Photo by Craig Amoss
It took until the final race of his sophomore year during the winter of 2019 for Snow Hill's Charles Townsend to have a truly breakout performance. He carried a 6.62 season best in the 55 meter dash into the finals of the 1A state championship, having placed fourth in the prelims. In the finals, however, Townsend had another gear, clocking a 6.51 personal best. He became the second individual boys indoor state champion in school history, joining teammate Keegan Gould who had won the 1600 not long before. But could Townsend repeat in 2020?
Townsend went undefeated throughout the 2020 Bayside Conference schedule, running under 6.60 in every single one of his races. At the 1A East regional, however, Townsend finished as the runner-up behind Mardela senior Jacob Shelton (pictured above). At the state meet, it was Shelton once again who bested Townsend in the prelims, setting up a showdown in the finals between the two Bayside stars.
In one of the closest races of the day, Townsend would respond to the challenge of defending his individual title. His 6.57 time was just enough to beat out Shelton (6.59, third place) and Dunbar sophomore Aaron Charles (6.58, second). Townsend is the first Bayside boy to win a 55 meter state title since 1981, when Kent County's Tony Sewell won his second consecutive Class B/C title in what was at that point the 60 yard dash.