On a long hot day, putting together a championship race is a great feat. Putting two together is something special. Three championship races is legendary.
Two area athletes had a triple crown day Saturday at the finals of the MPSSAA track and field championships. Both Oakland Mills’ Judson Lincoln IV (2A) and Poly’s Talil Atkins (3A) won their respective class’ 100-, 200- and 400-meter races.
Lincoln had this goal after nearly earning the feat last year, winning the 200 and 400 but finishing third in the 100.
“Especially because of last year, this was the plan,” he said. “It shows I can say I’m going to do it and I can do it.”
Not only did he do it, he did it in record fashion. Lincoln’s 200 time of 20.9 seconds broke the state meet record of 21.04 seconds set in 1992 by future NFL All-Pro Jermaine Lewis.
Lincoln won the 100 in 10.46 seconds, withstanding a tough challenge from Dunbar’s Aaron Charles before beating him by four-hundredths of a second. Lincoln won the 400 in 47.92.
Atkins had a more strenuous day than Lincoln. With the 3A preliminaries Friday rained out, he had to run his 100 and 200 semifinals, plus all his finals, on Saturday.
“After each race, I just need to cool down, stretch, keep myself hydrated,” Atkins said.
Atkins won the 100 in 10.61, the 200 in 21.09 and the 400 in 48.1.
“I try not to worry about the other people,” Atkins said of his strategy. “Of course it’s a race, but I focus on myself, make sure I’m in my correct drive through the whole race, accelerating for the end.”
Glenelg’s Timothy Cherry was one of several area athletes who won multiple golds. Cherry won the 2A 800 and 1,600.
“I’m 2-for-2. It’s awesome. I’m thankful for my coach, my family, everyone that’s helping me,” Cherry said. “I did it in indoor, I wanted to do it again.”
Mervo’s Vaughn DeVaughn also won two, sweeping the 4A hurdle races.
“Fast, fast, fast, fast, fast, fast, PR, PR PR,” DeVaughn said of his in-race mindset. “Running against big guys gives me more motivation to keep pushing. No, I’m not one of the biggest, but I’m one of the best and it helps me keep pushing.”
Dundalk’s Chimdy Onoh took first in the 4A shot put and discus.
Severna Park’s Jack DeBaugh won the 4A 400 and 800 on the way to helping the Falcons win the 4A team title. He strategized on how to use a gusty wind to his advantage during his 400 win.
“I definitely knew it was blowing pretty strong against me in the backstretch,” he said. “Going into it, I think I took it a little easier on the backstretch and then made sure to really hammer it home with the wind behind me.”
DeBaugh’s efforts were a big factor in Severna Park’s team title. The Falcons finished with 87 points, followed by Old Mill (59), Northwest (43), Henry A. Wise (41) and Walter Johnson (39).
The Falcons got a boost from Tyler Canaday and James Glebocki finishing first and second, respectively, in the 1,600.
“We really, really want to win state, so it’s all about points,” Canaday said. “It’s not pretty, times might not be the fastest of the season, but it’s about the prize. It’s about getting it with your team.”
DeBaugh, Canaday, Glebocki and Scott Engleman teamed to win the 4×800 relay for the Falcons. Brandon Kiefer added a win in pole vault.
In 3A, Northern edged out Huntingtown with 57 points to Huntingtown’s 55. Howard was right behind them with 52. The Lions led the team race going into the final event, the 4×400 relay, but didn’t have an entry. Manchester Valley and Springbrook tied for fourth with 37.
Oakland Mills dominated the 2A standings with 168 points. Hammond finished with 47, followed by Calvert (46), Glenelg (44) and Dunbar (38).
Among the Scorpions’ many wins was John Tatum IV in the 110 hurdles. Tatum finished fourth at the Howard County meet and fifth at regionals. Hammond’s Jadon Ra-Akbar won both those races. But Tatum got him when it counted the most.
“I practiced for this. I knew it was going to be close. There was good competition out there I just had to stay focused and run my race,” Tatum said. “[Ra-Akbar] has always been the fastest, he’s always been good. It feels good to finally get one.”
Oakland Mills also got wins from Kanye Holland in the 300 hurdles and the 4×100 relay team of Trevin McHargh, Shane King, Aki Harvey and Xavier Doctor.
Catoctin won the 1A title with 73 points, followed by Mountain Ridge (51), Washington (41), Snow HIll (40) and Patterson Mill (38).
Winning the rematch
Manchester Valley’s Aiden Neal and Milford Mill’s Korede Otusajo had an epic 800 race at the indoor state championships, with Otusajo winning by eight-hundredths of a second. The rematch came Saturday at the outdoor championships.
Otusajo started strong and led into the final lap. Just like indoors, Neal closed strong, only this time he pulled in front and raced to the line first.
“I know I had what it takes. I knew I had what what it takes in doors, too, But it feels very good,” Neal said. “I’m not gonna lie, I really didn’t know what my strategy was. He definitely went out fast, I know I had the closing speed and it worked out this time.”
Neal also won the 1,600 and raced on the winning 4×400 relay team with Christian Childs, Logan Haines and Carter Knox.
Also winning golds Saturday in 4A were Old Mill’s Kamel Winfield Jr. in the 100, as well as the Patriots’ 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams. Annapolis’ Luke Coffin won the 3,200 and Dulaney’s Gavin Shaffer won the high jump.
In 3A, Centennial’s Sean May, Alexander White, Sebastian Martinez and Antonio Camacho-Bucks won the 4×800 relay. In 2A, Hereford’s Zack Kralec won the pole vault and Glenelg’s Bisi Owens won the triple jump. In 1A, Joppatowne’s Shawn Cain Jr., Amar Mack, Christian Vias and Sean Williams II won the 4×100 relay and Patterson Mill’s Everett Young won the pole vault.