Oakdale taking the final hand-off for the 4x200m relay at the Warrior Inv 2022
Photo Credit: Patrick McKinny
County championships season begins with the Baltimore County championships kicking off this Friday!
With big performances nationally from athletes of both counties, expect to see some state or even nation-leading times come from both races this weekend!
On the boy's side, Korede Otusaju has been on a tear this season with top US times in the 500m, 600m, and 800m. With a US No. 2 time in the 800m and 600m of 1:53.42 and 1:20.32, Otusaju looks to extend his dominant streak into the county championships and nobody in the county is within 6 seconds of either of his times so far this year. Another athlete to watch for is Tyler Dailey of Dulaney. Dailey is continuing the family legacy of dominance as he looks to sweep the 1600 and 3200 with his times this season to take both titles with ease. On the sprints side, Myles Taylor of Franklin has remained undefeated throughout the league meets, notching the best 55m time in the county of 6.84 and one of the best high jumps at 6' 2 (behind Gavin Shaffer of Dulaney at 6' 3). Last but not least, Hereford's dominance in the pole vault looks to continue as Zach Kralec is projected to win by almost 4 feet over the other vaulters.
On the girl's side, Laila Gaynor of Western Tech continues her dominance in the middle distance events after winning the 1A 400m title last outdoor season. Having notched a big indoor PR in the 400m of 57.47 and win at the Energice Coaches Hall of Fame Invitational, Gaynor is looking to sweep the 300m-500m events at the country championships. An athlete who can do it all: Lizzie Lopez of Hereford has been all around this indoor season from the 300m to the pole vault and is looking to notch some serious points in multiple events. Lopez is currently ranked #1 in the county in the pole vault (by over 3 feet!), high jump, and 300m. She is also #2 in the 55mh, #3 in the 500m, and #3 at 800m! No matter what event she chooses at the county meet, look for her to score some big points for Hereford. Another Hereford athlete who has been consistently dominant this season has been Piper Lentz. Lentz is currently ranked top 2 in the county from the 500m all the way up to the 1600m. Look for the duo of Lentz and Lopez to pave the way for Hereford in the team race. Last but not least, Myla Abernathy of Catonsville (who has not raced since December 3rd), has the fastest 800m time in the county and is currently ranked #38 in the nation, running the fastest time in the county by over 8 seconds.
Up in Frederick County, expect Brody Buffington of Catoctin to not only dominate the 55m (currently ranked 14th in the nation and 1st in Maryland for the event) but to also score big in the shot put. Samuel Starrs of Oakdale has been consistently dominant at the pole vault for years and looks to continue as he is projected to win the vault by almost 3 feet. Oakdale's dominance continues as they currently are ranked first in the county in all of the relays from the 4x200 up to the 4x800. John Sears and Cole Williamson of Linganore look to try and run away with the 1600 and 3200, but Abhishek Mudireddy of Oakdale and Christopher Sappe of Urbana look to break up the duo from a potential 1-2.
On the girl's side, High Point University commit Mikayla Moxley has been undefeated all season (after a 2nd place finish at the 3A girls 1600m last outdoors) and looks to continue her dominant streak into the county meet. With leading times in the 500m, 800m, and 1600m, we could potentially see Moxley take home 3 individual crowns. Linganore's dominance extends throughout the entire meet with at least 1 girl ranked in the top 3 in the county at every event 300m and up, including all three relay events as well. Another athlete to watch out for is Jenna Zentz of Catoctin. Zentz was the 1A state champion at 800m last outdoors and currently leads the county at 300m. Like Oakdale on the boy's side, Urbana on the girl's side currently leads in both the 4x400 and 4x200, as well as projected 3rd in the 4x800.
Author Brian Lau