The Northwest girls came up ten points shy of becoming the first girls team from Montgomery County to win a 4A state title. CH Flowers won with 81 points, Northwest had 71, Churchill had 58 for third place and Wootton had 53 for fourth place.
The Northwood girls came up fifteen points shy of a 3A state title behind Western. Clarksburg finished fourth and Kennedy finished fifth.
Northwest sprinter Olivia Ekpone had the best day to this point in her career. After qualifying for the 100 and 200 finals on Friday, she won the 100 in 11.94 on Saturday morning. It was not her fastest time, but she won by 0.36 seconds. She ran a tremendous personal best of 53.60 to win the 400. She ran 23.89 to beat rival sprinter Aurieyall Scott of Eleanor Roosevelt with a late burst of speed. It was her personal best wind-legal time (23.64 in Texas this spring was considered wind-aided, +2.4). She topped everything off with a split of 53 seconds en route to a state #2 all-time time of 3:48.28 in the 4x400 relay.
Northwest also won the 4x200 meter relay without Ekpone. Sheridan Allen, Britt Eckerstrom, India Knight, and Camry Torian ran 1:41.88, which is the fastest time by a county team this year.
Next up for Ekpone is the Carribean Scholastic Invitational in Peurto Rico. She will represent Team USA in the 100, 200, 4x100, and 4x400. Then she will look towards the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in mid-August.
The Wootton girls set a new Maryland state meet record in the 4x800 relay. Corinne Duvall nearly gained the lead on the first leg and handed off in third place with a split of about 2:19. Jessie Rubin gained the lead with a split of about 2:13. Andrea Maxwell split about 2:17 to give anchor leg Grace Corbett a three second lead. Northwest's Britt Eckerstrom got out hard in an attempt to catch Corbett, but there would be too much ground to cover. Corbett split 2:14 to win the race in an overall state record time of 9:04.39. At that time, it was the #2 time in the nation. Northwest also went under the previous record with a time of 9:09.37.
While some Wootton athletes left the meet after the 4x800 for the prom that night, Jessie Rubin hung around to compete for the 3200-meter state title. Just a few hours after running 2:13 in the relay, she lined up with Stephanie Bryan of Thomas Johnson High School, who, like Rubin, had ran under 11:00 in the 3200 earlier in the season. Bryan took off like a rocket, running 2:30 for the first 800 and 5:15 for the first 1600. Rubin held back and let her go, at one point allowing Bryan to run eight seconds ahead of her. With two laps to go, Bryan started to fade and Rubin closed the entire gap. Bryan had no answer on the final lap and Rubin won by nearly a straightaway in a personal best time of 10:41.28.
Rubin came back the next day and won the 1600 in a personal best time of 5:00.17. She had a great challenge from Severna Park's Ashley Hayes who pushed into the lead on the final curve. Rubin responded in the final 100-meters to take the win less than half a second ahead of Hayes.
Grace Corbett ran a personal best 2:16.72 in the 800 for fourth while Andrea Maxwell ran a personal best 5:09.32 in the 1600 for seventh. Rubin and the Wootton girls 4x800 will compete at New Balance Outdoor Nationals later in June.
Andrew Palmer of Whitman is another athlete looking towards some post season competition. After winning the 4A 3200-meter state title by nine seconds in 9:19.54, Palmer is going to run the two mile at the Midwest Distance Gala and then compete at New Balance Nationals.
Montgomery County actually swept 4x800 relays in the 3A and 4A classifications on Friday. On top of Wootton setting the state meet record, the Damascus girls dropped 13 seconds off of their season best time to win in 9:35.87. The Damascus boys won the 3A title in 7:55.73 and Walter Johnson won the 4A title in 7:53.35. For the Damascus boys, it was their sixth consecutive 4x800 state title including indoor and outdoor track.
Sei Masuoka of Churchill (1:56.19) and Martin Dally of Walter Johnson (1:56.36) ran big personal bests in the 4A open 800. Both were in contention for the state title until the very last moment in a very exciting race that was won by Broadneck's Connor Gilbert.
Sean O'Leary of Walter Johnson was the unfortunate victim of the kick of Dulaney's Matt Rever. O'Leary appeared to have the 1600-meter state title in hand, but Rever made up an impossible deficit to win the race at the last moment in 4:18.64. O'Leary ran a personal best 4:18.88. Rever's kick earned him "kick of the week honors" on Flotrack.
Thea LaFond of Kennedy High School won three 3A state titles and tied for second place in another. On Friday, she won the triple jump with a mark of 39-07.00 while she ran back and forward between the triple jump and the hurdle prelims. On Saturday, she won the 100-meter hurdles in a personal best time of 14.74. In the high jump, she tied for second place with a jump of 5-04 while Maya Torain, a senior from Catonsville, soared to 5-06. She won the long jump in 17-09.00. She is the top returning 3A athlete in all four events and ranks #1 among MCPS athletes in all four events this year.
Winning multiple state titles on the boys' side was Reggie Steele of Paint Branch. After his final race at the state meet, Steele recalled being on a team with guys like John Jones and Quadell Spratley...Marcus Willacy and Malcolm Wyche. Reggie Steele has been running for Paint Branch for four years, but most Moco fans hadn't even heard of him until the county championship this year. Now he has surpassed anything that any Paint Branch athlete in his era has done. In fact, no Montgomery County boy has won 4A state titles in both the 100 and 200 in at least two decades. Steele won the 100 in 10.96 (10.94q), and the 200 in 22.05 (22.03q). He anchored his 4x100 relay to 6th place in 43.45 and the 4x400 relay to fifth place in 3:21.63 with a 49 second split.
