The Blake High School girls broke the 3A State Championship Meet Record in the 4x200-meter relay on Friday evening with a performance of 1:38.43. It was also the third fastest performance by any team in any classification at the state meet according to the MPSSAA record book, and it was an all-time MCPS record from any meet in history according to Mocorunning's records.
Said Noelani Phillips, "Three of us: it's our last year so we're trying to make it the best, make it count and leave our mark before we go off."
Aside from the win in the 4x2, Blake is set up nicely for a successful third day of the state championship meet. Phillips recorded a wind-legal time of 24.49 in the 200-meter prelims, which makes her the #1 seed entering Saturday's finals. The four relay members basically said that they wanted to win everything that they are entered in on Saturday, but also expressed some lofty goals.
"We want to get the girls state title...the team title...and we're coming for the 4x1."
Distance-heavy Northern High School currently leads the girls 3A team standings after Friday evening with 35 points. Blake had just the ten points after day one.
Northwood's Eldad Mulugeta had been talking about the outdoor state meet record in the 3200-meter race (9:06.13) since the indoor season. It was a surprise when he did not take the race out hard and did not even take the lead until three-quarters into the race.
"We checked the weather and the wind was going pretty hard," he said. "It was like 15 miles per hour at one point. And we're like, 'We shouldn't try to force it because we have a chance to break 9 at the DMV meet of champions.'"
In addition to it being about 80 degrees with a breeze, Mulugeta said that he was sick all week with a cold.
"I was sick this week. My body didn't react real well, so I just went in the race and planned to sit and kick."
His sit-and-kick strategy resulted in a 9:12.64 victory. The performance ranks sixth all-time in state meet history according to MPSSAA's state meet record book. He hopes to just win tomorrow in the 1600-meter race as well.
Northwest's Clarence Foote-Talley said that he was just looking to have fun in his final state meet and he credited his hype men, Darius Lorfils and Bryce Middleton, for his high jump success. He said that his teammates "gave him hype" before he attempted new heights.
"I give it to them just for getting me picked up and relaxed," said Foote-Talley.
Foote-Talley took second place with a new personal best clearance of six-foot-six and then fell short while attempting six-foot-eight to a resounding stadium slow clap started by his teammates.
Of course, the high jump is probably Foote-Talley's third best event after the long jump and triple jump. He won the state title in the long jump with a wind-legal mark of 23-02.00. According to Mocorunning's records, the mark makes him the ninth best MoCo long jumper in history.
"I was just relaxed," said Foote-Talley. "I didn't put as much pressure on myself as I normally do. I just went out there and had fun."
The wind played a role in some of Friday evening's outstanding sprint performances, but upon reviewing the official results by mdtimingllc.com, it was not as much of a factor as one might have thought. David Vincent Okoli's 10.75 and Anthony Woods Jr.'s 10.76 were outstanding wind-legal performances in the 100-meter trials.
The most eye-popping sprint performance of Friday evening was Chukwumdi Osuji's 200-meter prelim, which was unfortunately not wind-legal. The 21.44 performance by Osuji with a 3.2 wind reading was 0.29 seconds ahead of Anthony Woods Jr's 21.73 with a 2.7 wind reading. It sets up perhaps a MoCo showdown in the 200-meter finals on Saturday.
"I didn't really feel that tired or nothing," said Osuji, "So I said, 'Hey, let me go out and do the same thing tomorrow.'"
While 21.44 was not wind-legal for the MPSSAA record books, that performance slides up to #1 on Mocorunning's All-Condition, All-Time, FAT-only, MCPS 200-meter records.
As for tomorrow, Osuji said that he is shooting for the same or better.
Osuji's unofficial sub-21 split in the 4x200 relay capped a flurry of activity for MoCo teams in the 4x200 relay. For a brief moment, this writer believed that MoCo could sweep the 3A and 4A boys and girls 4x200's. Blake started it off with their girls 3A state record in the 3A race. Then Quince Orchard outkicked Gaithersburg in the 4A girls race with a time of 1:41.41. The Watkins Mill boys won the final heat of the 3A race with a time of 1:28.85, only to lose to North Hagerstown by 0.10 out of a different heat. And then Paint Branch hawked down a few teams to take third in the 4A 4x2 in 1:28.23.
For those of us who were around in the early 2000's and earlier, MoCo isn't supposed to win the 4x2's! Right?
Taylor Wright recorded a performance of 41-00.50 in the triple jump which ranks #5 in state meet history according to the MPSSAA state record book. It was her third state title in the triple jump. She advanced to the finals in both the 100m and 200m and will compete in the high jump Saturday.
Gaithersburg's K.C. Ashiogwu recorded a new school record 38-01.50 to take second behind Wright in the 4A classification triple jump. The girls triple jump ran into a head-wind.
Paint Branch's Janise Bestman took second in the 4A girls discus with a mark of 112-02.
The Walter Johnson girls took second in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:39.29, and county champion Jenna Goldberg took third in the 3200-meter run with a time of 11:08.06.
In one of the most exciting races of Friday evening, Paint Branch just got outkicked by Severna Park in the boys 4x800, 8:02.14 to 8:02.82. It appeared as if Severna Park would run away with it, but Paint Branch and Blair both worked their way back into the race on the final leg. Blair was third in 8:05.64. Northwood was fourth in 8:06.39 without Mulugeta or Obsaa Feda.
Kaya Rae Dunbar of Paint Branch set a new F.A.T. personal best 14.21 in the 100-meter hurdle prelims with a wind-legal reading of 1.2 and is the top seed entering Saturday's finals.
Watkins Mill's Amadou Silimana recorded a new wind-legal F.A.T. personal best of 14.44 in the 3A 110-meter hurdle prelims.
Seneca Valley's Deborah Gnoumou is the second seed in the 2A girls 100-meter hurdles with a prelim time of 15.05.
Damascus's Tikristi Ayo-Durojaiye finished second in the 2A state long jump with a performance of 21-08.50. Coincidentally, Magruder junior Jeremiah Baxter placed second in the 3A classification long jump with a mark of 21-08.50.
Northwest leads in the boys 4A team standings after Friday with 39 points. The Northwest girls are tied with Gaithersburg and Broadneck in second place in the girls 4A standings with 16 points.
See also: Mocorunning's Saturday Recap Part I and Mocorunning's Saturday Recap Part II