After winning all three distance titles at the ISL/MAC championships and an XC state title this past fall, Holton-Arms' Francesca Cetta was one of the top candidates to join Juliette Whittaker in Maryland's sub-5:00 1600 club this spring. (Photo by Steven Pisano)
Francesca Cetta, Holton-Arms
A four-time ISL/MAC champion and this past fall's Maryland private school state champion, Cetta owned the top returning senior time in the 1600 (5:00.98) and third-fastest overall returning time in Maryland. After beginning her track career as a mid-distance runner at Holton-Arms, Cetta became one of the state's most accomplished milers last year when she completed the distance triple at the conference championships.
Mya Bradley, Bishop McNamara
Entering the indoor season Bradley had only jumped 38 feet in the triple jump once. This past winter, however, she did it three times, including jumping a personal best 38'5.25 at the Prince George's Holiday Invitational and winning the event at the Hispanic Games. Her only outdoor WCAC title came back as a freshman in the spring of 2017, but the only girl to clear 38 feet this past indoor season would have certainly been the favorite in the conference and possibly the state's best bet to reach 40 feet.
Shaniya Hall, Bullis
Hall led all of Maryland in the 400 meter dash this past indoor season, beating out Bella Whittaker by a tenth of a second. On top of being a part of another immensely talented Bullis squad that would have competed for national titles in the sprint relays, Hall would also have gotten the chance to earn her second ISL/MAC title; she won the 400 title as a freshman in 2017 and was the runner-up last year behind fellow junior Ziyah Holman of Georgetown Day.
Cayla Johnson, Riverdale Baptist
Johnson was in the midst of a breakout senior season, clearing 5'4 in the high jump after not having even competed in the event before this year. She was the only private school girl to clear 5'4 this indoor season, and one of just eight girls in all of Maryland. Johnson was also just one of three girls in Maryland to jump better than 18 feet in the long jump.
Leah Phillips, Bullis
Like Bella Whittaker, the only race (finals) Phillips lost all season was at the Millrose Games in New York. What else did she do this past indoor season? Only cement herself as one of the top hurdlers in state history with her 7.72 mark in the 55 meter hurdles, winning races against elite, national-level competition at the Virginia Showcase and University of Kentucky Invitational. Just for good measure, she also threw in a US #3 23.68 200 at the latter as well.
Ashley Wallace, Bullis
Continuing Bullis' trend of producing all-time great hurdlers, Phillips and Wallace are easily the top hurdle duo in Maryland state history. After running 7.95 as a junior in the 55 meter hurdles, Wallace clocked a US #3 time of 7.84 this winter at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic. After finishing fourth in the Emerging Elite section of the 100 meter hurdles at last spring's New Balance Nationals, she could have potentially joined Phillips in the championship race this year.
Bella Whittaker, Mount de Sales
As if her indoor season bests (37.76 300 at the Millrose Games, 1:12.67 500 at the IAAM Championships) weren't proof enough, Whittaker's time trial performances from earlier in the spring prove that she had a chance to run some of the fastest times in recent Maryland state history this season. She broke 24 seconds in the 200 on an indoor track this past winter and her Millrose Games performance (second place) was the only race she lost all winter. What could have been during the last season that she and her sister Juliette ran as teammates? Undoubtedly one of the best sprint medley relays in the country (and Maryland state history) with Bella capable of sub-54 in the 400 and Juliette having run 2:03 indoors.