Fun Stuff


County Championship Notes
By: Kevin Milsted

If somehow you missed her two indoor county titles, her monster triple jumps of 39+ feet and three dominating wins at the Viking Invitational earlier this spring, well now you know. Taylor Wright is head and shoulders above her peers in Montgomery County sprints and was just voted by coaches as the James DeMoss Outstanding Athlete of the County Championship Meet. The Northwest freshman won three individual events at her first outdoor county championship meet: the 100m in 12.2, the 200m by almost a full second in 24.6, and a tightly contested triple jump in 36-07.50. She is the eleventh girl in meet history to win three or more individual county titles in a single meet, and just the third freshman to do it.

Richard Montgomery's Rohann Asfaw was voted by coaches as the male athlete of the meet for his dominance in the 1600m and 3200m. He became just the eighth male athlete to complete the distance double in the meet's 37 year history. Only one person in 1989 ever pulled off the triple in winning the 800-1600-3200 in a single day so maybe it is something to shoot for next year for the RM junior. Asfaw employed a sit-and-kick race tactic in both races and he left no doubt about who has the best kick in the field. Fortunately, his opponents did not let the early pace lag too much in either race and many runners chased Asfaw to personal bests. His 1600 meter time of 4:19.0 was #12 in meet history.

Following a drenching rain which let up during the 100 meter trials in the beginning of the meet, damp and chilly conditions were not ideal for records in most events. The weather was not too bad for the girls 3200-meter in which Paint Branch's Bethlehem Taye smashed Sally Glynn's 1995 meet record of 11:00.5 by 21 seconds. Taye was completely fresh and was chased around the track by WJ's Abigail Green who earlier ran and won the 4x800-meter relay in 9:33.7. Both girls went under the old record as Taye finished in 10:38.8 and Green finished in 10:47.0.

The only other fallen meet record was taken down on the previous day. B-CC's Victoria Toth became the first girl to clear 10 feet in the pole vault at the county championship meet. She was pressed by the defending champion, Paige Evans of Clarksburg, who matched the old meet record with a mark of 9-06.

Clarksburg's Alexus Pyles defended her county titles in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles to bring her career total to 5 outdoor track county titles and 15 total county titles including indoor track. Her times of 14.4 and 45.0 were not as good as her own times from the previous year, but both were top ten all-time performances at the county meet.

Justina Ababio won the shot put with a county leading mark of 37-06.50 and finished second in the discus to lead the Clarksburg girls in the field events. Clarksburg scored a ridiculous 76 points in field events alone which outscored the complete team point total for all but one team. The Clarksburg girls won the meet with a meet record 132 points.

The Northwest boys missed the record for highest point total by less than half a point, but the win made the Jaguars just the second back-to-back boys county champions in meet history and first since 2007.

Shyheim Wright threw down an awesome 110-meter hurdle performance that clearly showed off both his skill and his desire. The 13.8 hand-timed performance was just shy of the meet's top mark of 13.7 set back in 2000. He returned to win the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.3, but it was a tight race and the victory was a judge's call over Northwest teammate Andrew Daniels. The two are going to do something amazing if we ever get ideal weather this season.

One athlete who should have been under consideration for the meet's most outstanding athlete award was someone who is on a track to become one of Montgomery County's all-time greatest athletes. Blake's Jabari Bennett not only won the shot put with a #4 all-time performance in meet history, his mark of 56-06.75 topped all junior year performances in meet history. In other words, only three seniors have ever topped Bennett's mark at the county meet, and Bennett is still a sophomore. His winning mark of 144-05 in the discus wasn't too shaby either at #25 all-time in meet history.

Bennett was not the only sophomore county champion this year. Northwest's Khaloni Mganga followed up his indoor 500m county title to become the first Northwest male athlete to win the 400-meter Montgomery County title with a mark of 49.9.

Blair's Thierry Siewe Yanga won the open 800-meter run ahead of a tight pack of runners with a time of 1:58.0. Watch out for Siewe Yanga in the upcoming meets because he is capable of much better. Not only did he clock 1:56.26 at the Viking Invitational earlier this spring, he created one of the most exciting moments at this year's county meet when he made up an unbelievable deficit to win the 4x800 relay in 8:02.3. His coach clocked his relay split at 1:54.5.

