Taveon Pierce was the state's fastest freshman in the 500 meter dash last winter and headlines a strong group of returning Wise boys. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
We continue our indoor preview by highlighting some of the top returning boys individuals in the 4A classification.
*Note: outdoor performances are only taken into consideration if the athlete also participated during indoor track.
Joshua Ajayi (Junior, Bowie) - 6.65 55, 39.06 300
For the second year in a row Ajayi qualified for the indoor state meet in the 55 meter dash last winter. His 6.65 returning personal best in the event ranks fourth among 4A returners.
Avery Arizpe (Senior, Richard Montgomery) - 36.38 300, 1:12.96 500, 50.74 400
Arizpe took his first crack at the 300 meter dash last winter as a junior, and it proved to be a successful move. He finished fifth, fifth and sixth at counties, regionals and states, respectively, breaking 37 seconds each time. His returning time in the 300 is fourth among 4A runners and his 400 meter personal best also ranks seventh among 4A returners.
Oumar Balde (Sophomore, Bowie) - 36.45 300, 11.27 100, 22.41 200, 50.85 400
Balde qualified for states in three separate events over his two freshman track seasons seasons at Bowie. He led all freshmen in the state last year in the 300 meter dash, second in the 200 meter dash and eighth in the 400 meter dash.
Edward Boateng (Senior, DuVal) - 6.70 55, 36.64 300, 11.08 100, 22.06 200
Photo by Brandon Miles
Boateng shaved considerable time off his indoor personal bests as a junior, and broke through on the state level during the spring. He finished third in the county in the 100 meter dash, then placed fourth (higher than he finished at regionals) at the state meet in the 200 meter dash. He ranks among the top six 4A returners in both events.
Jaeden Burke (Senior, Paint Branch) - 36.15 300
Burke was the runner-up in the 300 meter dash at both the Montgomery County Championships and 4A West regionals, then placed eighth at the state meet. His 36.15 personal best ranks third among 4A returners in the event.
Laurenz Colbert (Junior, Eleanor Roosevelt) - 6.66 55, 36.49 300, 10.59 100, 21.57 300
Colbert qualified for the state meet in both the 100 and 200 meter dashes as a sophomore last spring, but it wasn't until the summer track scene when he clocked personal bests in the events. Colbert's 10.59 time from the Russell Blunt East Coast Invitational led all of Maryland last year.
Dashawn Cypress (Senior, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech) - 1:08.15 500, 2:05.56 800, 5:03.24 1600
Last year's Baltimore City 500 meter champion, Cypress finished as the regional runner-up in the event. His personal best performance from regionals is the fourth-fastest time among 4A returners in the event.
Johan Deyanou (Senior, Northwood) - 1:08.55 500, 2:14.26 800
One of just five returners in 4A to have run under 1:09 in the 500, Deyanou went from Einstein last winter to DeMatha Catholic in the spring, and now Northwood. Deyanou is also coming off a senior cross country season when he ran a 17:10 5K personal best for the Gladiators.
Joshua Edmonds (Junior, Henry A. Wise) - 1:07.71 500, 51.80 400
Edmonds was found a knack for the 500 meter dash quickly in his first season at Wise. As a sophomore he finished as the runner-up at both the Prince George's County Championships and 4A East regionals, then placed fourth at states. Only two 4A returners - one of them his teammate - rank higher than him in the 500.
Josiah Grant (Senior, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech) - 6.63 55, 36.63 300, 1:12.93 500, 10.94 100, 22.20 200, 51.36 400
Photo by Craig Amoss
Grant finished 11th or better in four separate events (55, 100, 200 and 300 meter dashes) across the two track seasons last year. He owns the top returning times in all four events among Baltimore City runners.
Jumar Hines (Junior, Dulaney) - 38.09 300, 23.24 200, 50.07 400
Last spring saw Hines break out in a big way for the Lions. He went from finishing 17th at the 4A Central regional in the 500 meter dash during the winter to finishing fourth (and qualifying for states) at the 4A North regional in the 400 meter dash in the spring. Hines' 50.07 personal best from the regional meet is the fastest returning time among 4A runners.
Khalid Hornsby (Junior, Eleanor Roosevelt) - 6.70 55, 37.37 300, 10.94 100
Hornsby's first season at Roosevelt proved successful; while he did not qualify for states during the indoor season, he was a force in the 100 meter dash during the spring. Hornsby finished second at the Prince George's County championships, won the 4A South regional title and placed fifth at the state meet. His 10.94 time ranks fifth among 4A returners.
