RECAP: 2023 Gator Invitational

Article Written by Daniel Wilson

The Gator Invitational was held at Reservoir HS on April 29th. The meet found a spot of good luck with the weather as it rained all day Friday, postponing the Emerging Elite Invitational to Monday, and rained all day Sunday as well. As a result, the weather was near perfect for a track meet, cool in the morning for the 3200 and 4x800s and slightly warming into the 70's for the afternoon races. With Gator being the last big invitational before championship racing, 95 teams came to Reservoir looking to compete and run hard. Many exciting times and marks went down at this meet with many breaking into the MD ranks as well as the US ranks.

The competition was fierce as there were 13 meet records broken, 3 new MD #1 performances, and hundreds of new PRs. Meet Director, Phil Rogers, does an excellent job putting this large meet on which is why so many teams come back year after year. 

Read below for a recap of meet records and top performances at the meet. 


Boys Recap

 On the boy's side, Willie Washington from La Plata threw 149-02 to win Discus and lead Ryan Betts of Reservoir to an MD #10 throw of 147-02.

In the long jump, Nashon McKinney-Spear from Frederick jumped an impressive 22-04.00 for a new MD #7 mark.

In the pole vault, Cameron Rucker from Westminster vaulted an impressive 13-06.00 for a new MD #6. Mio Desclous from North Hagerstown and Gilberto Ramos from Governor vaulted the same mark of 13-00.00 to tie for a new MD #7.

James Partlow from Governor Thomas won the 3200m with a very impressive time of 9:29.06 cracking into the MD top 10 (MD #7).

In the 110m hurdles, Christian Do from Howard won in a time of 14.51, beating out some great runners like Domenion Jacobs from Huntingtown (MD #9) and J'Marcus Hine from Bowie (MD #1).

In the 100m, Kelvin Winston from Gonzaga won in a blistering time of 10.66. Followed closely by Brandon Pemberton from Meade in 10.72 (MD #7), and Avery Jones from Mount Saint Joseph in 10.75 (MD #10).

In the 4x800m relay, Calvert Hall's distance team dominated. Running a time of 7:51.91 (MD #1 and US #21) taking down the previous Gator Record of 7:58.24 and winning by 20+ seconds.

In the 1600m, Christian Brower from Long Reach won in 4:19.46 with a very impressive 61-second last 400m. He led Andrew Brown (MD #7) from John Carrol and Liam Hagerty (MD #8) from Severna Park to MD top 10 marks.

In the 4x200m, Bowie dominated with a time of 1:27.51 (MD #2 and US #92), leading Gonzaga, Quince Orchard, and Northern to MD top 10 marks.

In the 400m, we saw 4 athletes break into the MD top 10 rankings. Levi Newman from Bowie led the charge with a very impressive time of 48.54 (MD #1). Followed closely behind by his teammate Wesley Todd in 49.08 (MD #8). Carter Knox from Manchester Valley ran 49.25 (MD #9) and Daniel Wilson from Aberdeen ran 49.43 (MD #10).

J'Marcus Hines from Bowie came back from his 3rd place finish in the 110s to take first place in the 300m hurdles with a time of 38.71. He led Ragiariki Lewis from Northern to a MD #4 time of 38.79 and Ryder Johnston from North Hagerstown to a MD #9 time of 39.26.

In the 200m, Kelvin Winston from Gonzaga and Brandon Pemberton both doubled back from the 100m. Kelvin Winston would take the win in a fast time of 21.58, while Brandon Pemberton would take 2nd place with a time of 21.73. Joseph DeRosier from Old Mill Senior would run himself into the rankings finishing with a time of 21.80 for a new MD #8.

The boy's 800m had to be the most exciting race of the night. With athletes like Colin Abrams from Magruder, Carter Knox from Manchester Valley, Tyler Edison from Liberty, and Cameron Davis from Calvert Hall all set to toe the line. With an impressive first lap of 55 seconds led by Carter Knox, the race was still close, setting up an exciting last lap. With a strong closing kick, Colin Abrams from Magruder was able to outlast the field winning in a new meet record of 1:52.64 (MD #1 and US #34). Followed closely behind by Carter Knox in 1:52.93 (MD #2 and US #46), Tyler Edison in 1:53.07 (MD #3 and US #51), and Cameron Davis in 1:53.82 (MD #5 and US #79).

In the 4x100m, Reservoir was able to become the new MD #1 on their home track with a blazing time of 41.99.

In the SMR 1600, 7 teams broke the previous meet record of 3:46.49, with Magruder leading the charge with an impressive time of 3:34.84.

Lastly, in the 4x400m Bowie dominated. Running an MD #2 and US #45 time of 3:18.09 breaking the previous meet record.

Girls Recap

On the girl's side, Corinne Ball from North Point jumped 18-06.00 in the long jump for a new MD #2 mark. Followed closely behind by Aniyah Toppin from Long Reach in 18-00.00 for a new MD #8 mark.

