Freshman Jalaia Creary isn't letting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic keep her from shooting to the top of the Maryland indoor leaderboards. (Photo by Mary Ann Magnant)
It was a great weekend for the next wave of emerging young girls stars down at the East Coast Invitational. Sytieia Brown won an AAU national title in her age group in the shot put back during the 2019 indoor season when she threw 43'7.50 and a junior high title in the shot put at the 2019 New Balance National championships. She finished in third place at the East Coast Invitational with a 36'4.75 mark competing as a member of the Baltimore City White Knight Track Club.
McDonogh has produced some of the most versatile girls track and field athletes of the past decade and junior Nyla Cherry seems like the next in line. Last year's IAAM indoor hurdle champion excelled in three different events at the East Coast Invitational, leading all Marylanders in the high jump (5'0) and long jump (16'11.25, the second-best mark of the weekend behind Elizabeth Seton's Anyae Lindsay who jumped 16'11.75 in Ohio).
Another name to watch over the next few months? Jalaia Creary, perhaps the next star in the IAAM at Archbishop Spalding High School. Creary has been dropping her sprint times throughout the season, and her latest performance at the East Coast Invitational saw her clock personal bests in the 60 (8.00), 200 (25.57) and 400 (1:00.65) meter dashes.
Last but not least, Lauren Francino took home what was one of the only individual indoor county titles to go around this year. The Manchester Valley sophomore clocked a big 8.80 personal best in the 55 meter hurdles at the Carroll County championships on Saturday, beating out last year's individual county champion, Jane Brewer. Francino also finished second in the high jump clearing the 4'8 mark for the first time.