Roosevelt juniors Khalid Hornsby (left) and Laurenz Colbert both had impressive performances on Friday at the PG County Tune-Up Meet. (Photo by Brandon Miles)
January 6: AACo vs. HoCo #1
The South River boys have put together a mid-distance and distance group that could potentially contend for a state title if they run their 'A' team. Seniors Sam Keeny and David Loomis went 1-2 in the 800 on Monday, giving them three runners who have run between 2:01 and 2:03 this winter and another, Ryan Hepler, who ran 2:02 last spring.
Northeast junior Christal Pommells lowered her county-leading 300 meter dash time to 42.38, the fastest time in the county by well over a second. She swept the sprint events at the county championships last spring and appears to be in similar position heading into this year's county meet. The Northeast girls also ran a county-leading 4x200 time of 1:48.21 on Monday.
No Anne Arundel County girls have separated themselves as the top distance runner in the county so far this season. On Monday, Broadneck's Anna Janke edged Annapolis' Katie Ericson in the 1600; after Ericson ran 5:18 at the Montgomery Invitational on Saturday, they are the only two girls in the county to have run under 5:20.
January 8: MCPS Meet #3
Paint Branch senior Jaeden Burke was a scorer in the 300 meter dash at last year's state meet, but he's now gone from simply scorer to contender. He ran a huge personal best (35.14, over a second faster than his previous best) at Wednesday's meet to move up to seventh on the state leaderboard; only Bowie's Brandon Nya has run faster on a flat track this season.
Damascus' Tamrat Snyder hasn't run a whole lot so far this indoor season, but it appears the training is certainly paying its dividends. Snyder easily won the 1600 on Wednesday, but it was his 1:55.08 performance in the 800 that really turned heads at the Sportsplex. It's the top time in the state by over a second from a runner who had not run faster than 1:58.76 coming into the season.
Watkins Mill senior Reggie McKinney joined the 6'2-plus club that currently totals 11 members. He also ranks 13th in the state in the triple jump; while it won't be a factor at regionals and states, McKinney will be a jumper to watch during the spring. Speaking of jumps, Northwest's Bryce Middleton moved up to sixth on the state leaderboard in the triple jump with his 45'2.25 mark on Wednesday.
Wheaton's Madison Depry was a triple winner at the Sportsplex on Wednesday (55 dash, 300 dash and high jump). It was her first major appearance of the season (she had jumped 5'4 at the first MCPS meet back in December) and she did not disappoint. Her 300 meter dash time of 40.86 ranks 12th in the state and fourth in 4A, and she then improved her performances in the 55 and high jump at Saturday's Montgomery Invitational (full recap of the weekend coming soon).
In the 500 meter dash, Quince Orchard's Kyra Lyles broke into the state's top ten leaderboard with her 1:18.47. Lyles currently leads all of Montgomery County in the event, and ranks second in the 300 meter dash and sixth in the 800 meter run.
The Towson boys had a strong group of returning throwers entering the winter, and if anything the Generals have exceeded expectations in the circle. Senior Jamiel Carlton broke 50 feet in the shot put for the first time on Wednesday at the Armory, pushing him up to fifth on the Maryland state leaderboard. The senior group of Carlton, Cory Gray and Damone Moore sit second, fourth and sixth in the 3A classification.
Wednesday evening brought a Bayside championship preview in the boys hurdles. Easton's Blake Walton edged Crisfield's Kyle Noll, 7.91 to 7.95 (they finished second and third behind Sussex Central's (DE) Travon McVicker). Walton ranks fourth in 3A in the hurdles while Noll ranks second in 1A.
North Caroline's Samantha Cash has frequented these recaps throughout the season as she dominates the Bayside league meets. On Wednesday she set a new personal best in the 500 meter dash, breaking 1:22 for the first time. Her 1:21.92 personal best ranks fourth in 4A. She also cleared 5'4 in the high jump for the second time this season, and she is the only 2A girl to have done so this winter.