Brandon Nya (Senior, Bowie) - 6.58 55, 35.71 300, 10.83 100, 21.88 200, 50.34 400
Nya racked up plenty of points on the state level for the Bulldogs as a junior. He finished as high as third (300 meter dash) and no lower than seventh (55 and 100 meter dashes), scoring in all four short sprint events across the two seasons. He ranks second among 4A returners in the three separate events (55, 200 and 300 meter dashes).
Chukwumdi Osuji (Senior, Paint Branch) - 6.55 55, 35.46 300, 10.78 100, 21.44 200
A big force behind the Panthers' team title last winter, Osuji won his first individual state title in the 300 meter dash. He also scored in each of the other three short sprint events at the indoor and outdoor state meets and leads all 4A returners in the 55, 200 and 300 meter dashes.
Taveon Pierce (Sophomore, Henry A. Wise) - 1:07.69 500, 50.13 400, 1:59.75 800
Pierce was a big contributor for Wise last year as he was the only freshman in the state to break 1:08 in the 500 meter dash. He won two regional titles last year (indoor 500 and outdoor 800), and ranks second among 4A returners in both the 400 and 500 meter dashes.
Seydi Sall (Senior, Richard Montgomery) - 1:04.47 500
Photo by Craig Amoss
When on the track, Sall is one of the top 400-500 meter runners in the state. Back in 2017 as a freshman he finished second at the state meet in the 400 meter dash. Last indoor season he ran three separate sub-1:06 performances in the 500, including a state-leading 1:04.47 at the Montgomery County championships. Due to a multitude of factors his second-place finish as a freshman is the only time he has competed at a state meet, but he's one of the top athletes in the state when on the track.
Camron Winborne (Junior, Old Mill) - 6.67 55, 36.71 300, 11.09 100, 22.15 200
Winborne made it to the state meet in three separate events (55, 100 and 200 meter dashes) as a sophomore, finishing in the top ten in both of the outdoor events. He ranks among the top nine 4A returners in all four of the short sprint events.
Ayalew Fantaw (Senior, Northwood) - 2:03.80 800, 4:24.23 1600, 10:01.87 3200
Fantaw made a big comeback for the Gladiators last spring, clocking a 4:24 1600 at the county championships. He led the Northwood boys this season to a second-place finish at the state meet, and his 15:32 5K personal best was the fifth-fastest time in Maryland this fall.
Jake Gelfand (Junior, Severna Park) - 4:34.99 1600, 9:46.55 3200
Photo by John Roemer
The Falcons' newest #1 cross country runner, Gelfand emerged as the team's leader on the course this year as a junior, finishing third at the state meet. His cross country times (15:17 three mile, 15:35 5K) hint at big improvements on the track this year as well.
Jafar Hussen (Senior, Parkdale) - 2:07.34 800, 4:32.91 1600, 9:42.69 3200
Hussen won four regional titles last year on the track and scored for the first time at the outdoor state meet (eighth place in the 3200). He also won county and regional titles this fall and placed eighth at the XC state meet.
Sam Keeny (Senior, South River) - 2:01.10 800, 4:21.55 1600, 9:13.90 3200
Keeny won his first state title this fall at Hereford, setting a new post-2013 course record in the process. That performance continued the momentum he built last year on the track when he ran some of the fastest times in the state; he boasts the top returning 1600 and 3200 times in Maryland.
Surafel Mengist (Senior, Springbrook) - 2:04.34 800, 4:26.74 1600, 9:29.81 3200
Only three returning boys in Maryland ran under 9:40 in the 3200 last winter: Sam Keeny, Anish Nanjappa and Surafel Mengist. Over the past 12 months Mengist has finished sixth or better three separate times on the state level.
Tanner Piotrowski (Senior, Arundel) - 53.17 400, 1:57.31 800, 4:21.56 1600
Piotrowski won his first state title in the 800 meters at last year's indoor state meet. His cross country performances (MD #2 three mile, MD #3 5K), including a county title and runner-up effort at the state meet, solidified his position as one of the state's top distance runners.
