“I broke 9 [minutes] 20 [seconds]?” he asked, shocked, excited, and seemingly not the least bit exhausted after he torched his old personal record by 13 seconds in the 3,200-meter run.
The Gov. Thomas Johnson senior grabbed the 3A title at Morgan State University for the Maryland State Outdoor Championship with his time of 9 minutes, 19.72 seconds, several meters ahead of Annapolis' Harry Bullen. The win gives him a perfect sweep of the county, region, and state in the event.
“At the 250 [meter] mark I was thinking 'it's my senior year',” he said after the race. “'I might as well go out with a bang.'”
Omar's efforts for Thomas Johnson's team hopes were boosted by a dominant performance in the shot put from his fellow Patriots, A'Von Davey and Joe Kass, who took first and second respectively.
Davey's toss of 51 feet, 10 inches was nearly three feet farther than the closest non-Thomas Johnson competitor. Kass claimed second with a 51 foot heave. Like Omar, Davey also completed his trio of championship victories after claiming both the county and regional titles in the two weeks prior to today.
Their efforts, combined with a third place effort from Terrence Stafford in the long jump, have the Patriots sitting on top of the standings with 34 points, followed by Wilde Lake with 26.33.
Tamara Ovejera and Yeni Aromolaran led the Patriots' efforts for the girls. Aromolaran claimed the No. 1 seed in the 100 meters and the fourth seed in the 200 meters. The finals are scheduled for Saturday during the last of the three day meet.
Ovejera remained undefeated — aside from the Penn Relays — in the throwing events this season, taking home her second consecutive state title in the discus with a toss of 143 feet, 4 inches.
Tuscarora's girls avenged their loss in the 800 relay at the indoor state championships in spectacular fashion. They dropped their best time of the season by nearly two seconds, thanks to a sizzling opening leg from the lone senior, Rachel Watkins, finishing in 1:41.94 and easily knocking off Huntington, which finished in 1:43.40.
“I was like all the way through, all the way through,” said Watkins, who earned the No. 3 seed in the 100 meters.
Urbana's boys 3,200 relay team had the opposite effect at the state meet this year, losing their title defense by less than half a second to Hereford, finishing in second.
“I saw Thomas Stone and I thought they were our real competition so when I passed them I thought I had it,” said anchor Frederick Ugast. “That kid from Hereford came from nowhere.”
The four seniors — Ugast, Eric Villeneuve, Jeremy Lewis, and Austin Hayslett — still hit their best time of the season, an 8:00.31 effort that gives them the school record.
Linganore high jumper Julian Coiner also took home a silver medal, failing to hit 6 feet, 6 inches in the high jump, a height he “hits all the time” but “just didn't have it in him today,” he said.
He shrugged, smiled, and said “I know this isn't the end of the road here. I just had an off day. It happens.”