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3A State Preview
By: Kevin Milsted

Last year we saw a Cinderella Story when the B-CC girls went to the state meet with 4 distance runners and came home with the state title. We are almost guaranteed to see the crowning of a new 3A state champion this year after only Addie Tousley and Paige Donnelly qualified to run in individual events at the state meet.

No, B-CC won't be pulling off another miracle this year, but we could possibly see a miraculous performance by Tousley. Tousley is expected to anchor the 4x800 relay in the first event of the day. B-CC should be challenged by Damascus and Western in this event. She will then run the 1600 followed by the 3200. She has the fastest times of all 3A competitors in these events this season, but not by much. Then she will attempt to do the impossible and run the open 800 shortly after the 3200. It is unlikely that she will still have the wheels to place in this event at the end of the day, but she did it at regionals and won the title. Coach Young confirms that she will be attempting all four events.

While Tousley is attempting to do the impossible, Paint Branch will be piling up points for a top five finish. Vanessa Jules is the defending indoor state champ in the high jump and her consistency this season suggests that she will defend that title. Arielle Statham, on the other hand, has never won a state title. It seems like it is her time to shine, but she will face stiff competition from Xauddina Whittington of Catonsville, who has run under 40 seconds in the 300-meter dash this year, and several girls in the 55-meter dash who have run similar times to her. Paint Branch will also be highly competitive in the 4x2 and 4x4 relays, but they, too, will have to go through some of the top teams in the state.

Thea LaFond of Kennedy leads all 3A competitors in the 55-meter hurdles with her season best time of 8.56.

The Damascus boys cleaned up at the 3A West Region with 100 points. Now it is time to see how they fare against the best teams in the state. Westlake, led by the #1 sprinter in the nation, Devon Smith, is considered to be the favorite to win the team title. Tuscarora with Dominic Clarke, and Atholton with Graham Bazell and Michael Lynch, should also be among the top teams.

Damascus will likely fall into the rankings somewhere around fifth place. Leading the way will be the defending state champion 4x800 relay. Damascus is the only 3A team to run under 8:20 this year (with the exception of Atholton who will not run the 4x8 at states). Their time of 8:06.89 from the Montgomery Invitational is faster than the next team has run this year by twenty seconds.

Damascus has an outside chance at winning more than just the 4x800 relay. Jon Constantinides and Cecil Jonas will run with the leaders in the open 800, and Jake Furr is not out of reach from the top spot in the shot put. Their county record-breaking 4x400 relay will also be in the mix along with Westlake and Tuscarora.

Speaking of relays, the Paint Branch boys 4x2 relay has been underestimated all year. With almost everybody running fresh, they are sure to run their best time of the season, but the Westlake boys will be their toughest opponent this season by far. Westlake is currently ranked #8 in the nation by Milesplit with a time of 1:30.10, over three seconds faster than PB's season best.

Another athlete to watch out for is the Montgomery County 55-meter dash champion Bisi Ezekoye from Kennedy. Ezekoye probably doesn't stand a chance against the nation's top sprinter, Devon Smith of Westlake, but the transfer student from Pennsylvania could be right up there in second place along with the sophomore talent from Franklin High School, Davin Jones.


2009-02-16 08:48:21

Should be a great meet

2009-02-16 12:25:53

ok, can someone finally clear the air on this Bisi Ezekoye kid Who is he? Where did he come from? Is he legit? or is he the benefit of top sprinters (i.e. Avery Ghram) running bad races? Somoene please explain

2009-02-16 14:39:18

lol.. wait till outdoor ( top 3 in PA states last season in 100 10.75)... transfered this year

2009-02-16 20:33:36

Ezekoye is a legit sprinter. People don't show him enough love. Kevin is a good coach, and he will develop Ezekoye into one the best sprinter's not just in 3A, but in all of Maryland. I was at the County Meet, as well as the Regional 3A Meet, and i saw Ezekoye WIN BOTH 55's nursing what appears to be a hamstring injury. He should be running great times during outdoor it appears w/ kevin's help. I still don't know much about him though, where did he go to school in PA? were his times good his sophomore year?

2009-02-17 16:32:55

well for 1 it doesnt matter if Ndubisi wins bad races... all that matters is that he wins them. Ezekoye is the futrue of montgomery county track and Kevin will turn him into an even better athlete.

2009-02-17 16:36:44

Ezekoye is legit. Tore it up in PA west and the whole state and now hes doing the same in maryland. PA west is known for developing top of the line track athletes (i.e. Justin King) and now Ezekoye is going to go down as a great. He might not win the race but he will be up there and count on him winning it next year cuase this kid has talent. I read a few articles about him and he went to the prestigiuos Central Catholic in pittsburgh beleive me Ezekoye will make history in the near future.

2009-02-22 01:08:32

can anybody guess what Ezekoye's times will be come outdoor season? Kevin did a good job developing him during his indoor bout, but I think he has to run at least 10.6 and 21.6 fat to be a true competitor come outdoor. Any thoughts?

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