to highlight Brad Hoffman. He’s a senior, our fourth guy today, snuck under 17 minutes and he’s a kid that I call a program runner. He’s been here for four years, he wasn’t super great as a freshman and he would tell you that too but by the time it’s senior season and he had an amazing performance. I’m really proud of him and the team. It’s a strong, strong county and it’s a tough last three weeks of the season, you go through the grinder.”


In the 2A boys race, Oakland Mills’ Baidy Ba finished fourth, crossing the finish line in 15:54. Ba and the three ahead of him all beat the previous 2A state meet record of 15:58.08.

Howard County team results:

2A boys

9. Glenelg 238

3A girls

5. Centennial 179

7. River Hill 240

8. Atholton 250

10. Reservoir 262


3A boys

1. River Hill 70

2. Centennial 103

5. Mt. Hebron 200

7. Atholton 283

8. Marriotts Ridge 284

16. Reservoir 373


4A girls

1. Howard 69

4A boys

12. Howard 329

Howard County individual results:

2A girls

21. Ella Harris, Oakland Mills, 21:02

2A boys

4. Baidy Ba, Oakland Mills, 15:54

26. David Salazar, Oakland Mills, 17:19

32. Dylan Jock, Glenelg, 17:37


44. Tyler Rivenbark, 18:03

46. Jonah Wisniewski, 18:05

64. Timothy Cherry, Glenelg, 18:27

71. Matt Leavitt, Glenelg, 18:32

84. Matthew Finnan, Glenelg, 19:07

94. Michael Sturtevant, Glenelg, 19:22


3A girls

13. Aanchal Kasargod, Atholton, 20:08

15. Chloe McGeehan, River Hill, 20:11

19. Katherine Kitzinger, River Hill, 20:33

24. Michelle Weaver, Centennial, 20:44

25. Katerina Talanova, Centennial, 20:46

27. Jasmine Ives, Mt. Hebron, 20:49


31. Sara Jurkovic, Centennial, 20:58

41. Madelyn Mielke, Centennial, 21:15

46. Caroline Rosenberry, Reservoir, 21:20

51. Leilah Clark, Reservoir, 21:38

60. Sara Carlisle, Atholton, 21:48

61. Isha Santhosh, Atholton, 21:48


62. Michelle Lei, River Hill, 21:49

63. Thandi Romney, Reservoir, 21:51

66. Grace Ko, Reservoir, 21:56

67. Kylie McNamara, 21:56

68. Carrie Lubis, Reservoir, 22:05

77. Amaya Cunningham, Centennial, 22:09


80. Stella Yerger, Atholton, 21:12

83. Cade McGeehan, River Hill, 22:16

84. Isabella Pham, Reservoir, 22:20

87. Apoorva Ajith, Centennial, 22:27

89. Mackenzie Dabbs, Centennial, 22:33

91. Lauren Reeves, River Hill, 22:45


94. Chiara Sforza, Athoton, 22:51

95. Penelope Kolb, Atholton, 22:56

97. Cynthia Xi, River Hill, 23:00

98. Anjali Paliyam, Reservoir, 23:00

118. Parisa Tofigh, River Hill, 23:45

3A boys

1. Anish Nanjappa, River Hill, 15:45


6. Antonio Camacho-Bucks, Centennial, 16:20

7. Jacob Cole, Centennial, 16:21

10. William Tripp, Wilde Lake, 16:39

11. Jake Hauf, Mt. Hebron, 16:44

13. Grayson Max Crockett, Marriotts Ridge, 16:49

14. Sam Krein, River Hill, 16:49


15. Joshua Galindo, River Hill, 16:50

18. Matthew Thomas, Centennial, 16:55

19. Andrew Bank, Centennial, 16:56

21. Bradley Hoffman, River Hill, 16:59

25. Awais Khan, River Hill, 17:04

33. Bryce Handa, River Hill, 17:23


38. Zachary Shord, Atholton, 17:30

44. Braedon Moyer, Mt. Hebron, 17:34

45. Mark-Anthony Rosas, Atholton, 17:34

49. Ryan Rose, River Hill, 17:38

52. Xander Barton, Mt. Hebron, 17:42

53. Nicholas Snyder, Mt. Hebron, 17:43


54. Matt Macdonald, Atholton, 17:43

62. Charlie Reisner, Centennial, 17:53

63. Collin Carter, Reservoir, 17:53

67. Paul Carter, Mt. Hebron, 17:56

77. Julian Vissering, Reservoir, 18:06

78. Christopher Kocak, Marriotts Ridge, 18:06


80. Connor Puls, Reservoir, 18:09

81. Brian Lau, Marriotts Ridge, 18:09

83. Jameson Cavalier, Atholton, 18:11

85. William Chapman, Reservoir, 18:12

86. Ethan Mulcahy, Atholton, 18:15

93. Grant Shields, Atholton, 18:18


97. Elliott Pochettino, Reservoir, 18:23

100. Ethan Dixon, Reservoir, 18:23

102. Vignesh Lella, Marriotts Ridge, 18:26

103. Grayson Fleck, Mt. Hebron, 18:26

104. Luke Lascasas, Centennial, 18:27

112. Logan Kim, Reservoir, 18:34


120. Connor Brennan, Centennial, 18:44

123. Shane O’Brien, Atholton, 18:57

127. Joseph Larson, Marriotts Ridge, 19:00

138: Joseph Zoller, Marriotts Ridge, 19:29

4A girls

4. Amanda Eliker, Howard, 19:12

8. Nimrit Ahuja, Howard, 19:35


10. Sara Kindbom, Howard, 19:38

27. Jasmine Wilson, Howard, 20:06

31. Ella Werdell, Howard, 20:14

47. Madison Radford, Howard, 20:42

48. Emily Gorny, Howard, 20:42

4A boys

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