The State Meet We Missed: 2A Girls

Over the past calendar year, Harford Tech's Caitlyn Bobb (right) had proven unbeatable at the state meet. That changed this winter when Wicomico's Aaliyah Harris (left) beat her in the finals of the 55 meter dash. What would have happened in the 100 meter dash had the two met at Morgan State once again this spring? (Photo by Craig Amoss)

It's impossible to make a completely accurate prediction of what the outdoor state championships would have looked like. Some competitors improve greatly since the winter (or the last time they competed). Sometimes new influxes of talent elevate a program to state title contender status. Injuries happen, unfortunately. In any case, we can still look at the indoor season and last outdoor season to try and figure out what could have been at this year's 2A girls state meet.

Meet Records in Jeopardy

Girls 200 and 400 Meter Dashes

As a sophomore Caitlyn Bobb not only beat the former 2A outdoor state meet record in the 400, she obliterated it by almost a second. Her new record of 54.02 might have only stood for one year, however, as she followed that performance with a 52.79, fourth-place finish at New Balance Outdoor Nationals. She picked up right where she left off this indoor season, winning state titles in the 300 and 500 and finishing second in the 55 meter dash (that added speed - plus the fact that she ran 23.69 last year - would have put her in position to break the 24.14 outdoor state meet record in the 200, as well). Even the 11.74 2A record in the 100 meter dash would not have been completely safe from Bobb on a good day.

Girls 4x200 Meter Relay

Much of this would depend on whether or not Harford Tech uses Bobb on the 4x200 relay, as they did last year when they set a new 2A outdoor state meet record. Bobb ran three open events at this year's indoor state meet (plus the 4x400), and while Harford Tech would probably still be in the mix without her, they would likely not be as fast as they were last spring. Meanwhile, this year's 2A indoor state champions from Carver A&T won in a runaway (winning by nearly two seconds) and have three individual state qualifiers in the sprints (Karah Moore, Khaide'a Brown and Chioma Mbah). They won last year's 1A 4x100 title (finishing just shy of the 1A outdoor record in that race) and could have likely worked their way down into the low 1:40s this spring.

The Best Matchups

100 Meter Dash

While Bobb would have been a near-lock (at least coming into the spring) in the 200 and 400, the 100 meter dash would have been a different story. Bobb clocked the fastest time in the prelims of the 55 meter dash at this year's indoor state meet, but finished a distant second to Wicomico's Aaliyah Harris (who ran 7.13) in the finals. Their respective season bests in the 55 meter dash were the fastest by any girls outside of Bullis this winter, and would have made for an interesting rematch in a similar event at the outdoor state meet.

4x800 Meter Relay

The state meet race between Glenelg, Oakdale and South Carroll was one of the best 4x800 state championship races of the decade, simply put. All three teams ran their season best times at the state meet as well. Let's take a look back at last year's 2A outdoor state meet race:

- The first- and third-place teams, Hereford and River Hill, both moved up to the 3A classification this year.

- The second-place team, Kent Island, lost their top runner, Kyra Schulties, who won both the 1600 and 800 last spring. The Bucs finished fourth at this year's indoor state meet.

- The next three teams? Oakdale (9:56.90), South Carroll (9:58.61) and Glenelg (10:00.53).

It only seems right that the three teams would meet again at this year's outdoor state meet.

100 and 300 Meter Hurdles

The 55 meter hurdle finals at this year's 2A indoor state championships was a crazy race. Before the race, Seneca Valley's Deborah Gnoumou had run 8.62, the fastest time in 2A, while Digital Harbor's Thalia Summerville clocked a season-best 8.66 in the prelims. No other girl had run faster than 8.78 before the finals. So who won? The girl who had run 8.78, of course: North Caroline's Samantha Cash, who outleaned not Gnoumou, but her teammate Regina Penda, at the line. Would Gnoumou (the defending 2A champion in the 100 meter hurdles) and Summerville have climbed back on top at the outdoor state meet? And what of the 300 meter hurdles, in which Cash was the only returning 2A girl to have run under 46 seconds?

Pole Vault

When you take away the seniors and the Hereford girls (who now compete in 3A), the top three returners in the pole vault from last year's outdoor state meet were North Caroline's Sierra Reynolds, North Harford's Darian Hauf and South Carroll's Zelda Hirsch, all of whom cleared 10 feet at states. This winter, both Reynolds and Hirsch cleared 10'9 to lead 2A, while Hauf was right behind at 10'2. Reynolds beat Hauf at the state meet in a close battle in which they both cleared 10'2; Hirsch was the 2A West regional champion but failed to clear at the state meet.

Who Missed Out?

Which girls missed opportunities to win state titles before graduation?

Ever Elegon, Seneca Valley

Since 2018, Elegon has placed among the top five at the 2A state meet eight times in the mid-distance events. Elegon had a particularly impressive showing at this year's 2A West regionals, qualifying in the 300, 500 and 800. With Caitlyn Bobb leading the way in the 400, Elegon's best bet this outdoor season likely would have been the 800, in which she finished third at this year's indoor state meet. She did win a state title as a member of Seneca Valley's 4x400 relay team in the winter of 2018.

Brooke Flanigan, South Carroll

Flanigan qualified individually for the state meet in every season dating back to the spring of 2017 when she was a freshman. Six times she finished in the top five in a hurdle event at states, placing as high as third in the 55 meter hurdles at the 2019 indoor state championships. She also owned the fastest returning 2A mark from last year's outdoor state meet in the 300 meter hurdles and would have likely been a strong contender at this year's meet along with Samantha Cash, Thalia Summerville and Douglass' Autumn Winston.

Chidinma Mbah, Century

Mbah entered last spring with a high jump personal best of 4'8. She cleared 4'10 in her first competition of the spring and never looked back. After winning the 2A West title, she peaked at the outdoor state meet, clearing 5'4 and finishing second behind Harford Tech's Beyonce Kelly. She was one of just eight girls returning from last spring who cleared 5'4, and one of just two girls in 2A, along with Samantha Cash. Mbah had also finished as high as sixth (at the 2018 outdoor state meet) in the long jump.