May 21—In the blistering heat at Reservoir, both the Howard boys and girls outdoor track and field teams excelled.
Both were crowned Class 3A East Region champions, carrying over their success from the first day of competition Thursday into Saturday. After Thursday's six scored events, both Lions teams were in first and maintained that lead for the final 12 events on Saturday.
The girls finished with 158 points as Westminster (85), Reservoir (83), River Hill (64) and Manchester Valley (63) rounded out the top five. The boys finished with 144 points as Manchester Valley (120), Westminster (87), Centennial (86) and Reservoir (72) finished in the top five.
As a result, a number of Lions, as well as other athletes from around the area earned the right to compete at next week's state meet. The top two finishers in each event automatically qualify for states, with the next eight fastest times spanning all four regions in a class also advancing.
Saturday's competitors had to deal with more than just the athlete in the lane next to them. Temperatures exceeding 90 degrees were an issue for all.
"You have to prepare for the days leading into this. You have the whole season to prepare but especially when it's a real feel of close to 100 degrees," Howard coach Zachary Dickerson said. "Both the boys and girls teams have been fantastic about drinking water and making sure we're staying in the shade. Having both teams win and doing it with a whole team effort. Sprints, distance, fields, jumps and throws. The relays ran particularly well today, so I'm very happy as a coach."
For the girls team, senior Nimrit Ahuja led the way. She competed in, and won, four events. The veteran won both the 800 and the 1,600 as well as being on the victorious 4x800 and 4x400 relay teams. She won the same four events at last week's Howard County championships.
In the mile, she was the only girl to finish under five minutes: 4 minutes, 59.68 seconds.
"I think just having the confidence of knowing that we've done it before," Ahuja said. "We've ran 9:31 in the 4x800, so we know we have that in us. We did it at counties, knowing that we can do it again. Our 4x400 we have a lot of depth. Michaela Greene couldn't run it today, but we had three other backups that can run a similar time. Just doing that we can rely on each other."
Elizabeth Holcombe, Hannah Schwab and Kiley Mann were also part of the 4x800 team. Anaya Barrett, Bianca Durant and Dakota West made up the 4x400 team alongside Ahuja.
Both Holcombe and West excelled in their individual events for the Lions. West finished in the first 400, while Holcombe was victorious in the 3,200. Holcombe's victories came on Thursday, helping to set the tone for her third and final event on Saturday, the 1,600, in which she finished in third.
"I love starting off with the 4x800 because this season and last season it's starting out on a good note," Holcombe said. "It's nice to win that and it brings some confidence into the rest of the race. We're working with some quick turnarounds from race to race. I think I had an hour between the relay and the 3,200. It's motivating and I stay warm."
Beyond all of their success in the track events, Ruth Smith won the high jump for the Lions clearing 5 feet, 4 inches.
Like the girls, the Lions boys showcased their versatility with success across the board. CJ Marthins and Tyler Baruch led the way in field events. Marthins registered first-place finishes in both shot put and discus with a personal record of 55-8 in the shot put.
"Today wasn't ideal, but it's a step in the right direction," Marthins said. "We've got a lot of work to do before states."
Baruch fared well in the jumps. He finished first in both the triple jump and long jump, and placed third in the high jump. His win in the triple jump marked an improvement over counties where he finished second. Baruch set a personal record in the high jump clearing 6-1. Between Baruch and Marthins, the Lions boys earned the top spot in four of six field events.
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"I would definitely agree that with our field and track events both doing so well, we push each other to work to the best of our abilities," Baruch said.
Outside of the field events, Joseph Raudabaugh played an integral role in the Lions earning key points in the distance events. Raudabaugh finished second in the 800 and third in the 1,600.
"Whenever I feel like my legs are getting the best of me, I just try to power through and beat those guys in front of me," Raudabaugh said of the competition. "Whether it be first, second or third I just try to get up there to the best of my ability and just push myself as far as I can."
The Lions boys also earned key points in sprints with a first in the 4x100 and third in the 4x200. Christian Do finished second in the 110 meter hurdles, while Travis Thompson finished third and Emmanuel Omole finished fourth in the 100.
Now, both the Lions boys and girls teams will look to replicate that success at states in the Class 3A and 4A competition beginning Friday.
