Photo by Brandon Miles
Three weeks into January and the Maryland leaderboard was missing a familiar name: Maria Coffin. The five-time state champion had yet to debut this season, due in part to her extended cross country season and multiple Saturday meets being cancelled/postponed over the past month.
Her wait ended on Tuesday as she made her 2016-17 indoor track debut at the Anne Arundel County Championships. Much like Abigail Green did at the Montgomery County Championship Coffin had to run out of the slow heat of the 1600. She had no problem winning both the heat and the overall race at 5:09.89 - not a personal best or a MD #1, but all she needed was an important seed time to use for regionals.
There were plenty of other big performances at the Anne Arundel County Championships. Severna Park sophomore Emily Knight dominated the mid-distance races, completing the difficult 300-500-800 triple. All three of her performances were personal bests, and both her 300 and 500 are now Anne Arundel County #1 times (her 2:27.99 800 ranks second).
The Old Mill duo of Diamond Moore and Breanna Mealer had themselves outstanding all-around meets. Moore and Mealer went 1-2 in the 55 meter hurdles, while Mealer won the long and triple jump and Moore won the high jump.
North County's Tyrese Fajardo has emerged as one of the top mid-distance runners in the county this season and put his talent on full display Tuesday evening. Fajardo won both the 300 (35.76) and 500 (1:07.14) - both new personal bests. He now ranks second in the 4A classification in the 300 and fourth in the 500, positioning himself as a state title contender in both events.
South River's Nick Boogades was tasked with holding off a Severna Park onslaught in the 1600 and 800. First, Boogades outlasted Jonah Lane in the 1600, running an indoor personal best (and 4A #1) time of 4:24.70. Then he came back and held off Christian Isham in the 800, in which his 1:58.81 indoor personal best is second on the current 4A leaderboard.
Anne Arundel wasn't the only county holding its indoor track championships on Tuesday. Up at the Baltimore Armory Nyjari McNeil and the rest of Baltimore County met for their county championships. The Franklin senior set a season best in the 500 on the slow track, clocking a time of 1:16.36 that fell just short of the 30-plus-year-old meet record. For the third year in a row she also came back and doubled with a win in the 800.
McNeil's Franklin teammates dominated the mid-distance events: Tylar Colbert (42.46), Cameron Hinton (42.82) and Jenae Dorsey (43.69) went 1-2-3 in the 300 while freshman Jasmine Johnson finished fourth in the 500 and third in the 800. The onslaught earned them a second-place finish in the team scores behind Hereford.
Speaking of Hereford, they dominated yet another indoor county championship. Senior Kelly Wesolowski led the Bulls on the track, comfortably doubling in the 1600 and 3200. Fellow senior Alexandra Butz picked up wins in both the high jump and the pole vault.
On the boys' side it was Eastern Tech senior Taylor Baranoski who owned the night. Baranoski won the 1600, 3200 and 800; it was the third straight year a different runner accomplished the feat at the Baltimore County Championships, as Baranoski followed Eric Walz (2016) and Jordan Leon (2015).
Meanwhile, Hereford's Mike Nash inched closer to Blake's Jabari Bennett on the state shot put leaderboard. Nash set a new Baltimore County indoor meet record in the event, and continues to inch his way closer to the elite mark of 60 feet.