Enoch Owumi from Kennedy won the 100m and 200m, although Clarksburg's Lance Hudson will be considered co-champion in the 200-meter due to a multi- sectional final. Owumi is the first county champion in the 100m and 200m from Kennedy since 1986. Hudson is the first 200-meter county champion, male or female, from Clarksburg High School.

Lastly, congratulations to the Gaithersburg program and Coach Adrian McDaniel for keeping the tradition alive: Gaithersburg won its 14th county title in the girls 4x100m Relay which is more county titles than any school has won in any girls event in meet history.

The following stats were easily pulled from Mocorunning's county championship meet record book which you can download online for $5 here:

County champions that were firsts from their schools in respective events:

Lance Hudson - Clarksburg - 200m
Khaloni Mganga - Northwest - 400m
Ciciely Davy - Einstein - 1600m
Rohann Asfaw - Richard Montgomery - 1600m
Jabari Bennett - Blake - Shot Put
Stephanie Bateky - Northwest - High Jump
Taylor Wright - Northwest - Triple Jump
Victoria Toth - B-CC - Pole Vault
Clarksburg Girls 4x200m Relay
Clarksburg Boys 4x200m Relay
Repeat champs that were firsts from their school:
Bethlehem Taye was the first 3200m county champ from Paint Branch, male or female, last year
Alexus Pyles was the first 100m hurdles county champ from Clarksburg last year
Dylan Bikim was the first male high jump county champ from Quince Orchard last year

Top 25 All-Time: The following athletes recorded top-25 all-time performances at the county championship meet and therefore will be in Mocorunning's 2017 county championship meet record book.

Girls 200m - Taylor Wright
Girls 400m - Cori Brown
Girls 1600m - Ciciely Davy
Girls 3200m - Bethlehem Taye (New #1 All-Time), Abigail Green (#2 All-Time), Ciciely Davy
Girls 100m Hurdles - Alexus Pyles (#10 All-Time)
Girls 300m hurdles - Alexus Pyles (#5 All-Time), Courtney Christian (#9 All-Time), Leondra Correia
Girls 4x200 - Clarksburg
Girls 4x400 - Paint Branch
Girls 4x800 - Walter Johnson, Wootton
Girls Long Jump - Leondra Correia
Girls Triple Jump - Taylor Wright, Denise Woode, Alexus Pyles, Cierra Pyles
Girls Shot Put - Justina Ababio
Girls Discus - Dalina Julien
Girls Pole Vault - Victoria Toth (New #1 All-Time), Paige Evans (Tie #2), Brionne Pyles (Tie #9), Sarah Louk

Boys 1600m - Rohann Asfaw
Boys 110m Hurdles - Shyheim Wright (#2 All-Time)
Boys 4x100 - Northwest
Boys 4x800 - Blair, Churchill
Boys Long Jump - Ty Mason
Boys Triple Jump - Donovan Beckett-Simms
Boys Shot Put - Jabari Bennett (#4 All-Time)
Boys Discus - Jabari Bennett


concerned fan
2016-05-14 12:26:51

Congratulations to the athletes on the great performances. It should definitely by highlighted how poorly the meet was run. It was treated with the respect of a run and gun meet. The host school made virtually no attempt to manage the meet and direct it to success. The officials were doing their best but the meet was plagued by camera difficulties and poor racing conditions. Hand timing the premier championship in Montgomery County is quite embarrassing. The track was not a good pick to host a big meet as its dimensions were off and the start/finish line was not meant to be on the home straight. The bullpen was a disaster with all the slop. Considering Walter Johnson, Gaithersburg and Wootton all have excellent facilities with turf fields they would have been far more ideal to host this meet. The high jump was ridiculous with a huge puddle a foot deep standing between the jumpers and the bar. Most athletes did not return home until 11:15 or 11:30 because the meet ran so slowly and northwest is located in the boondocks, not exactly in the center of the county. I hope this serves as a lesson to the county for future county meets but as a fan and spectator I feel bad for the seniors who watched their final county meet turn into some sort of cruel joke.

