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Several county teams win outdoor track and field regional titles

Distance runners from around the county, seen running at the league meet May 8, recently performed well at their respective regional meets. These efforts helped River Hill (2A), Atholton (3A) and Howard (4A) all win regional crowns on the girls side.
Distance runners from around the county, seen running at the league meet May 8, recently performed well at their respective regional meets. These efforts helped River Hill (2A), Atholton (3A) and Howard (4A) all win regional crowns on the girls side. (Nate Pesce / for BSMG)

HOWARD COUNTY, MD — Four outdoor track and field teams from around the county won their respective regional championships May 19 or May 21, while about 40 athletes secured individual titles and many others qualified for the state meet.

The River Hill girls ran away with the 2A South title, Reservoir boys and Atholton girls finished atop the 3A East region and Howard girls were once again 4A North champions.

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The outdoor track and field season concludes with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) state championship meets, which will run May 24-26 at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

River Hill girls dominate

Teams around the county and the state are very familiar with Jasmine Tiamfook, Sydney Robinson and Faith Meininger — the trio that powered River Hill to county, regional and state titles during the indoor season. They also helped the Hawks place second behind Atholton at the outdoor league meet May 7 and 8.

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At the 2A South meet, held at Reservoir May 16 and May 21, this group of high-level athletes dominated once again. Robinson won the 200-meter dash in 25.65 seconds and also finished first in the 400 (57.75) and the long jump (17 feet, 5 inches), while Meininger secured victories in the 1,600 (5:19.19) and 3,200 (11:30.23). Tiamfook earned points thanks to runner-up efforts in the 800 and 1,600.

But there were other contributors, too, coach Paul Hugus said, that helped River Hill dominate the meet. The Hawks’ 161-point effort was easily enough to best runner-up Calvert (117 points) and third-place Westlake (101). Among county teams, Oakland Mills finished fourth with 64 points, followed by Marriotts Ridge (fifth, 55), Wilde Lake (seventh, 41) Hammond (ninth, 24) and Glenelg (11th, 15).

Hugus made sure to credit junior Ada Beams, who took second in the pole vault and fourth in the 100 hurdles, and fellow junior Raaya Khleif for helping River Hill earn points in the 800, 1,600 and 4x800 relay, where the Hawks placed second (10:19.09).

“Knowing that we had success during the indoor season really helped motivate the girls,” Hugus said. “It was not hard to motivate this group. They’re very self-motivated, and we have even some underclassmen girls who are very, very good at motivating everybody. And so they fueled each other.

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Senior Olivia Island was the Hawks’ third individual champion of the meet, winning the pole vault by clearing 8 feet, 8 inches. The other two individual event winners from the county came from Oakland Mills, as Caitlyn Wenholz won the 800 (2:22.61) and Oluwaseun Sule bested the competition in the triple jump (34-0.5).

As for River Hill, Hugus is pleased where his team stands entering the state championships.

“I feel good about our girls,” Hugus said. “We obviously have the top-level athletes scoring the big points, but we’re going to have some other girls chipping in hopefully with some ones, and twos and three points, too.”

On the boys side, the Scorpions (97) fell one point short of runner-up La Plata and finished three points back of 2A South region champion Westlake. Wilde Lake had 87 points to place fourth, followed by River Hill (sixth, 72), Hammond (seventh, 61), Glenelg (ninth, 22) and Marriotts Ridge (10th, 21).

With 75 points, the River Hill girls indoor track and field team won the 2A state championship on Feb. 19.

Oakland Mills boasted two individual regional champions in Cameron Vereen in the 100 and Jared Nguyen in the 800 while taking second place in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

Not even a nagging hamstring injury, which kept Vereen from running in the 200 on May 21, could stop the reigning state champion in the 100 from winning another region title at that distance. He crossed the finish line in 10.92, more than three tenths of a second faster than the runner-up. Nguyen then won the 800 by about seven seconds.

Junior Rafi Cason also had a solid day for the Scorpions, taking third in the 200 and 400 and qualiying for the state meet in both individual events.

“We knew we would have a very senior-heavy team this year that would be really competitive,” coach Renato Gonzales said. “So, we leaned on them and we told them coming in, ‘Hey, everybody needs to outperform themselves for us to have a shot.’ The kids really bought into that, they’re hyper competitive and they don’t shy away from it.”

Joining the Scorpions’ duo in the winner’s circle was Hammond sophomore Loick Amouzon, who won the 300 hurdles (40.77) while finishing third in the 110 hurdles (15.28). In the pole vault, Wilde Lake senior Kareem Press won his second straight regional championship by clearing 11 feet, 3 inches.

