Whose Performance Has Been Most Impressive This Fall?

Trinity Franklin was one of Maryland's best throwers during the winter, but took it to another level back in August. (Photo by Dan Loughlin)

It has been far from a normal fall season of competition, but that doesn't mean it has been devoid of action. Local running companies and clubs have put on various track and field and cross country meets that have made this one of the most unique single seasons in Maryland running history. Today we highlight some of the best performances of the season (to date), and below you can cast your vote for the most impressive.

Juliette Whittaker - 16:45 XC Three Mile Run

It's been another stellar season for Whittaker, who continues to expand her range after clocking the fastest indoor 800 in Maryland state history as a sophomore last winter before the COVID-19-induced shutdown. Whittaker has competed twice at Utica Park in Frederick, clocking a 16:45 three-mile personal best on October 4. She came back on October 8 and ran 16:58 for a full 5K on the track at River Hill High School, making it two big personal bests in a five-day span.

Antonio Camacho-Bucks - 14:51 Track 5K

Camacho-Bucks was on track to potentially became a nationwide star last year as just a freshman; he was the only ninth-grader in the entire country to run under 4:25 in the 1600, which he did in a runner-up performance at the 3A state meet in February. Still just a sophomore, Camacho-Bucks is making a case for the title of top distance runner in the state already, highlighted by a spectacular performance on the track on October 8. Camacho-Bucks beat Severna Park's Jake Gelfand, losing only to 2019 Northwood High School graduate Eldad Mulugeta.

Alexander Lombardo - 4:20.38 Track 1600

The boys 1600 at the fourth Bullseye meet of the season featured one of the deepest fields we saw at any of the Bullseye meets this year, with seven boys running under 4:28. Leading them all was Gov. Thomas Johnson senior Alex Lombardo. He had been mainly a mid-distance runner throughout last winter (he finished third at the 3A state meet in both the 500 and 800 in February) but showcased his longer-distance talent by beating out a field filled with state title contenders.

Sameena Mathew - 25.11 Track 200

A potential local breakout star, Mathew starred in the 200 and 400 at the Bullseye track and field meets over the past few months. She clocked personal bests of 25.11 (on August 25) and 56.97 (on July 28), losing only once in six combined races. Both marks are the fastest anyone has run in the Bullseye series this season.

Donnie Young - 46'4 Triple Jump

Gilman teammates Donnie Young and Josh Green showed out in a big way at the third Bullseye meet of the season on September 17, going 1-2 in the triple jump. Young in particular turned in a huge performance, beating his previous personal best by nearly a foot. Young placed second at the MIAA indoor championships last winter as just a sophomore.

Trinity Franklin - 44'5.75 Shot Put

The Bullis girls have fielded one of the best girls sprint programs in the nation for the better part of a decade, but Trinity Franklin gives the team a new dynamic in the throws. Still only a junior this fall, Franklin traveled up to Kutztown, PA, back in August and launched a personal-best 44'5.75 mark in the shot put. It was three and a half feet further than she threw during the 2020 indoor season when she was one of Maryland's top throwers, picking up big wins at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic and the Montgomery and Private School invitationals.

Chett Brunner - 163'6 Discus

Brunner graduated from Century High School in the spring, having missed out on a final opportunity to win another state title or two, but we will include his 163-foot discus performance at the Bullseye meet on August 25 as it qualifies as a 2020 outdoor meet. Brunner had shown improvement this past winter in the shot put, and that clearly translated over to the discus as the mark was over 30 feet better than his 2019 best. Brunner is now attending McDaniel College in Westminster.