Presenting: Track Athlete of the Decade Tournament!

Throughout the spring and summer some of our fellow MileSplit sites have held fan-voting tournaments for track and field athletes of the decade. So, before we close the book on track and field entirely, we thought it would be a perfect time to hold our own vote here in Maryland.

The premise is simple: compile a list of the 32 best boys and girls (in separate brackets) track and field athletes since the 2010-11 season. The purpose of the tournament is not necessarily to serve as the end-all, be-all of all-time individual rankings. We encourage the fun, friendly debates to endure long after the polls have closed, hopefully generating interest and passion by looking back at the last decade as we step forward into the increasing uncertainty of the next.

How were the initial lists of 64 athletes determined out of the entire field of athletes from these past ten years? Here you can find the parameters that the staff as MileSplit Arizona used. The spirit of many of these criteria are present in our selections, with a couple of key differences. Here are some of the things we considered (or did not consider):

  • We did not use Arizona's initial method of only choosing athletes who hit a certain standard in any event (in Arizona's case, Division I track and field recruiting standards). We wanted to preserve somewhat of a balance between the different groups of events (sprints, hurdles, distance, jumps and throws).
  • However, our top priority was an athlete's strongest performance in the best event (as opposed to slightly lesser performances over a multitude of events, or championships accrued. Using an athlete's strongest event makes it easier to compare to other athletes in completely different events and doesn't penalize athletes who were truly great in an event removed from others (such as a 3200 runner or a pole vaulter). Going by state titles is much harder in a state like Maryland which doesn't feature an official meet of champions, and even more so when comparing public to private schools (who don't have state championships of their own).
  • In general, the three numbers we looked at when comparing athletes across events and years were all-decade rank in Maryland, yearly rank in the US and all-decade rank in the US (when applicable). Other factors, such as head-to-head matchups or performance in secondary events, were used as tiebreakers.
  • Cross country performances are not included! We are still wrapping up our all-decade XC teams by county and conference, which will undoubtedly highlight every distance runner featured in these polls and more.

Voting will begin on Monday, July 6! The first round will run through the next weekend, and the following rounds will be shorter until we reach the final matchups in mid to late July.

The Field - Girls

Claudia Ababio (Clarksburg), Mobolaji Adeokun (DuVal), Madeleine Akobundu (DuVal), Javonne Antoine (Elizabeth Seton), Caitlyn Bobb (Harford Tech), Jessica Caldwell (McDonogh), Shania Collins (Huntingtown), Stephanie Davis (Riverdale Baptist), Olivia Ekpone (Northwest), Alexis Franklin (Old Mill), Autumne Franklin (McDonogh), Ellie Gonzalez (Catholic), Abigail Green (Walter Johnson), Olivia Gruver (Franklin), Jessica Harris (Mount de Sales), Lauryn Harris (Bullis), Hayley Jackson (Patuxent), Emma King (Oakdale), Thea Lafond (John F. Kennedy), Nyjari McNeil (Franklin), Jackie McNulty (Oakdale), Kiara Parker (Westlake), Leah Phillips (Bullis), Masai Russell (Bullis), Jada Seaman (McDonogh), Ashley Seymour (Bullis), Antonella Taylor (Bowie), Seasons Usual (Frederick Douglass-PG), Harleigh White (Huntingtown), Isabella Whittaker (Mount de Sales), Juliette Whittaker (Mount de Sales), Taylor Wright (Northwest)

The Field - Boys

Elian Ahmar (Broadneck), Ashton Allen (Bullis), Eric Allen, Jr. (Bullis), Rohann Asfaw (Richard Montgomery), Brandon Chase (Edgewood), Vincent Ciattei (Perry Hall), Ronald Darby (Potomac), Dandre Echols (Potomac), Clarence Foote-Talley (Northwest), Darryl Haraway (DeMatha), William Henderson (Baltimore Poly), Dalton Hengst (McDonogh), Russell Hornsby (Georgetown Prep), Matt Jablonski (Loyola-Blakefield), Ishmael Kamara (Patuxent), Ryan Lockett (Poolesville), Kyle Lund (Oakdale), Rashad Manning (Riverdale Baptist), Kieran McDermott (Bel Air), Colin McKenny (Huntingtown), Nathaniel Moore (South Hagerstown), Eldad Mulugeta (Northwood), Champ Page (Henry A. Wise), Darnell Pratt (Good Counsel), Brendon Stewart (DeMatha), Andre Turay (Bullis), Daniel Whitfield (Henry A. Wise), Ryan Willie (Bullis), Maxwell Willis (Bowie), David Winters (Suitland), Shyheim Wright (Northwest), Diego Zarate (Northwest)