In Derrick Hollie's last race in a North Point uniform before this season, he finished eighth in the 500-meter dash at the 3A East regional meet. Now a senior, Hollie currently holds the second-fastest 400-meter time in the state as of May 9th. (Photo by Craig Amoss)
While some athletes have been able to compete over the course of the past calendar year, for many, the 2021 spring season represents the first time to compete in over an entire calendar year. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that many are showing up and running faster, jumping higher and throwing further than before. We selected one athlete per event who has shown the makings of a big breakout through the early part of the 2021 outdoor season!
100 Meters: Rayaun Lane, Gilman
His last performance for Gilman was back in May 2019, competing in the high jump. This year Lane hit the ground running, winning each of his first two races in the 100 meter dash. His 10.99 which ranks eighth in the state as of May 9.
200 Meters: Aaron Charles, Dunbar
Charles already had a breakout performance at the 2020 indoor state meet, where he finished second in the 55 meter dash, but the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the following outdoor season. This year the Dunbar junior has clocked a personal-best 22.18, second in the state behind only Loyola's Aaron Ray.
400 Meters: Derrick Hollie, North Point
Hit hard by the pandemic, Charles County didn't have a cross country season this year, meaning their return to the track is the county's first organized competition since last November. Hollie ran 1:09.53 in the 500 as a junior in the winter of 2020 and recently clocked a MD #2 49.85 in the 400 at the DMV Showcase.
800 Meters: Adam Snyder, McDonogh
McDonogh could end up having one of the best 4x800s in the state this year. Senior Adam Snyder, who ran only the 1600 as a sophomore in 2019, is one of three boys to have run 2:04 or faster already this season.
1600 Meters: Ashton Tolson, Wright
The boys distance class of 2023 had a strong showing at the 2020 indoor state meet; Tolson's 4:33, seventh-place performance was almost overshadowed by the second-place performance from Antonio Camacho-Bucks. This year, Tolson has opened up the season with performances of 2:01, 4:28 and 9:49.
This could be one of the state's best XC teams in the fall. Both Verrett (junior) and Bruns (sophomore) have run sub-9:40 already this spring and currently rank fifth and seventh on the early state leaderboard.
110 Meter Hurdles: LeConte Stover, Mount St. Joseph
The MIAA continues to be stacked in the hurdles; back in 2020, Stover didn't even crack the top eight in the 55 meter hurdles at the conference championships. Stover's 15.53 early personal best in the hurdles ranks seventh in the state - and fifth in the MIAA.
300 Meter Hurdles: Isaiah Howard, Digital Harbor
In 2020, Howard ran a personal-best 39.22 in the 300 meter dash. Last weekend, Howard ran a personal-best 39.93 - in the 300-meter hurdles - in a winning performance at the DMV Showcase.
Shot Put: Micah Harrison, La Plata
Through three Charles County meets, Harrison has gone undefeated in both throwing events. So far, Harrison and Calvert Hall's Garik Pozecki are the only boys to have cleared 45 feet in the shot put and 130 feet in the discus.
Discus: Logan Kelsch, Rising Sun
Kelsch's arrow was pointing upward at the end of the 2019 season, when he raised his personal best from 105 to 131 feet in the discus in the span of a month. He kicked off his senior season with a 144'1 performance versus Elkton and he's only been better since, recently raising his personal best to a state-leading 155'2 on Friday.
High Jump: Bryson Harvey, Southern Garrett
Track is back in the furthest reaches of the state, and the Southern Garrett junior has taken full advantage. Harvey didn't compete in the high jump as a freshman back in 2019, but it only took him three meets into this outdoor season to clear the six-foot mark.
Long Jump: Marcos Beach-Bayon, McDonogh
Beach-Bayon kicked off the season with a 20-foot effort in the long jump, but his most recent performance of 22'1.50 made him one of just three boys to have leapt 22 feet so far this season. He also ranks fifth in the state in the triple jump at the moment (43'0).
Triple Jump: Xaven Burnell, Williamsport
You have to go all the way back to the 2019 outdoor season for the last time Burnell triple jumped, when he set what was then a personal best mark of 38'3.50 at the regional meet. So far this spring, the Williamsport senior has competed twice and cleared 42 feet at each meet.
Pole Vault: Conner Huntzberry, Perryville
Perryville's all-around star was the 1A indoor runner-up last indoor season, but through just two meets this spring he has already tacked on another foot to his personal best, which now sits at 13'6.