LANDOVER — Severna Park’s Jack DeBaugh was a three-time gold medalist Saturday at the MPSSAA state track and field championships at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.
DeBaugh won individual golds in the 400 and 800 meters and ran on the winning 4x800 relay. Speaking after his 400 win, DeBaugh, a senior, called it “the culmination of my hard work.”
The same can be said for the entire Falcons boys team.
Severna Park won the Class 4A team title with 87 points, distancing themselves from county rival Old Mill, which was second with 59. Northwest (43), Henry A. Wise (41) and Walter Johnson (39) rounded out the top five.
The team title was on the mind of all the Falcons, including Tyler Canaday, who came off a 1-2 finish in the 1,600 with teammate James Glebocki. Canaday finished in 4:15.86, two seconds ahead of Glebocki.
“We really, really want to win state, so it’s all about points,” Canaday said. “It’s not pretty, times might not be the fastest of the season, but it’s about the prize. It’s about getting it with your team.”
There’s a competitiveness that drives teammates in the same event.
“You see somebody pass you and you just want it that much more when it’s your teammate,” Canaday said. “The competitiveness comes out. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Glebocki said it was a special finish for him and Canaday.
“Every day we work for this and to truly achieve it just means so much to us,” Glebocki said. “It’s extra cool cause we’re going to college together next year. We’re going to keep pushing each other to be the best version of yourselves.”
DeBaugh said his 400 win in 48.66 seconds was a personal record. He had a strategy to running in gusty conditions.
“I definitely knew [the wind] was blowing pretty strong against me in the backstretch,” DeBaugh said. “Going into it I think I took it a little easier on the backstretch and then made sure to really hammer it home with the wind behind me.”
He said he hopes his showing is a sign of things to come for the program’s sprint group.
“I think it means a lot for our sprinters,” he said. “Historically, we’ve only had guys in the 800 up. So this year we’ve been very lucky to have guys like me in the 400, we got a guy in the 100. And we’ve been able to put together a good 4x2 and 4x1 team.”
Canaday, Glebocki, DeBaugh and Scott Engleman teamed to win the 4x800 relay for the Falcons (8:03.1). Brandon Kiefer added a win in pole vault, beating North County’s Aaban Syed. Both cleared 13 feet, 6 inches, but Kiefer did it on his second attempt, and Syed on his third.
Old Mill’s efforts were led by Kamel Whitfield Jr., who after running on the winning 4x200 team proudly ran through the stadium infield informing anyone in earshot “I’m a three-time champ!”
Whitfield won the 100 in 10.42 with a simple strategy.
“I do what my coach said. Get out, maintain and pull away,” Winfield said.
A senior, Winfield has been working toward this moment since he started high school.
“It’s been like this since my first met, I always wanted it,” he said. “Freshman year made it to nationals. Since my first season, I told myself I’d keep going up, keep working keep pushing.”
Winfield teamed with Donte Craggette-Drake, Jerrel Howard and Jordan Penn to win the 4x100 relay (42.2). Craggette-Drake, Winfield, Penn and Joseph DeRosier won the 4x200 relay (1:28.47).
Also in Class 4A, Annapolis’ Luke Coffin won the 3,200 (9:14.06). On the girls side, Meade’s Jasmine Cook, Janayis Mendoza, Isabelle Franklin and Jaela Reid won the 4x200 relay (1:43.06).