2A Boys State Meet Recap: Thrilling Team Score Battle Goes Down To The Wire

The Middletown boys were 0.2 seconds away from becoming the 2A team champions on Monday. (Photo by John Roemer)

There were some close team battles last week at the state championships, but no race was as close as the one between three 2A boys teams. Century, Middletown and New Town all racked up points throughout the day at the PG Sportsplex, with the deciding factor being the 4x400 (if Middletown won, they would capture the team title).

Instead it was New Town edging the Knights by a mere two-tenths of a second, meaning that Middletown finished a point behind Century (not in the race) and New Town finished a point behind Middletown in third. Century got their biggest contribution from junior Jalen Stanton, who scored points in three individual events.

Top Performers

Century's Jalen Stanton was the only athlete at the state meet to clear 6'7 at the state meet across all classifications. (Photo by John Roemer)

Brandon James, New Town: Finally getting out of the Baltimore Armory did wonders for New Town senior Brandon James, who set big personal bests in the 300 and 500 at the 2A State Championships. His 1:06.07 performance in the 500 is the fifth-fastest in the state this winter on a flat track, and his 35.83 time in the 300 was the seventh-fastest across all classifications at the state meet. James also ran legs on the victorious 4x400 and runner-up 4x200 relays.

Riley McDermott, Middletown: McDermott did all he could on Monday for the Middletown boys, who wound up finishing just one point behind Century for the team title. He finished a close second in the 500 before coming back to the win the 800, while running a leg on the runner-up 4x400 relay. He has accumulated four individual state titles heading into his final spring season.

Jalen Stanton, Century: Stanton had himself quite a day on Monday, setting new personal bests in three events while taking home a state title in the high jump. He entered with a personal best of 6'6 and almost failed to clear 6'3, but he made it on his final jump and then went on to clear 6'5 and 6'7 with ease. Stanton also scored in the 55 dash (6.53, 3rd) and 55 hurdles (7.84, 4th). His 21 individual points was the main factor behind Century's team title.

Top Freshman

Only Michael Belmaggio and Rohann Asfaw have run faster as freshmen in the 3200 at the indoor state meet over the past decade. (Photo by Craig Amoss)

Kevin Baranoski, Fallston: He didn't have much competition for the distinction as he was the only freshman boy to compete individually at the 2A state meet. However, it doesn't mean his performance wasn't noteworthy. He ran a 26-second personal best in the 3200, finishing ninth with a time of 10:07.48 (one place behind teammate and fellow underclassman Russell Davis). It's the fastest time by a freshman this winter, and fastest since Michael Belmaggio in 2015-16.

Top Surprise Performance

La Plata senior Alex Strong found another gear in the finals of the 2A 55 hurdles last Monday. (Photo by Craig Amoss) 

Alex Strong, La Plata: In his first indoor track season, Strong had routinely run between 7.90 and 8.10 in the 55 meter hurdles, setting himself up as one of the top runners at the 2A State Championships. He was second in the prelims of the event, running 7.91 seconds. However, he saved the best for last, dropping a huge personal best of 7.66 in the finals for the win.

Top Relay Effort

Before winning the 2A 3200 later in the day, River Hill sophomore Anish Nanjappa helped the Hawks pull out a surprise victory in the boys 4x800. (Photo by Craig Amoss)

River Hill 4x800: The River Hill boys entered the state meet with a season best time of 8:41.69, and not having finished higher than fourth in any race so far this winter. However they saved their best for last, pulling ahead of their 2A counterparts last Monday to capture their second indoor 4x800 state title in the past four years. Their 8:12.37 performance was only bested by two teams (B-CC and Blair) across all four classifications.

Top Name To Know

Parkside's Destin Richardson established himself as a contender for the 2A hurdle races this upcoming outdoor season. (Photo by John Roemer)

Destin Richardson, Parkside: Richardson spent most of the indoor season dominating the hurdles at the Worcester County Recreation Center on the eastern shore. After finishing first in the prelims he placed second in the finals with his second-fastest performance of the season. Richardson's 7.65 season-best effort still stands as the top 2A time of the winter.

Broken Records?

4x800 relay: River Hill - 8:12.37 (previous record: 8:13.55)