January 9: Baltimore City-County Mixer #3
Eric Browner has emerged as a top jumper in Baltimore City for Lake Clifton this year. After clearing six feet in his first competition of the season last week Browner won Thursday's meet by clearing 6'2. He is one of 11 boys throughout the state that has cleared 6'2, and the only boy in the 1A classification.
January 10: Prince George's Tune-Up Meet
There were plenty of fast sprint times worth noting from Friday's Prince George's County Tune-Up Meet, the last of the year before the county championships for most PG teams. Roosevelt juniors Khalid Hornsby and Laurenz Colbert both clocked big personal bests in winning the 55 and 300 meter dashes, respectively. Hornsby ran 6.48, edging Wise's Jamil Bishop (who ran the same time; the two both rank among the top ten in the state), while Colbert ran ran 35.16, the eighth-fastest time in the state.
Behind Colbert, Wise's Joshua Edmonds ran 35.57 to tie the ninth-fastest time in Maryland, and Largo's Jalen Jackson came in at third place at 36.19. That performance by Jackson is the fastest by a 1A runner this winter.
Laurel's Isaac Ojo continues to lower his time in the hurdles in his breakout senior season. On Friday Ojo ran 7.75, 0.14 seconds faster than his previous personal best from the Ed Bowie Invitational back in mid-December. Ojo leads all 4A boys in the 55 meter hurdles and is tied for fifth overall in Maryland.
Frederick Douglass senior Geo-Di Tolbert will have to wait until the spring to try and show off his horizontal jumping skills on a state level again, but he recorded another personal best in the triple jump on Friday. Tolbert jumped 45'5.50 (in addition to winning the long jump), which, at the time, sat behind only Gilman's Josh Green on the state leaderboard. It was passed over the weekend by North Point's Chase Drewery, but Tolbert still leads the entire class of 2020 in the triple jump.
The girls 300 meter dash gave us a potential preview of this coming week's county championship race, one that figures to be the most competitive of the meet. Bowie's Dianna Koger (40.81) edged both Central's Chandler Ransome (40.89) and Douglass' Victoya Smith (40.93) in a thrilling final section of the 300. The three girls rank among the top 14 runners in the state; Ransome's time easily leads 1A runners in the event.
Diamond Richardson has made a name as one of the top young sprinters in the entire state, but she has recently added another event to her repertoire: the long jump. She set a personal best by nearly a foot on Friday, and her 16'8 winning mark in the long jump bumped her all the way up into the top ten in the state. If Richardson can rack up points in both the sprints and jumps at states in the spring, Surrattsville could be a contender for team titles throughout the season.
Brunswick's Jackson Tuomey is one of the best pole vaulters in the state (two-time defending 1A state champion) and on Friday he cleared six feet in the high jump for the second time in his career. He is one of just four boys in 1A that have jumped six feet or better this winter.
Tuomey didn't win the pole vault, however, because Linganore's Carter Holsinger set a new season best of 14'7. Holsinger and Tuomey had previously been tied for the state lead at 14'6, but the Linganore senior bested Tuomey on Friday evening at Hagerstown Community College to take over the top time on the state leaderboard.
The Urbana girls were absolutely dominant in the mid-distance events on Friday. Ella Auderset and Karly McDonnell went 1-2 in the 300 meter dash, while Piper Jons and Emily McDonnell finished first and second in the 500 meter dash. Last but not least, the Hawks went 1-2-3 (Auderset, Lydia Robling and Karly McDonnell) in the 800 meter run. It's not hard to see why they are once again a state title contender and currently lead the state in the 4x800 relay by nearly 20 seconds.
If the 2A state cross country meet wasn't enough indication, the field of 2A girls distance runners is fairly open. Winters Mill junior Kathryn Hopkins ran 11:37 on Friday, joining Middletown's Erin McQuitty, Calvert's Kristen Prince and South Carroll's Grace Siehler among the top 15 in the state (they are currently separated by just ten seconds).