Girls individual results
4x800 relay: 1. (HO) Nimrit Ahuja, Elizabeth Holcombe, Kiley Mann, Hannah Schwab, 9:52:37; 2. Centennial 9:59:36. 3,200: 1. Elizabeth Holcombe, (HO), 11:24:01; 2. Rubie Goffena, (MV), 11:33:03. 4x200 relay: 1. (RE) Kani'a Dozier, Sophie Davidson, Jamie Adams, Mecca Jackson 1:41:44; 2. River Hill 1:42:89. Pole Vault: 1. Sarah Gassman, (WM), 11-00.00; 2. Olivia Struble (A), 9-09.00. Triple jump: 1. Camryn Jones-Howard, (WL), 37-01.00; 2. Larasia Buckner, (RH), 35-09.00. Discus throw: 1. Liv Ragonese, (C); 112-00; 2. Emma Reaves, (WM), 97-00. 100 hurdles: 1. Aryanna Ladson, (MH), 14.81; 2. Larasia Buckner, (RH), 15.81. 100: 1. Jamie Adams, (RE), 12.08; 2. Shanise Staats, (WL), 12.33. 1,600: 1. Nimrit Ahuja, (HO), 4:59:68; 2. Hannah Toth, (WM), 5:00:53. 400: 1. Dakota West, (HO), 1:00:99; 2. Sydney Burke, (C), 1:01:57. 300 hurdles: 1. Shanise Staats, (WL), 49.82; 2. Kani'a Dozier, (RE), 50.06. 200: 1. Jamie Adams, (RE), 24.94; 2. Aryanna Ladson, (MH), 25.41. 800: 1. Nimrit Ahuja, (HO), 2:17:05; 2. Hannah Toth, (WM), 2:18:61. 4x100 relay: 1. (RH) Larasia Buckner, Janasia Buckner, Gabrielle Demuren, Araoluwa Omitowoju, 48.74; 2. Reservoir. 4x400 relay: 1. (HO) Anaya Barrett, Bianca Durant, Nimrit Ahuja, Dakota West, 4:09.10; 2. Reservoir. Shot put: 1. Liv Ragonese, (C), 33-07.75; 2. Katherine Wood, (A), 33-01.50. High jump: 1. Ruth Smith, (HO), 5-04.00; 2. Ciara Amon-Nicholls, (LR), 5-02,00. Long jump: 1. Aryanna Ladson, (MH), 17-07.00; 2. Mecca Jackson, (RE), 17-04.25.
Boys individual results
4x800 relay: 1. (C) Sean May, Alexander White, Sebastian Martinez, Antonio Camacho-Bucks, 8:06.58: 2. Howard, 8:15:37.. 3,200: 1. Aiden Neal, (MV), 9:22:84; 2. Alexander Barton, (MH), 9:35.12. 4x200 relay: 1. (RE) Samuel Akinrebiyo, Dylan Bradford, Jalen Booth-Mitchell, Xavier Maple, 1:27.68; 2. Wilde Lake, 1:29:20. Shot put: 1. CJ Marthins, (HO), 55-08.00; 2. Joseph Dubsky, (MV), 45-07.50. High jump: 1. Tyler Jagun, (LR), 6-01.00; 2. Steeve Nwalal, (WL), 6-01.00. Long jump: 1. Tyler Baruch, (HO), 23-03.25.; 2. Jalen Eudell (C), 21-09.00. 110 hurdles: 1. Garrett Boag, (WM), 15.52; 2. Christian Do, (HO), 15.73.. 100: 1. Jalen Booth-Mitchell, (RE), 10.73; 2. Dylan Bradford, (RE), 10.96. 1,600: 1. Aiden Neal, (MV), 4:15:58; 2. Antonio Camacho-Bucks, (C), 4:16.72. 400: 1. Carter Knox, (MV), 49.15; 2. Darian Tarver Jr., (A), 49.19. 300 hurdles: 1. Edwin Alfaro, (WM), 40.82; 2. Kai Chwang, (MV), 41.94. 200: 1. Jalen Booth-Mitchell, (RE), 21.87; 2. Dylan Bradford, (RE), 21.98. 800: 1. Aiden Neal, (MV), 1:56:18; 2. Joseph Raudabaugh, (HO), 1:57.15. 4x100 relay: 1. (HO) Travis Thompson, Tyler Baruch, Ameen Salih, Emmanuel Omole, 43.37; 2. Wilde Lake, 43.86. 4x400 relay: 1. (MV) Aiden Neal, Christian Childs, Logan Haines, Carter Knox, 3:26:89; 2. Centennial, 3:27.56. Triple jump: 1. Tyler Baruch, (HO), 45-01.50; 2. Willy Anye, (WM), 41-10.00. Discus: 1. CJ Marthins, (HO), 150-07; 2. Mofe Adewole, (C), 136-00. Pole vault: 1. Justin Condon, (WM), 11-03.00; 2. Nicolas Farfoglia, (MV), 10-09.00.