Reservoir's Jalen Jasmin jumped into the record-setting fun at last Saturday's Howard County Winter Festival. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
December 21: Howard County Winter Festival
Three of the meet records we highlighted before Saturday's meet were, in fact, broken. Bella Whittaker had no problem showing off the early-season speed in the 300 meter dash, blazing a 39.22 personal best that was over a second faster than the previous meet record. It's currently a US #6 time and even more impressive considering it was run on a flat track. She wasn't done, either, coming back later in the day to snag another meet record in the 500 meter dash - in which she also set a new personal best of 1:15.15.
Meanwhile, the Hereford girls dominated the pole vault as expected. Junior Elizabeth Schriver became the first girl in meet history to clear 11 feet while teammates Vita Shats (second) and Courtney Butz (fourth) cleared 10'6. Schriver and Butz are the only girls in the state who have cleared 11 feet so far this year.
Finally, Anish Nanjappa finally broke the 9:30 barrier in the boys 3200, letting Chopticon's Zachary Wedding lead for the first half of the race before negative splitting the final mile. It's the second straight year the record - now 9:27.33, courtesy of Nanjappa - in the event has been lowered, and the first time this year a Maryland runner has gone under 9:30.
Those weren't the only meet records to go down on Saturday. Walter Johnson's Jenna Goldberg made a quick turnaround from Foot Locker XC Nationals on December 14 to clock a huge PR (10:48.63) in the 3200. It was the kind of impressive solo effort Goldberg has proven capable of time and time again throughout the fall and perhaps sets the stage for some even bigger performances throughout the track season.
The girls pole vaulters weren't the only ones getting in on the record-setting action. South River senior Corey Troxler won both the indoor and outdoor state meet competitions last year and is in better form than ever entering 2020. He cleared 14 feet on Saturday for just the third time in his career, and it was just enough to beat Thomas Johnson's Peter Kamanu who is breaking out this winter. After entering the season with a personal best of 12'6, he has cleared 13 feet three times (which included a PR of 14'0) on Saturday. Both vaulters cleared the old meet record by two inches.
Finally, Reservoir's Jalen Jasmin proved one of the more versatile competitors at Saturday's meet. The senior placed third in the 55 meter dash finals, going under 6.60 for the first time in his career. But it was in the long jump that he proved to be the class of the field on Saturday. His 22'9.75 mark beat the old meet record by just over an inch and is just off his overall personal best in the event. All told, Jasmin was responsible for 16 of the Gators' 24 points scored in the meet.
Other current MD #1s from Saturday's meet included:
- Oakley Olson, Northern-Calvert: 5:14.08 in the girls 1600
- Asha Taitt, Reservoir: 18'6.25 in the girls long jump
- Sierra James, Largo: 38'3.50 in the girls shot put
- Brandon Nya, Bowie: 1:06.89 in the boys 500
- Kyle Lund, Oakdale: 1:56.13 in the boys 800
- North Point: 8:22.26 in the boys 4x800 relay
December 23: Prince George's Holiday Invitational
Paint Branch senior Alonzo McBryde continues to showcase his speed, winning the 60 meter dash at Monday's meet. His 6.87 time in the prelims converts to a 6.40 mark in the 55 meter dash. Overall, five boys in Monday's final hit the Emerging Elite New Balance Nationals standard, as McBryde and Eleanor Roosevelt's Laurenz Colbert both hit the Championship standard.
Bowie's Brandon Nya was not one of those five to hit the qualifying time in the finals of the 60 meter dash, but he didn't waste his opportunity to shine in the 200 meter dash later in the day. His 22.13 mark was almost a half second faster than the runner-up, and was impressively close to the New Balance Emerging Elite standard considering it was run on a flat track at the PG Sportsplex. It was also his third race of the day, coming on the heels of winning the 400 meter dash (50.67).
