MIAA track & field coaches project what might have been in 2020 in the B Conference
The 2020 MIAA B Conference Track & Field Championships promised to be a fantastic competition for overall champion. St. Paul’s, the 2019 champion, moved up to the A and the 2nd through 5th place teams – Annapolis Area Christian, John Carroll, Severn and St. Vincent Pallotti – were all close in points scored.
The strength of the B teams has grown over the past few years, so between these teams and mixing in quality track athletes from the other teams, the 2020 season was looking wide open and exciting. To give a glimpse on what may have been and pay tribute to these athletes who did not get to compete this spring, the MIAA track & field coaches collaborated on the following report on the potential title of contenders of 2020.
Individually, just about all the events were also wide open based on how the 2019 championship and this year’s indoor championships went. In the 100, the top five were all 10th and 11th graders. Tolu Balogun of AACS was first, but followed closely by Cameron Prescott of Pallotti, Roman Hemby of John Carroll, Jacob Mensah-Osafo of St. John’s Catholic Prep and Deonte Ferguson of Concordia Prep. Others who could have jumped into the mix are Malik Scott (out with an injury last year) and London Drummond (transfer) of John Carroll and Carl Hicks of Pallotti.
The 200 would probably include many of the guys mentioned above, as well as last year’s champion Aidan McDuffie of Pallotti and Jeremiah Taylor of AACS. The 400 looked to be a rematch of the top three finishers of Hicks (49.91) and McDuffie (50.10) of Pallotti and Taylor (51.81) of AACS. There were a bunch of others in the 53 to 55 range who could moved up with a season of practice.
In the mid-distance events (800 and 1600) there would have been a lot of new guys in the top spots as there were lots of seniors at the top last year. In the 800, Henry Griffith of Friends looked to be the front runner after running a 2:03 indoors. The others in the mix should have been Hunter Steinau of AACS, Thomas Demers of Glenelg Country, Rob Dubinski of Severn, Brandon Turner of St. Mary’s, and Michael Chipi and Nick Singelakis of John Carroll. A lot of these guys would probably also be in the mix in the 1600 as well as Connor Drucis of St. Mary’s. Freshman standout Singelakis looked to be the top prospect after running a 4:30 indoors. In the 3200, both Singelakis (9:50) and Chipi (9:53) went under 10 seconds indoors and could have lead JC to a 1-2 finish. Standing in the way looked to be Griffith, Dubinski, and Drucis.
The 110 hurdles looked to be the most wide open event with only Bodie Nies of St. Mary’s back from last year’s finals. Cam West of John Carroll transferred in this year and would have been a threat to win the event.The 300 hurdles looked to be between Jake Van Gieson of Severn, Cole Phillips of AACS and West. Austin Brinkman of John Carroll and Robert Whiteside of Pallotti would have challenged as well.
The relays are always dependent on how teams decide to play their lineup and can always be unpredictable, but the top finishers from last year (minus St. Paul’s) were AACS in the 4×100, John Carroll in the 4×200 (Pallotti ran a very fast time indoors), and Severn in both the 4×400 and 4×800.
The field events often play a huge, hidden role in championships as they are often not as visible as the track events. The one event that has benefitted JC in the past is the pole vault, as the Patriots are generally the only team to have vaulters in the B Conference. Sophomores Joey Kutcher and Jonah Johnson could have played a big role if JC was to pull off the team win.
The long jump and triple jump had a lot of competitors who could have been in the top three. These includes Zoe Igawacho and Cole Phillips of AACS, Isaiah Perkins and Ayotomiwa Olagoke-Bello of Pallotti, London Drummond, Amon Brown and Hemby of John Carroll, Colin Toal of St. Mary’s, and Daniel Babalola of Severn. The high jump had only one strong jumper last year, but he graduated. Transfer Drummond is coming in having already clearing 6-feet and looked to be the one to beat.
Finally, there were some potential difference makers in the two throwing events. Dyllon Ravenell of Glenelg Country, who threw the shot over 40-feet indoors, may have been one of the top guys that event, while Keshawn Wheeler of Pallotti would have had something to say about in the shot as well. The discus had several returning title contenders. Leading the way was Brinkman of John Carroll, followed very closely by Michael Sykes of Beth Tfiloh, Micah Gonzalez of Glenelg Country and Micah Glover of St. John’s.
Pictured above: St. Vincent Pallotti’s Carl Hicks would have been a 2020 title contender in the 100, 200 and 400 meter events in the MIAA B Conference track & field season.