2016-05-14 16:54:51

^ You get what you get and you don't get upset

To concerned Fan
2016-05-14 18:08:15

Excuse me but it's not right to rant about another school, especially if they have the most county titles/multiple state titles. It was raining so obviously puddles would form from the apparent rain falling from the sky, where else would the water go? I'm sorry if the meet was embarrassing with hand timing, but they have what they have so don't get all upset. Anyways if you were a so-called fan you wouldn't be complaining about the conditions because a fan would be there for the excitement of watching the athletes participate in their event. Anyways if you were a fan you would already had the expierence of going to multiple meets that have ended very late at night. I don't know where boondocks is but Northwest is situated in Germantown, MD between Seneca Valley and Quince Orchard. It's funny you say Northwest didn't attempt to manage the meet when it's called MoCo Chamionships not Northwest High School Championships. Also your complaint about Northwest not having turf fields like other schools, obviously they don't want to destroy the environment with all the synthetic stuff and try to be environmentally friendly! In the end, your comment is the only thing cruel not the meet.

just a fan, not so CONCERNED
2016-05-14 18:22:41

FIRST... The weather is the weather is the weather is the weather. PATIENCE. The meet was managed as best as it could have been. How many meets (outdoor and even indoor) have you attended???? ANYTHING can go wrong, thus delaying a perfect scheduled meet. And do not forget the last Counties Indoor T&F meet: the weather turned nasty as the meet was wrapping up, and most everyone leaving the meet got stuck on their way home. Many people did not make it home until past 2 am. The weather is the weather is the weather is the weather... SECOND... As a proud JAGUAR FAN and GERMANTOWN RESIDENT, I do not appreciate someone just calling our prime school and residence location --boondocks-- (???). THIRD... GO JAGUARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO ALL THE ATHLETES who work so hard every time!!! AND THANKS to the COACHES!!!

Make it Great
2016-05-14 19:11:26

Why are we not hosting the county meet in our nation's capital right in our backyard? We could make this really special for the kids. It could be on the white house lawn with Obama watching. High jump could be over the white house fence. We could throw colored powder on the distance runners and use glow sticks for batons

Distraught mom from Wootton
2016-05-14 19:51:23

counti B fastr than counti A nd das a fact; if ya disagre den das jus yur problm

2016-05-16 10:24:08

Camera difficulties? Can someone please elaborate on this and what the need was for multiple cameras? There should only need to be one for photo finish purposes, right?

2016-05-16 17:56:44

The camera did not work so the races were hand timed. Ideally, only one camera is needed, but the track had some difficulties where the home straight did not match up with the sprint straightaways, meaning a working camera would be needed at the finish line and the sprint finish line on the back straight.

Nabil Brek
2016-05-16 18:06:09

1) bad weather is bad weather, but drains would have been effective at draining water as would a turf field 2) Last years county meet ended around 8:30 if I recall. And the indoor county meet ended at 8pm, the weather caused the late night not the meet management 3) Having been to about 10-12 meets a season, in XC, Indoor and outdoor and this meet was ultimately the worst. 4) Northwest requested to have the meet and assured everyone that it would be great. By volunteering to have the meet the hurdle crew, check-in and field events should be there priority but there was little evidence of that at all. 5) props to the athletes for putting up with this and the best officials in the state for dealing with the less than ideal conditions

Blarksburg, Son.
2016-05-16 20:38:15

Guys come on leave him/her alone. Yeah they're being a little negative butting wasn't a GREAT meet. Running any race in the rain isn't awesome, and Northwest doesn't exactly have the newest track in MoCo. The location of championship races also isn't exclusively decided by the school hosting, it's a county decision. That's the reason the 4A west isn't at Clarksburg any more. If the track isn't in good enough condition, another school is considered. That isn't the case with Northwest however, I'm pretty sure they just wanted to spice things up a bit y'know?

Blarksburg, Son.
2016-05-16 22:32:56

Guys come on leave him/her alone. Yeah they're being a little negative butting wasn't a GREAT meet. Running any race in the rain isn't awesome, and Northwest doesn't exactly have the newest track in MoCo. The location of championship races also isn't exclusively decided by the school hosting, it's a county decision. That's the reason the 4A west isn't at Clarksburg any more. If the track isn't in good enough condition, another school is considered. That isn't the case with Northwest however, I'm pretty sure they just wanted to spice things up a bit y'know?