Le'Quisha Parker led the Northwood girls to the 4x200 relay 3A state title in 1:42.38 and second place in the 4x400 in 3:56.88. Both times were the second fastest by a county team this year. On day two, Parker finished second in the 100 in 12.14. A photo finish was required to determine the winner of the 200-meter race. Parker was timed at 24.572 while Xauddina Whittington of Catonsville was timed at 24.578. Parker now has a 200-meter state title in the 2A classification and another in the 3A classification. Both juniors, Parker and Whittington will see each other again next year.
Also contributing to Northwood's runner up finish was Yamundow Sarr who ran 57.98 in the 400 which ranks fourth in Montgomery County this year and 12.64 in the 100. Naami Wagner jumped 10-00.00 in the pole vault. No other girl from Montgomery County in the last ten years has cleared a height above 9-06.
In addition to the Northwood and Northwest girls winning their respective 4x200 relays, the Watkins Mill boys also won the 3A state title in the 4x200 relay. Brandon Addison was one of the stars of the weekend. He anchored Watkins Mill to a season best time of 1:28.38 on Friday, finished second in the 200 in 22.14 and finished first in the 400 in 48.25 on Saturday. There were two other runners in the race under 49 seconds. No other Montgomery County athlete has run as fast in the 400 since Bryan Steele ran 48.01 in 2002. To cap things off, Addison anchored Watkins Mill to third place in the 4x400 relay in 3:23.47. Addison split 48 seconds and caught two teams in the final stretch.
One of the surprise state champions this year was Serenah Polite of Churchill. Polite had her best mark in the triple jump by over a foot to win the title in 35-11.00. She also jumped a personal best 16-11.50 to finish third in the long jump.
Lindsay Pinckney of Springbrook missed warm ups at last year's long jump state competition and performed terribly, but this year she made sure to show up very early. She had a series of several good jumps before popping a monster leap of 17-07 on her second-to-last jump in the finals. It was over seven inches further than her personal best jump from the opening flight and it was good for the state title by two inches.
Trevon Carroll of Gaithersburg was well-short of beating Thomas Johnson's Marquis Woodyard in the 110-hurdles, but ran a personal best 14.51 to edge out Bladensburg's Stevee Ehahoun by 0.02 seconds. Carroll also ran a personal best 40.01 in the 300 hurdles, finishing fifth directly behind teammate Alimamy Kallay (40.00).
Shannon Dwyer of Quince Orchard beat out the favorite, Racquel Moses of Milford Mill, to win the 3A 300-meter hurdle title in 45.82. She was the west region champion with a previous best of 46.13.
Ale Martinez of Churchill ran a county-leading time of 45.43 in the 300 hurdles, but only finished fifth in a stacked 4A field. The Churchill girls, with Martinez and Katie Wolf (who finished second in the 100 and third in the 200), finished third in both the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Speaking of hurdles and relays, this wouldn't be a good recap without giving props to Alexis Franklin from Old Mill. Franklin ran 41.94 in the 300 hurdles, 13.96 in the 100 hurdles, 55.53 in the 400, and anchored her 4x100 relay to second place in 48.14. She's not Moco, but she's a beast.
Freshman Sonny Kirksey cleared 6 feet in the high jump to finish tied for third place in the 4A competition. He is also tied for the Montgomery County lead this season. Clearing six feet by a freshman is a rare feat.
Sheldon Trotman of Northwest jumped a county-leading mark of 45-03.50 to finish second in the 4A triple jump.
The top moco thrower of the state meet was Rachel Porzel of Blake. Porzel threw a personal best 109-01 in the discus for third place and 37-02.00 in the shot put for fourth place.
There were no state titles out of the 2A state meet, but there were some nice personal records by the Poolesville athletes. Kevin Dickerson set a school record in the 400 with a time of 50.09. Sam Widmayer ran a personal best 1:58.48 in the 800 for fourth place and Eric Holmstead ran a personal best 4:23.86 in the 1600 for third place. They also dropped fast times of 8:12.02 in the 4x800 and 3:25.47, big accomplishments for a small school.
State Championship Day 3: 9 More State Champs (20 Total), 2 Team Runners Up
Northwest, 4A State Runners Up
Northwood, 3A State Runners Up
Northwest, 4A 4x400, State #2 All-Time 3:48.28
Olivia Ekpone split 53 on the relay after winning 100, 200 and 400 state titles in 11.94, 23.89, 53.60
Thea LaFond, Kennedy, 37 points, 5-04 HJ, 39-07 TJ, 14.74 Hurdles, 17-09 LJ
Jessie Rubin, Wootton, 4A 1600, 5:00.17, 4A 3200, 10:41.28
Linsday Pinckney, Springbrook, 4A Long Jump, 17-07.00
Shannon Dwyer, Quince Orchard, 3A 300 Hurdles, 45.82
Reggie Steele, Paint Branch, 4A 100 and 200, 10.94 and 22.03
Le'Quisha Parker, Northwood, 3A 200, 24.58
Brandon Addison, Watkins Mill, 3A 400, 48.25
State Championship Day 2: Moco Sweeps 4x800's, 11 State Champions
Wootton, 4A 4x800, 9:04.39 State Meet Record; Photo by Larry Duvall
Damascus, 3A 4x800, 9:35.87
Walter Johnson, 4A 4x800, 7:53.35
Damascus, 3A 4x800, 7:55.73
Northwood, 3A 4x200, 1:42.38
Watkins Mill, 3A 4x200, 1:28.38
Northwest, 4A 4x200, 1:41.88
Andrew Palmer, Whitman, 4A 3200, 9:19.54
Jessie Rubin, Wootton, 4A 3200, 10:41.28
Thea LaFond, Kennedy, 3A Triple Jump, 39-07
Serenah Polite, Churchill, 4A Triple Jump, 35-11