Who wouldn't have wanted to see a rematch of last year's 800 state meet title race between Jordan Mozie (left) and Ella Auderset (as well as third- and fourth-place finishers Sophia Zell and Javon Watts)? (Photo by Craig Amoss
Meet Records in Jeopardy
400 Meter Dash
In 2011, Northwest's Olivia Ekpone set the all-classification state meet record at 53.15. Since then, no girl has gone under 54 seconds at the state meet - Caitlyn Bobb came closest last year when she ran 54.02. Maybe 53.15 would have been a stretch for anyone at the state meet this year, but both Bobb and Richard Montgomery's Caia Gelli would have been the best bets to at least break that 54-second barrier. Both ran comparable times (38.89 and 39.93) in their respective 300-meter victories at the indoor state meets. For what it's worth, Ekpone never ran under 39 seconds in the 300 in high school.
Despite many top-three finishes, Wheaton's Madison Depry didn't win a state title until this past winter, when she captured 4A titles in both the 55 meter dash and the high jump. The high jump is one of the most recent outdoor state meet records, and it was set in 2018 by the athlete most responsible for Depry not winning one sooner: Taylor Wright. Depry set her personal best in the high jump (5'7) as a sophomore back in 2018, and due to the volatile nature of the high jump there are no guarantees regarding the state meet. However, in a 2020 4A girls field that doesn't feature a lot of likely state meet record challengers, the high jump is one of the more likely to fall.
The Best Matchups
800 Meter Run
Last year, Ella Auderset went undefeated in the 800 all the way to New Balance Outdoor Nationals. However, not all of the races were entirely smooth sailing. In fact, the race at the outdoor state meet was one of the closest finishes in recent state meet history, as Auderset beat out fellow sophomore Jordan Mozie by just one hundredth of a second. Both Severna Park's Sophia Zell and Flowers' Javon Watts - who both finished right behind - likely would have also been back in the field. And that doesn't even include South River's Bronwyn Patterson, whose 2019 outdoor season was halted before championship season and who won this winter's 800 state title.
3200 Meter Run
Throughout the entire school year, Charlotte Turesson and Jenna Goldberg went back-and-forth in a distance rivalry. Goldberg had the edge on the course during the fall, beating Turesson at counties, regionals and states. However, Turesson began to level the field as the winter wore on. She put on an impressive performance at regionals, winning both the 1600 and 3200, and repeated at the state meet by running 10:53 and pulling away from Goldberg. How would things have played out between the two distance stars in the spring? Unfortunately, the answer will never be known.
Perhaps a better way to phrase this would be as a question: could Urbana repeat their indoor feat and win the 4x2, 4x4 and 4x8 relays? The team champions made an effort to stack their relays, putting junior Ella Auderset on all three (and only in one open event) in the interest of scoring the most points possible. They won all three relays (although they were helped by some DQs in the 4x2, in which Richard Montgomery would have won). Holding off the Rockets would have been a challenge in the 4x2, and with the 1600 and 4x8 being split into two days at the outdoor state meet, more teams would have likely stacked their 4x8 squads. Even so, the Hawks have both the star power and program depth on the girls side to have the chance to pull it off once again.
Who Missed Out?
Which girls missed opportunities to win state titles before graduation?
Diamond Alexander, Richard Montgomery
Alexander only emerged as a state qualifier last outdoor season as a junior, but she came extremely close to multiple state titles over the past calendar year. Alexander finished second in both the prelims and finals of this year's 55 meter dash, clocking in just one hundredth of a second behind Wheaton's Madison Depry in the former. Alexander also nearly was part of a state title relay team in the 4x200 this year, only to have the Rockets' team disqualified. Their 4x100 team the previous spring was also disqualified at the state meet after having won the 4A West title and bringing the top time from all four regions into the state championship.
Amanda Eliker, Howard
Eliker made a big jump during the fall of 2018, winning her first Howard County title and finishing fifth at the state cross country meet. That outdoor season she won both county and regional titles in the 1600 and 3200 and finished second at the 4A state meet in both events, the closest she would come to a state title. She wrapped up an excellent senior cross country season by finishing fourth at this year's state meet, and then went on to place third at the indoor meet in the 1600. It would not have been an easy task given the talented 4A girls distance field this year, but she could at least have had another opportunity to break through.
Javon Watts, C.H. Flowers
Over her four-year career at Flowers, Watts was a consistent contender in the mid-distance events at the 4A state meet. As a freshman Watts finished fourth and fifth in the 500 and 800, respectively, at the indoor state meet. She was a member of three Jaguars teams that won 4x400 relay state titles, but Watts never got closer than third at the state meet, although races like last year's outdoor 800 meter championship - where she finished fourth, but just 0.67 seconds off the winner, Ella Auderset - prove she was just one special performance away from grabbing her first individual state title.