2016-05-17 10:53:27

lol but we got our track done a year ago

to rude commmenters
2016-05-17 10:55:17

yall jealous of northwest. stop hating cause you aint them

To everyone
2016-05-17 11:14:44

If you got so many complaints then don't attend the meet, it's that simple.

2016-05-17 12:14:18

Thanks for the answer regarding the cameras. Just because a track was resurfaced a year ago does not mean that the starting lines will line up as that is related to the design and initial build of the track. With that being said, I'm not sure how winning the most county team titles protects a school from criticism on how a meet was run. The county meet has been scored just 13 times in 37 years anyway. Obviously the weather was a factor and it was awful. Combine that with the fact that this was the first county meet at Northwest and it's easy to imagine how the meet could run long and not be as efficiently run as possible. Regarding the artificial turf, if that's what you really think then please when you get time take a drive over to High Point High School or some other PG County High Schools and look at their tracks/fields.

2016-05-17 16:54:48

I ran County A's and I thought the meet was run fine in terms of the power and control that Northwest HS had. Can't blame them for rain delays because they don't control the weather. THe rain got on the Camera lenses and therefore the issue isn't with NWHS, but with the camera itself. I had no issues checking in and thought it was run smoothly from that perspective. Though the long wait before the GIrls' 100m Dash prelims was surprising to me, I had fun.

2016-05-17 23:31:54

They were just stating the facts about county titles because Northwest Track Team and other schools do not complain of difficulties with the camera ,the starting lines (literally it's not like the state meet so chill),timing(if you're so mad about not getting a qualifying/good time because of hand timing well you should've ran faster at another meet), how long the meet is(they are always long so why do you have to start complaining for this meet, are you jealous?),the grass(if you want to pay for NW to have a turf field be my guest but don't complain unless you're willing to help),location(don't even complain, you wouldn't complain about going to the mall or anywhere), the weather (it's not like anyone can control it). They dont complain they just run, that is why they are good💁

Da Silva-Einstein
2016-05-18 22:05:58

While criticisms of the County Meet are valid, these are things people should know: 1) The selection of a County Meet host involves finding a school who is willing to host. Not every school is willing, and other schools are unable. Generally, a school needs to have an 8 lane track and the track needs to be in the Stadium. After those two requirements, there aren't a lot of schools that can host a meet. 2) While Northwest hosted, they aren't responsible for the issues with timing. The first timing issue was that the sensor that goes with the timing software/camera failed in the rainy weather. That is what caused the delay starting the meet. It is why the entire meet was considered hand-timed. The camera worked fine, but the automatic timing system had to be started by hand, not by sound. 3) The second major delay with the timing had to do with the fact that while we had two cameras to cover each of the finish lines, there was only one tripod. Therefore, the tripod had to move after the trials for the 4x8s, then back for the sprint finals. This had nothing to do with Northwest. It was a miscommunication with the schools that have cameras forgetting to bring an extra tripod. 4) Please do not compare last year's end time with this year's. Last year, it took us two days to complete the County A Meet because of a thunderstorm. The meet ended early because part of the Meet had been completed Wednesday afternoon; the rest of the meet finished Thursday. 5) Thank you for the kind words about the B Meet. However, not a fair comparison to the A Meet. The coaches hand time the entire running portion of the meet. We are able to run heats of the 100s/hh on both sides of the track. Finally, we are able to run the 3200 and 300h at the same time because of the hand timing. While there were issues with this year's A Meet, they were not the fault of Northwest. Pointing out the issues is fine, criticizing the County and coaches who put on the A meet is fine. All of us want the best meet every time. That being said, criticizing the circumstances isn't being jealous of Northwest's success. Most, if not all, people have great respect for what Coach Muehl, Coach Knight(s), and Coach Youngblood have done. Respectfully, Coach Da Silva-Albert Einstein HS.

OMG everyone read comment above
2016-05-18 23:52:58

That was the most beautiful comment I have ever read,I applaud him greatly 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽. He ended y'all lives, so don't try to say anything back to his amazing reply because y'all shocked that it wasn't NW fault.

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