Thunderstorms delayed yesterday's state track meet at UMBC for more than an hour, but one Howard County athlete was quite content to catch a bit of lightning in a bottle.
Glenelg's Jon Goldsmith began the day by anchoring the Gladiators' winning 3,200-meter relay team, then returned after the rains to capture a Class 1A record in winning the 3,200, holding off county rival Izudin Mehmedovic -- after eight laps around the UMBC track -- by two-hundredths of a second.
His efforts helped put Glenelg in the thick of the Class 1A team competition. Defending class champion Oakland Mills -- on the strength of its wins in the 800 relay -- stands in first after six events with 26 points, with Glenelg and Smithsburg tied for second (22).
Middletown leads the 2A boys, with Howard and Mount Hebron tied for third with 12. On the girls side, Atholton, with a pair of event wins, leads the 2A with 26 points, followed by Middletown (24), and Towson and Urbana (12 each); Poolesville (30) leads 1A, followed by Glenelg (21), Rising Sun (20) and Oakland Mills (18).
In the day's best race, Goldsmith and Mehmedovic traded the lead throughout the race before the two sprinted to the finish neck and neck. Though Mehmedovic was convinced his lean at the wire had given him the victory, the FinishLynx photo showed Goldsmith's torso in front.
Goldsmith's time of 9:32.48 broke the 19-year-old class record by 0.52 second, and was 14 seconds faster then his previous best.
"I was expecting it to be close, but I thought my head got in first," said Mehmedovic, who has traded wins with Goldsmith through all three seasons. "Jon is an awesome runner, so I knew he wouldn't give up."
"To get a PR and win a state championship -- I'm pretty happy with that," Goldsmith said.
It was the senior's second gold medal of the day.
Earlier, Glenelg's foursome of Dan Ennis, Danny Bowring, Jacob Hartman and Goldsmith -- running together for the first time this season -- won the 1A boys 3,200 relay, crossing the line in 8:10.71 -- just .71 of a second off Francis Scott Key's 20-year-old class record.
Beaten by River Hill at the Howard County meet, the Glenelg team edged county rival Oakland Mills by less than half a second in running its fastest race of the season.
Another local athlete who nearly set a record was Oakland Mills senior Kierney Hiteshew, who cleared 11 feet in the 1A girls pole vault, and came within a fraction of an inch of equaling her career best of 11-3, which would've set the class record.
Her vault beat Rising Sun's Megan Walsh by a half-foot, and was a full foot higher than a year ago, when she finished second. She attributed her improvement, in part, to spending time at pole vault camp last summer.
Another Howard County team, Atholton, captured a pair of championships in girls competition. In the 2A, sophomore Lindsay Grigoriev won the discus with a throw of 120-11 and senior Ashley Wall took the triple jump with a leap of 37-4 1/2 .
The meet is scheduled to conclude today, beginning at 9:30 a.m.