Best of 2020: The Top Races of the Year

Photo by Brandon Miles

As we look back on the 2020 calendar year, we present 12 of the best races, matchups and performances on the track and course that we captured on camera!

January 4: Boys 1k @ Southern MD Track Classic

Two eventual Virginia state champions (McLean's Xavier Jemison and Fairfax's Marcus Dropik) went head-to-head in the fast section of the 1000, which also included Bullis senior Nicholas Karayianis.

January 11: Girls 3200 @ Montgomery Invitational

Juliette Whittaker and Bethany Graham wasted no time going straight for the Montgomery Invitational meet record. The two finished the year with the US #5 and #9 marks, respectively.

January 22: Boys 500 @ MCPS Championships

Two of the state's top mid-distance runners met in the fast section of the 500 meter dash at the Montgomery County Championships. The race did not disappoint, as Damascus' Tamrat Snyder edged Richard Montgomery's Seydi Sall with a last-second lean over the line.

February 1: Girls 4x4 @ Private Schools Invitational

Two of the DC area's top private school girls programs in Mount de Sales and Bullis faced off in the fast section of the 4x400. Senior Isabella Whittaker brought the Sailors back from a deep hole on the anchor leg to take down Bullis, and both teams went under four minutes on the flat indoor track.

February 5: Boys 4x4 @ 4A Central Regionals

Sprint powerhouses Wise and Bowie closed out the 4A Central regional championships in style with a back-and-forth battle in the 4x400 meter relay. Wise pulled out the victory by just three hundredths of a second after trailing with under 100 meters to go on the anchor leg.

February 17: Boys 800 @ 2A State Meet

Senior Kyle Lund capped off an historic individual performance by obliterating the state meet record - and all but sealing a dominant Oakdale team victory - in the 800 meter run.

February 18: Girls 500 @ 3A State Meet

It literally does not get any closer than the finish of the girls 500 meter dash at the 3A indoor state meet. Franklin senior Jasmine Johnson beat out the defending state champion, Sierrah Matthews, by the absolute slimmest of margins - one thousandth of a second.

February 18: Girls 300 @ 4A State Meet

How in the world does a near-state meet record come out of nowhere? Richard Montgomery's Caia Gelli turned on the jets halfway through the fast heat of the 300 meter dash, blasting a 38.89 personal best that beat out Caitlyn Bobb's 2A state record 38.93 time from the previous day and came within a few hundredths of a second of the 38.83 overall state record.

September 24: Girls 400 @ Bullseye Summer Track Series #4

Sameena Mathew exploded for a 57.29 performance in the 400, leading a strong field that also included Urbana's Ella Auderset and Northeast's Christal Pommells to sub-60 performances.

October 8: Boys 5k @ Bullseye Summer Track Series #5

A rare opportunity to race a 5k on the track brought out some of the best competition in the state. 2019 Northwood graduate Eldad Mulugeta (14:45) paced a field that included Centennial sophomore Antonio Camacho-Bucks (14:51), Severna Park senior Jake Gelfand (15:00) and others.

October 18: 13-14 Girls 4k @ Central Maryland XC Series #5

Middle schoolers Wren and Robin Kucler, competing with the Bullseye Running Club, smashed the 13-14 girls 4k, rivaling the times run in the boys section of the same distance. Remember their names going forward.

October 26: Boys 5k @ Central Maryland XC Series #6

In the final installment of the Central Maryland XC Series, Oakland Mills senior Baidy Ba and Centennial sophomore Antonio Camacho-Bucks duked it out over 5 kilometers on a rain-soaked course in Mount Airy.