Reservoir boys, Atholton girls triumph

Atholton followed up its first outdoor league title since 1986 with a 3A East region championship. The Raiders, led by sprinter Asha Washington, distance runner Camryn Streib and multiple field event athletes, finished with 157 points to hold off Reservoir (149 points) and Mt. Hebron (135).

Centennial (fourth, 81) and Long Reach (ninth, 22) rounded out the performances from county teams.

“This is the best squad we’ve had in a while,” Atholton coach Ivan Alvarado said. “I’m starting to lose my words because this team, we’ve never had a team so deep at every single event, so it feels good.”

Atholton won five events (four individual and one relay). Headlining the group was Washington, who after missing the county meet won the 100 (12.69), placed second in the long jump (16-4) and helped the 4x100 relay team also take second and qualify for states. Other Raiders’ winners included Streib (1,600, 5:19.58), Ciara Wainwright (shot put, 33-10.50), Madison Garrigus (pole vault, 8-4) and the 4x800 relay squad of Streib, Isha Santhosh, Sara Carlisle and Emily Brefo.

Either Reservoir or Mt. Hebron won the other three relays, with the Gators taking the 4x100 (49.57) and 4x200 (1:47.52) and the Vikings claiming the 4x400 crown in 3:57.36. Each team also won four individual events.

Sophomore Adaobi Tabugbo, the reigning 3A state champion in the 55 hurdles, swept the 100 and 300 hurdles for Reservoir with times of 14.98 and 45.68 seconds, respectively. In the field events, Gators senior Lola Alli won the discus and Asha Taitt won the long jump. Mt. Hebron’s victors included Blaire Ridgely, who just edged teammate Morgan Flack in the 200, Satori Valentine (400, 56.99 and 800, 2:19.71) and Emily Beyer (3,200, 11:29.14).

“I can’t say enough about the whole team effort with the throws, the jumps, girls on the track,” Reservoir coach Phil Rogers said. “And congrats to Atholton. They had a hell of a day. I’m just really happy for our girls. We qualified a lot of kids, all the relays made it through, a lot of kids get to experience the state meet, and that’s what this is all about. Getting kids exposure at the next level and trying to have some fun.”

The Howard boys and Atholton girls ran away with outdoor track and field county titles on May 8 at River Hill.

Reservoir got the best of Mt. Hebron and Atholton on the boys side, scoring 147.5 points to win its fourth straight 3A East region title. The Vikings were second with 125 points, followed by Atholton (third, 108), Centennial (fourth, 106) and Long Reach (seventh, 26).

“Mt. Hebron at the beginning of the day, they were a 12- or 13-point favorite,” Rogers said May 21. “They had a great day on [May 16], so they were up a little bit going in. And we capitalized on a couple of things I thought we could capitalize on and we had some things go our way as well. “

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When discussing Reservoir, it all starts with reigning indoor track and field boys Athlete of the Year Kai Muniz, who alone put up 30 points for the Gators on May 21. He followed his sweep of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at counties by winning all three races again, none of which were particularly close. Antonio Rizzutto was the other individual winner for the Gators, taking the discus with a throw of 134 feet, 4 inches.

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In the relays, the Gators won the 4x100 with Tyler Levons, Sundiata Kamau, Ayomide Agbayewa and Darius Ellerbe, finished third in the 4x200, second in the 4x400 and fourth in the 4x800.

The following county athletes also won individual titles: Mt. Hebron seniors Leopold Mesamours (300 hurdles, 40.41) and Colton Wartman (long jump, 20-4.75); Centennial senior Juan Parra (400, 50.01), and sophomore Anthony Matthews (triple jump, 41-6); Atholton senior Grant Bunyard (pole vault, 11-4).

Howard girls extend regional title streak

Morgan Williams and Tyuanna Bailey have been a part of a title winning program since they were freshmen. After all, Howard won league and region championships their first three seasons. And while the Lions fell short of winning a county title this season, Williams and Bailey helped them extend at least one championship streak.

Each senior qualified for states in four events, helping Howard win its sixth straight regional championship. The Lions’ 139-point showing was more than enough to defeat Paint Branch and secure the 4A North crown.

“Those are girls that all year have had to take a leadership role, and they have,” Lions coach Tyler Wade said. “And we’re very, very thankful to have them do that.”

Bailey won the 200 (26.10) and 400 (58.94) and placed second in the 100 while Williams secured titles in the long jump (15-11.5) and triple jump (34-6.25) and finished runner-up in the high jump. Each athlete was also a part of a state qualifying relay team, with Williams competing in the 4x100 and Bailey running the 4x200.

On the boys side, Howard suffered a one-point defeat to Dulaney. Individual champions for the Lions included Kenny Accardi in the 400 (49.90), Nate Gilmore in the 110 hurdles (16.34) and the 4x400 relay squad of Accardi, Maxwell Myers, Glenn Maroya and Jayo Adegboyo (3:22.80).

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