The aforementioned McBryde was also part of a Paint Branch 4x2 squad that blew away the current MD #1 time in the event. The Panthers ran 1:30.66 on Monday while no other team in Maryland so far has gone under 1:31.96. They also won the 4x8 and distance medley relay en route to a team title.
Was the boys' shot put on Monday a potential 1A state meet preview? Largo's Renaldi Falwell and Catoctin's McIlvaine both threw the top two marks so far among 1A competitors, going 1-2 in the process. Falwell's 49'3.50 throw is currently the sixth-best in the state.
Bowie had the 200 meter dash on lockdown at Monday's meet; shortly before Nya won the boys' race, Dianna Koger ran away with the fast section of the girls' race. Last year's 4A state runner-up in the event as a sophomore ran 25.34 on Monday, getting right back to the time range she reached last spring. She has yet to make her debut in the 300 meter dash this winter but could be a state title contender in the event come February.
Perhaps the most anticipated showdown on Monday were the two battles between Wise's Jordan Mozie and Theodore Roosevelt's Fajr Kelly. Mozie won the first race, coming from behind late in the girls' 400 to steal the win from Kelly. Their final times of 56.76 (Mozie) and 56.95 (Kelly) both currently rank in the top five in the country.
In the rematch, however, it was Kelly pulling away in what ended up being a dominant victory in the final section. It wasn't a repeat of her 2:15 performance from two weekends ago, but her 2:22 effort was still impressive coming off a sub-57 indoor 400 just a few hours prior. Aside from New Balance Outdoor Nationals, Kelly remains undefeated in the event dating back to the end of last winter, spanning eight races. Kelly finished the day by anchoring the Roosevelt 4x4 to a US #7 time of 4:04.35.
Charlotte Turesson made her Richard Montgomery track debut on Monday in much the same fashion that her cross country rival, Jenna Goldberg, did two days prior: running two solo miles. Her 11:09 two mile time converts to approximately 11:05 for 3200 meters, easily the second-fastest performance in the state to date.
It seems like the top girls 4x8 time in the state inches closer to 10:00 every day, and Monday was no exception. The Flowers girls just missed out on being the first team in the state to crack ten minutes, but they did shave nearly a second off the previous state-leading time by running 10:02.92.
Over in the field, Bishop McNamara's Mya Bradley set a new personal best (38'5.25) and MD #1 mark in the triple jump. It was just the second time in her career she cleared 38 feet in the event (along with last year's New Balance Indoor Nationals) and also places her sixth on the current US leaderboard for the event.
Bullis traveled up to the Armory over the weekend for their indoor season debut, and their sprint squads did not disappoint. Victoria Perrow (first, 6.96) and Tiffani Rae Pittman (third, 7.20) ran the two fastest times in the 55 meter dash in Maryland. Four girls, led by Shaniya Hall (first, 38.76 - a MD #1) ran under 40.50 in the 300 meter dash. Hall also won the 500 meter dash, dropping a MD #1 time of 1:14.85.
Meanwhile, Ashley Wallace continues the tradition of outstanding Bullis hurdlers, running 8.01 to open up her senior indoor season. The next fastest time in the state at the moment? 8.31 seconds. Finally, on the boys side, Jay Pendarvis ran a US #1 in the 300 meter dash (34.19).
The DeMatha sprinters also traveled out-of-state on Saturday, heading down to Virginia for the Commonwealth Games. Senior Brian West clocked a personal best and MD #2 time in a victorious performance in the 300 meter dash, and also threw in a runner-up effort (and another personal best) in the 500. DeMatha also ran a MD #2 time in the 4x200 (1:31.96), which was the top time in the state until Monday's Prince George's Holiday Invitational.
They were also joined down in Virginia by the Elizabeth Seton girls. Senior Felicia Hewitt made the most buzz for the Roadrunners, finishing in the top five in both the 300 and 500 meter dashes. They also ran 1:46.50 in the 4x200, which was the MD #2 time for two days and is currently the third-fastest time in the state.