Photo by Craig Amoss
The track 5K isn't a popular event, especially here in Maryland. But only a couple of years after Severna Park senior Jake Gelfand ripped a sub-15 performance at adidas Indoor Nationals, we get to highlight the event once more. Every year, South River hosts the Seahawk Invitational, featuring a 5K in lieu of a 3200.
Three years ago, on March 24, 2018, 23 teams met at South River to open their spring track seasons on a cold, early spring morning. While the mid-40 temperatures were undoubtedly unfavorable for the shorter events, the weather was almost perfect for the longest event in high school track, and the times showed.
In the boys race, Severna Park junior Garrison Clark pulled away from the field early, crossing the line in a 15:14 time that nearly equaled his personal best from the previous cross country season. Clark would end up running 15:01 later that season and then 14:53 as a senior in 2019. Four others joined Clark in breaking the 16-minute mark, including teammate Hugh O'Connor, future state champion Sam Keeny, and John Dodsworth and Jared Leath. The race also included several other standouts, including Jay Hall (Westlake), Cullen Capuano (Gonzaga) and Tanner Piotrowski (Arundel).
The girls race featured another similarly dominant effort, this time from Northern senior Abby Sweeney. Her 18:12 time put her nearly 30 seconds ahead of the runner-up, teammate Claudia Dolan. Sweeney won the 3A 3200 titles during both the 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons. Severna Park senior Catie Cambon crossed the line a few seconds behind Dolan, while Maleah Chumley (Caesar Rodney) and Rebecca Vavasseur (Annapolis) cracked the 20-minute mark.