Could the Howard boys and girls sweep the team titles this week at Howard County Championships?
Meet preview for Monday and Tuesday's Howard County Championships.
The girls team competition will be a dogfight between four schools in contention including Atholton, Howard, Mt. Hebron, and Reservoir all capable of scoring well over 100 points in the 12 school county meet.
Meanwhile, the Howard boys could run away with a team title and maintain their dominance within the county that extends thru both the indoor and outdoor seasons over the past few years. Oakland Mills, Reservoir, Atholton, and River Hill are among the teams who may be having to settle and battle each other for county runner-up honors.
There are a handful of boys individuals stars capable of potentially winning two or more events including Atholton's Kristopher Lytle in the boys sprints (10.88 100m, 21.82 200m), Howard's Maxwell Myers in the mid-distance events (49.60 400m, 1:55.91 800m), River Hill's Anish Nanjappa in the boys distance races (4:28.79 1600m, 9:39.62 3200m), and Hammond's Loick Amouzou in the hurdles (14.34 110H, 41.56 300H).
Lytle has really come out of nowhere this outdoor season after not being much a factor last spring or even this past indoor season. He recently notched a major win in the 200 meter dash at the Gator Invitational. Myers has great range and versatility, but often his primary events are back to back or on limited rest so will be interesting to see how he navigates and manages the next two days.
Nanjappa was the 2A state cross country champion this fall and will have some competition from his teammate in another rising star in sophomore Joshua Galindo (4:30 1600, 9:46 3200). Amouzou has been incredible every time that he has stepped on the track in the 110 meter hurdles lowering his team each meet with major wins at Scorpion Classic and Gator Invite, while he will have his work cut out for him and need his first sub 40 seconds race in the 300 meter hurdles facing Deon Breland of Oakland Mills and his 39.70 county best.
Sierrah Matthews, the indoor state champ in the 500 for 3A, is one of the best girls athletes in the meet as she will be featured in the 400 with her 56.63 personal best. The sprint titles will be up for grabs with several quality girls chasing after titles in the 100 and 200 including River Hill's Sydney Robinson and Mt. Hebron's Jaiden Ritter.
The distance races should be good with Howard's Amanda Eliker (5:06 1600, 11:19), Atholton's Alexandra Hargrett (5:10 1600, 11:35) having the top two times this season, but cannot count on savy senior racer Alison Betler of Centennial as well as a past state champion in Faith Meininger of River Hill with faster PR's than all but still working herself back into shape after missing indoors due to injury.
Reservoir junior Adaobi Tabugbo might be doing some meet record chasing in both hurdle events as she comes in as one of the state's top tier athletes in both the 100 meter hurdles at 14.15 season best and 300 meter hurdles at 44.04.
The Mt. Hebron girls are capable of sweeping all of the sprint relays, but likely won't be able to as the spread out their individual stars in individual events instead. However, their depth could prevail still for first place in the 4x100, 4x200, and 4x400 meter relays as the county's fastest in all 3 events.
With the 4x800 meter relays being held on Monday with the Howard County Championships being a two day meet should open the door for teams loading up the event as the River Hill boys at 8:09 and the Atholton girls at 9:46 are the current season best leaders heading into the meet.
MileSplit.com will be on-site with meet coverage.