Carson Sloat (Junior, Severna Park) - 1:56.89 800, 4:28.61 1600
Sloat came out of nowhere for the Falcons last year as a sophomore, qualifying for the state meet in the 800 meters (and helping them win the 4x800 state title). Sloat continued his ascent this fall, finishing in the top five at counties, regionals and states and 20th at NXN Southeast, second to only Tanner Piotrowski among Maryland runners.
Garrett Suhr (Senior, Richard Montgomery) - 1:54.35 800, 4:13.90 1600, 10:11.00 3200
Photo by Brandon Miles
After missing the 2018 outdoor season and 2019 indoor season, Suhr was healthy once again last spring, which resulted in top-three finishes at states in both the 800 and 1600 and a win at the DMV Meet of Champions, where he ran a MD #1 1600. Only Kyle Lund has a faster returning 800 time. Suhr also turned in his best cross country season this year, winning county and regional titles and clocking the second-fastest 5K (15:16) in the state.
Jalil Farooq (Junior, Henry A. Wise) - 6'2 HJ
Last winter Farooq was the only 4A competitor to clear 6'2 in the high jump, and one of just two sophomores in the state along with Mount St. Joseph's Donte Thornton.
Rodney Gainous (Senior, Henry A. Wise) - 48'9 SP, 5'8 HJ, 8.36 55H
Gainous finished fifth at the indoor state meet in the shot put, and all four who finished ahead of him were seniors. Not only does he have the top returning indoor shot put mark in 4A, but his 8.36 time in the 55 meter hurdles also ranks tenth among 4A returners. Gainous will be a key if Wise is to make another run at the team title this winter.
Collin Greene (Senior, Howard) - 50'4.50 SP
Greene surpassed Gainous as the top returning thrower in the classification last spring. He is one of just five returning boys to have thrown over 50 feet last spring, when he won county and regional titles and finished fourth at the state meet.
Abdur Henley (Senior, Dulaney) - 7.95 55H, 14.86 110H, 5'8 HJ
Last year's 4A Central champion in the 55 meter hurdles didn't get to compete at the indoor state meet, but he made it back during the spring and finished third in the 110 meter hurdles. Both his times in the 55 and 110 meter hurdles rank as the second-fastest by a 4A returner.
Zachary Jones (Senior, Gaithersburg) - 7.79 55H, 6'0 HJ, 14'0 PV, 15.11 110H
Photo by Craig Amoss
Jones emerged out of nowhere as one of the best all-around athletes in the state for the Trojans. During the winter, he finished second at states in the pole vault, fourth in the 55 meter hurdles and ninth in the high jump. Although he had to miss some events at the outdoor state meet, he won three regional titles (both hurdle events and the pole vault) and won the state title in the 300 meter hurdles.
Darius Lorfils (Sophomore, Northwest) - 6'2 HJ, 8.32 55H
Lorfils was a contributor for the Jaguars as a freshman last year, scoring in the high jump at both the indoor (seventh) and outdoor (fourth) state meets. Lorfils was one of just two freshmen in the state to clear 6'2 in the event last spring.
Adam Madro (Senior, Dulaney) - 14'0 PV
Madro has scored at the state championships in the pole vault in each of the last four track seasons, his second-place finish last spring also being his personal best in terms of height. Madro is one of just three boys in Maryland to return having cleared 14 feet.
Timothy Ogunsola (Senior, Urbana) - 7.95 55H, 14.84 110H
Photo by Peter Jons
Ogunsola was breezing through his competition last winter in the 55 meter hurdles, winning the county and conference titles and finishing first in the prelims at regionals but ultimately not qualifying for states. That changed in the spring, when, along with county and conference titles in the 110 meter hurdles, he also finished fourth at states.
Corey Troxler (Senior, South River) - 14'6 PV, 6'0 HJ
Last year, Troxler won both Anne Arundel County and 4A state titles in the pole vault during the winter, then swept the three championship meets (counties, regionals and states) in the spring. Only Linganore's Carter Holsinger has a better returning mark in the pole vault than Troxler.
Steven Williams (Senior, Quince Orchard) - 48'8.50 SP
Williams qualified for the indoor state meet in the shot put during his first season of throwing, but made huge strides in the spring. He added nearly six feet upon his indoor personal best, placing sixth at the state meet.
James Young (Sophomore, Henry A. Wise) - 6'2 HJ
Young was one of two freshmen last year, along with Darius Lorfils, to clear 6'2 in the high jump. He did so in a victorious effort at the 4A South regionals and also added a Prince George's County title in the event.