Sarah Gassman from Westminster vaulted 12-09.00 in the pole vault to tie the meet record and lead four other competitors to break into the MD top 10.

Annie Campbell from Nothern threw 37-09.00 in the shot put to take a comfortable first place. She led Jillian Zukley (MD #5) from Severna Park and Amaris Palanga (MD #7) from Thomas S Wooten to MD top 10 throws.

In the 3200m, Temi Ariyo from Overlea ran a new meet record of 10:46.12 (MD #2) to take a convincing win over a talented field. Katherine Greenwald (MD #3) from Walt Whitman, Hallie Muniz (MD #4) from Winston Churchill, Gentry Bowie (MD #6) from Northern, and Lauren Stine (MD #10) from North Hagerstown all ran their way into the MD top 10 ranks.

In the 100m hurdles, Arayana Ladson from Mount Hebron won in a very quick time of 14.28 (MD #3 and US #71). She led Chelsea Whitehurst from Friendly Senior to an MD #7 and Morgan Lane from Hammond to a MD #10 time.

Arayana Ladson doubled back in the 100m and won in a blistering time of 11.87 to take over as the new MD #3.

In the 1600m, Hannah Toth from Westminster took the win in 5:00.62 just narrowly beating out Grace Finnegan (MD #3) from Richard Montgomery and Victoria Ketzler (MD #4) from Thomas S Wootten.

In the 4x200m, Dunbar's sprint team dominated with a time of 1:42.56 for a new meet record.

In the 400, we saw many fast times go down. Leading the charge was Jalaia Creary from Archbishop Spalding running a new meet record time of 55.72 and cracking into the ranks with an MD #2 and US #74 rank. Tressia Davis from Friendly Senior ran 55.93 for second (MD #3 and US #87), Nikiyah Williams from Woodlawn ran 56.76 for third (MD #5), and Cohren Corbin from North Point ran 57.34 for fourth (MD #9).

In the 300m hurdles, Morgan Lane came back from her third-place finish in the 100m hurdles to take first. With a time of 44.99 (MD #2), she led Jaelynn Blackwell from C.H. Flowers to an MD #5 time of 45.44.

Jalaia Creary doubled back from her win in the 400m to take the 200m with a time of 24.27 for a new meet record along with a new MD #2 and US #66 ranking. Tressia Davis also came back from her second-place finish in the 400m to take second in the 200m with an MD #4 time of 24.54. Finishing in third place was Jasmine Cook from Old Mill Senior who ran an MD #8 time of 24.95.

In the 800m, we saw Grace Finnegan come back from her second-place finish in the 1600m to take first in the 800m with a MD #1 time of 2:15.85. Barah Stewart from Washington Christian ran 2:16.48 for second and an MD #2 time. Finally, in third, we saw Genevieve Cowan from St Timothys run 2:18.26 for an MD #7 time.

In the 4x100m, Old Mill Senior (MD #3) won in a new meet record of 47.88 leading C.H. Flowers (MD #5) and Woodlawn (MD #7) to MD top 10 times.

In the SMR 1600, Overlea dominated with a time of 4:15.69.

In the 4x400m, Northern (MD #4) and Old Mill Senior (MD #6) went at it. Northern narrowly took the victory with a winning time of 4:03.43 over Old Mill Senior (4:03.71).

On the team side, Dunbar took the win in the mixed 4x400m with a new meet record time of 3:43.38.

For the team on the boy's side, Bowie dominated with a final score of 78 points, beating out the second-place team (Governor Thomas Johnson with a score of 48.5) by almost 30 points. Followed by Northern and Reservoir who both tied with a score of 33 points.

On the girls' side, Northern took first place with a score of 48 points. Followed by Dunbar with 39 points and Friendly Senior with 38 points.

Gator Invitational Meet Records Broken - Girls

200 - Jalaia Creary (Archbishop Spalding) - 24.27

400 - Jalaia Creary (Archbishop Spalding) - 55.72

3200 - Temi Ariyo (Overlea) - 10:46.12

4x200 - Dunbar DC - 1:42.56

4x100 - Old Mill - 47.88

Pole Vault - Sarah Gassman (Westminster) - 12-9

Gator Invitational Meet Records Broken - Boys

1600 SMR - Magruder- 3:34.84

4x100 - Reservoir 41.99

4x800 - Calvert Hall - 7:51.91

400 - Levi Newman (Bowie) - 48.54

800 - Colin Abrams (Magruder) - 1:52.64

4x400 - Bowie - 3:18.09

Mixed 4x400 - Dunbar DC - 3:43.38

Top 5 Team Scores - BOYS

Bowie - 78

Thomas Johnson - 48.5

Northern Calvert - 33

Reservoir - 33

Gonzaga - 32

Top 5 Team Scores - Girls

Northern - 48

Dunbar DC - 39

Friendly Senior - 38

Westminster - 35.5

Thomas Johnson - 35.33


Colin Abrams 800 - 1:52

Calvert Hall 4x800 - 7:51

Magruder SMR - 3:34