(May 31, 2019) Four Stephen Decatur outdoor track athletes competed in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 3A championship meet, held May 24-25 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and one came home a new state titleholder.
“I thought the four that participated did a really good job, not just this weekend, but this season,” said Coach Jody Stigler.
Sophomore London Drummond won the state high jump event, with a height of 6 feet 4 inches.
“I was really happy with how I did,” Drummond said. “I met my PR (personal record) and I won so I was really excited about that.”
He said competing in the state meet was just like last year – an exciting and nerve-racking experience. He tied for 13th place in the high jump during the 2018 championship.
“We were talking earlier last week about what height he would need to clear to win the competition and I told him that if he cleared 6-4 with no misses at the lower heights he would have a very good shot and that is what he did, so I was happy about that,” Stigler said. “We had to overcome a little adversity for this meet because we didn’t really have a good practice area [at Stephen Decatur] with the stadium renovation starting.”
Drummond cleared heights of 5 feet 10 inches, 6 feet, 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches all on his first attempts.
After clearing the 6-foot 4-inch bar smoothly, Drummond said Stigler hyped him up for the next height.
It came down to Drummond and Manchester Valley’s Joshua Gerber for first place.
They took turns at the 6-feet 6-inch height, with Gerber going first.
Both failed to advance over the bar on their first two attempts. Gerber then missed on his third.
Since Gerber had missed his first attempts at the 6-foot and 6-foot 4-inch heights, making in over the bar on his second try for both, and Drummond was successful on all of his first attempts, he was declared the state champion.
Even though he had already won, Drummond still had one last try at 6 feet 6 inches, which is the Decatur school record. He came up a bit short.
“I was closest on the first one, so I was happy with that. The second one I was a little anxious,” he said. “On the third, I didn’t have enough arch in my back.”
The key to success, he said, was consistency.
Winning the state title was “surreal,” he said.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” he said. “As a sophomore, to do something like that, it’s just crazy for me.”
Going into the event, Drummond said he at least wanted to be competitive and put up a good fight.
“I didn’t know I’d win, I just wanted to leave a mark, and show that I can be up there in the state,” he said. “I knew when I got over 6-2 without any misses, that I could win it.”
Drummond was pleased with his season performance overall. He is also the Bayside Conference champion in the event.
“My consistency and technique got better throughout the season,” he said. “As a sophomore, it’s a huge accomplishment to win a state title. It’s my biggest athletic accomplishment so far.”
He is looking forward to having a banner with his name on it hung in the school gym next fall.
“I’m happy how everything ended and I hope to come back next year,” he said.
The last Decatur athlete to win a state championship outdoor track title was Brad Hollowell in 2012. He captured the state pole vault title.
Senior Margie Rayne placed fourth in the discus.
“I think I did pretty good for the first time,” she said. “I was slightly nervous, but I got over it.”
Rayne threw the discus 109 feet 8 inches to finish in fourth place.
She won the regional discus event with a throw of 115 feet 4 inches. Rayne had already beat the Decatur school record of 104 feet 3 inches set by Martina Collick in 2001 earlier this season when she threw the discus 109 feet 9 inches. During regionals, Rayne topped her own record.
Both Drummond and Rayne came home with ribbons for placing eighth or better in their state events.
Rayne placed ninth in the state shot put event, with a throw of 33 feet 10 inches.
“I tried my best and I did really good,” she said. “I was aiming for top 10 in both events and I did that. Overall, I was very happy.”
Rayne said she improved in both events this season. It was her first season throwing the discus and second competing in the shot put.
At states during the indoor track season this winter, Rayne finished in seventh place in the shot put.
This spring, she won the shot put event during the inaugural Bayside South outdoor track meet and at the overall conference championship competition.
“The season was successful overall. I think it ended pretty well,” she said. “I was just excited to go to states.”
Sophomore Jessica Janney tied for eight place in the high jump with Huntingtown’s Carissa Lauer and Chopticon’s Ciara Thomas. They all finished with high jumps of 5 feet.
“It wasn’t my best performance. Five feet is normal for me,” she said. “At regionals I had a better performance.”
Janney came in second place in the high jump at regionals. She jumped 5 feet 2 inches to tie the school record.
Janney holds the record with Billie Jo Burbage (1994) and Brittany Harris (2005).
At states, Janney said she overanalyzed her jumps too much.
“I think I just overthought my jumps a bit,” she said. “I tried to get my form perfect. I thought about it way too much.”
Despite not advancing past a jump of 5 feet, Janney said she enjoyed the state experience and competing at Morgan State University.
Janney also said she picked up some tips from watching her high jump competition.
“I learned how much practice I need to get back to states,” she said.
Janney was happy with her first season participating in the high jump.
“For my first year I did really great,” she said.
She won the high jump event during the Bayside South meet. She took third in the overall conference championship meet and finished second in the region.
“It maybe wasn’t the best ending, but overall, it was a good season,” she said. “I’m very excited for next year. I can’t wait.”
Her goal is to break the 5-foot 2-inch school record.
“If I can reach this height in one year I think I can get a few more inches,” she said.
Senior Daletez Smith also competed at the state meet. His best throw in the shot put event was 39 feet 4 inches.
Stigler thought the track season went well.
“We will graduate some key contributors so we will definitely need some younger athletes to step up and produce in the future,” Stigler said. “It’s probably too early to tell for next year but I think we have some good returning athletes that will help us.”
Stigler presented awards to several athletes at the end of the season. Receiving accolades were: Rayne and Drummond (MVP), freshman Zoriah Shockley and sophomore Sam Oates (Top Newcomers), senior Jonathan Santana and sophomore Devon Kramer (Sportsmanship), and Janney, seniors Dori Krasner, Chad Fischer, Victor Vick and Daquon Collick and junior Caroline Gardner (Coaches Awards).