Photo by Craig Amoss
Last weekend's Southern Maryland Indoor Track Classic brought yet another Saturday filled with state-leading times and breakout performances. Let's take a look back at some of the biggest storylines from the meet.
Caitlyn Bobb Doesn't Disappoint in Season Sportsplex Debut
Heading into Saturday's meet, Harford Tech junior Caitlyn Bobb had only run at CCBC-Essex and CCBC-Catonsville - 160-meter tracks not at all conducive to fast sprint times. Bobb entered with a 300-meter personal best of 40.54, which she ran in her victory at last year's 2A indoor state meet, but her 23.69 and 52.79 personal bests in the 200 and 400 meters suggested she was capable of much more.
That came to fruition on Saturday, as Bobb blew away the field in the 300 meter dash. Her time of 39.34 was over a second and a half better than the runner-up time and easily set a new meet record. It's the third-fastest time in the state, fastest by a public school athlete by over a full second. Bobb also finished second in the 55 meter dash with a new personal best of 7.20 (tied for MD #3, and also fastest by a public school athlete).
Kyle Lund Wins Battle of State Champions
Photo by Craig Amoss
The fast section of the boys 1600 meter run on Saturday featured multiple Maryland, DC and Virginia state cross country and track and field champions, and it played out like a true championship-style race. Multiple runners held the lead through a fairly slow first 800 meters, but Oakdale senior Kyle Lund turned on the burners in the final 400 meters to pull away from the rest of the field.
Lund then came back for a dominant victory in the 800 meter run, running his second open 1:56 of the season and easily shattering the previous meet record of 1:58.84. Lund's only loss so far this season came at the hands of a few Loudoun Valley runners in the 1600 back in December, but he is building a case as the strongest 800/1600 runner in the state as he continues to stack victories on top of a resumé that already includes XC and track state titles.
Nya Reaches Another Level; Fastest Boys in Maryland Square Off
As a junior, Brandon Nya scored in four separate events at the state level, topping at third place in the 300 meter dash last winter. However, Nya isn't the same runner he was as a junior: he's better. Coming into Saturday he had picked up wins at major invites across the entire spectrum of sprint events from the 55 to the 500, and his performance in the 300 meter dash was his best yet. Nya ran 34.84, more than a second faster than Woodlawn's Sean Williams, who placed second. It was a personal best by a half second, and the third-best time in the state.
Nya ran a personal best in the 55 meter dash as well but was overshadowed by a tight battle between two of the fastest runners in the state. Bullis' Ashton Allen (MD #2 6.35) and Paint Branch's Alonzo McBryde (MD #3 6.39) captivated the crowd at the Sportsplex on Saturday, who were treated to what may end up being the best 55 meter dash race this season in Maryland.
VA Dominates the Girls Distance Races
Herndon freshman Gillian Bushée stood out on the course in Virginia this year, finishing seventh at the 6A state meet in the fall. This winter, she's moved on to dominating up north at the PG Sportsplex. She moved to three-for-three on the season in races by beating Northern's Oakley Olson in the 1600, setting a 1600 personal best of 5:16.06 (US freshman #5).
After finishing second at last year's SMAC Classic in the 3200 Yorktown's Piper Dean wasn't about to let an opportunity at a win disappear this time around. She broke away from Northern's Hannah Mack and Calvert's Kristen Prince a mile in and held on, running 11:22.71. Her teammate, Anna Macon Corcoran, rounded out Virginia's day of distance dominance by putting nearly ten seconds between her and the rest of the field in the 1000 meter run.
More Shakeups on the Boys State Relay Leaderboards
The West Springfield boys ended up running away with the fast section of the boys 4x800, but it wasn't enough to beat the Chopticon boys who ran 8:15 by themselves in the first heat. The defending indoor and outdoor 3A state champions will be looking for a consistent fourth leg to complement Dylan McMahan and the Wedding twins, but their 'A' squad performance on Saturday is good enough to hold the MD #1 spot heading into the final week of invitationals before championship season starts.
Meanwhile Saturday's meet ended with a thrilling matchup in the 4x400 between Woodlawn and Bowie. Both teams feature deep returning sprint and mid-distance squads, so it's not at all a surprise to see both ascend to the top of the state leaderboard. The teams trail only Milford Mill this year when it comes to the 4x4 (Woodlawn and Milford Mill are the only teams to have run under 3:30) and both are currently looking like potential state title favorites.
Bullis Girls Exchange Meet Records, Pile Up Sprint Victories
Leah Phillips came into Saturday's meet holding the SMAC Classic record in the 55 meter dash (7.03, which she ran at last year's meet). Phillips added to her collection of meet records very early in Saturday's action, clocking a 7.90 performance in the prelim round of the 55 meter hurdles to edge the previous meet record of 7.93 seconds. Phillips later came back in the finals and lowered her meet record to 7.87 seconds as she continues to build her resumé as one of the top hurdlers in Maryland state history.
However, Phillips had to settle for trading one meet record for another. After breezing through the prelims and semis of the 55 meter dash, Phillips' teammate, junior Victoria Perrow, dropped a 7.02 performance in the finals to edge Phillips' year-old meet record. For good measure, Bullis freshman Sage Hinton won the 500 meter dash (1:18.28) and the Bullis girls came back to win both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, setting MD #1 times in both events.