Howard County Invitational Meet Preview

Enjoyed last week's matchup between Anish Nanjanppa, Sam Keeny and Tanner Piotrowski at the Seahawk Invite? All three teams are scheduled to compete again this Saturday at the Howard County Invitational. (Photo by Keeley Olson)

Meet Page - Virtual Meet Previews - 2018 Results

Action returns this weekend as Centennial High School hosts the 35th annual Howard County Invite, which will feature some of the most competitive races all weekend!

On the boy's individual side, we should expect a tight rematch from last week as Anish Nanjappa of River Hill, Sam Keeny of South River and Tanner Piotrowski of Arundel all look to seek an individual title. Nanjappa pulled away last week from the two to narrowly miss out on a sub-15 performance running a 15:00 3-mile (40th in the nation currently). Keeny and Piotrowski weren't far behind as Keeny edged out Piotrowski, with both runners coming under the 15:20 mark (15:10 and 15:14).

Keeny and Piotrowski have already established themselves as contenders in Anne Arundel County. Could Spencer Tate (10th at last year's state meet) join them at the front of the pack at Saturday's race? (Photo by John Roemer)

However, watch out for Kyle Lund as the dark horse of the race. Lund won the Brunswick invite with a time of 16:24, but don't let the slower time fool you - Lund's PRs of 1:53 in the 800m, 4:16 in the 1600m, and 9:28 in the 3200m speak for themselves. Other potential competitors for a top spot include Spencer Tate of Broadneck (9:44 3200m PR), Collin Dempsey of Oakdale (2nd behind Lund at the Brunswick Invite last week), Woodrow Kashima of Liberty (17:00 at Brunswick Invite last week), Cameron Hindle of Long Reach (Howard County Indoor and Outdoor 1600m champion) and Jake Cole of Centennial (9:41 3200m PR).

On the boys team side, we should see a battle between the River Hill boys and the Oakdale boys. River Hill, led by Nanjappa, displayed why they're one of the premier teams in Maryland this year, placing second in a loaded team field last week at the Seahawk Invite. Along with their senior leader, the strong core of River Hill runners which included six more runners under 17:00 last week (Galindo, Krein, Khan, McGowan, Hoffman, and Rose) should duke it out with Kyle Lund and the Oakdale boys. Last week at the Brunswick Invite, Oakdale went 1-2-3 (Lund, Dempsey, and Milliken) with all three runners coming in under 17 in a tough field which included the four-time defending 2A champs from Liberty. Other teams in the hunt include Liberty High School led by Kashima, South River High School led by Keeny, and Arundel High School led by Piotrowski.

Even without their top returner, Nelle Ray, the Leonardtown girls still finished seventh at the Seahawk Invitational last weekend behind sophomore Parker O'Brien (tenth overall). (Photo by Keeley Olson)

On the girls individual side, we could see a tight race against the duo of girls from Broadneck, Anna Janke (11:24 3200m PR ) and Mollie Fenn (18:52 5K PR) against top seed Bronwyn Patterson of South River (17:59 3-mile PR) and reigning champion Faith Meininger of River Hill (11:28 3200m PR). Since none of these girls have truly raced yet this season (excluding league meets), this will be the first look at what seems to be a first competitive race for many girls this season. Neither Patterson nor Meininger raced last weekend at the Seahawk Invitational, so it will be interesting to see who toes the line on Saturday at Centennial. Others competing for a top spot could include Niya Torres (fifth at Seahawk last week) and Lindsey Wingeart of Arundel (5:19 1600m PR) and Parker O'Brien of Leonardtown (11:38 3200m PR).

On the girls team side, we should see a tight battle between the Broadneck girls led by duo of Fenn and Janke, Leonardtown girls led by Nelle Ray (who also did not compete last weekend), and the South River girls led by Browyn Patterson. Since we have yet to see many of these teams race this season, the girls race should be an interesting one. Other team contenders include the home team Centennial girls led by Katerina Talanova (20:06 3-mile PR), Oakdale girls led by Hayley Ross, and the Glenelg girls led by Katie Melesko.

- written by MileSplit senior student writer Brian Lau