BALTIMORE — The sun beat down on Largo senior Aaron Hackett as he made his way to the track’s starting line in 90-degree heat Saturday afternoon at Morgan State University.
Having already won three individual events at the Maryland outdoor track and field championships, the University of Connecticut signee readied himself for his fourth running event of the competition: the 1A boys’ 200-meter dash. And as the gun went off and he turned the corner, the 18-year-old’s long strides propelled him to his fourth individual state championship of the day. They marked Hackett’s first outdoor state titles.
“It feels pretty good knowing the fact that I been training for this all season,” Hackett said. “Indoor, I got three state titles, too.”
In addition to Hackett’s accolades, the Largo boys’ team won the 1A title with 69 points. Hackett won the 110-meter hurdles (14.47 seconds) — in which he narrowly missed out on the 1A state record (14.46) — the 100-meter dash (10.72), the 300-meter hurdles (39.16) and the 200-meter dash (21.61). His first two events took place 20 minutes apart from each other, as did his final two events later in the afternoon.
No male athlete had won four individual running events at a Maryland state track meet, according to the Maryland state track committee.
“It is definitely tough on the mind. It is tough on the body, too, but you have to be mentally prepared,” Hackett said of the quick turnarounds.
In 4A, the Northwest boys’ and girls’ teams took home matching titles. Northwest’s Eddita Pessima won both the 100- and 300-meter girls’ hurdles, while Northwest’s Divinus Muteba prevailed in the boys’ high jump (6 feet 6 inches) and the Northwest boys took the 4A 4x100 meter relay (42.12). Northwest’s Clarence Foote-Talley won the boys’ triple jump (50-3½ ), setting a state record.
The Lackey girls cruised to a 1A state championship behind first-place finishes by Taylor Williams in the 100 hurdles (14.90), Dominique Jeffery in the 400-meter dash (44.75) and Courtney Hawkins in shot put. They also won the 4x200-meter relay (1:43.42).
Other local girl winners from the finals included Reservoir’s Adaobi Tabugbo in the 3A 100 hurdles (14.48), Northwest’s Carmen Henderson in the 4A 100 (12.16), Poolesville’s Nandini Satsangi in the 2A 1,600 (5:18), Wise’s Olivia Andrews in the 4A 400-meter dash (56.28) and Oxon Hill’s Sarah George in the 3A shot put.
Walter Johnson’s Abbey Green swept the 4A distance races: the 800 (2:12.64), 1,600 (4:51) and 3,200 (10:22.23). The feat was last accomplished by Annapolis’s Kristen Nicolini in 1995.
Other local boys’ winners included La Plata’s Alex Strong in the 2A 110 hurdles (14.38), C.H. Flowers’s Brandon Tunson in the 4A 110 hurdles (13.89), Northeast’s Davon Carroll in the 3A 100 dash (10.62), Poolesville’s Ryan Lockett in the 2A 1,600 (4:19), Josh Fry in the 4A 1,600 (4.19), Largo’s Aharon Luster in the 1A 400-meter dash (50.40) and Northwood’s Eldon Phillips in the 4A 800-meter run (1:56.35).
In relays, Douglass’s girls won the 1A 4x100 (49.29) and 4x400 meters (4:06.20) and Douglass’s boys won the 1A 4x200 meters (1:29.71). Watkins Mill’s girls and boys won the 3A 4x100 meters (47.62 for the girls, 42.18 for the boys).
Westlake’s boys won the 2A 4x100 meters (43.29); Damascus’s girls won the 2A 4x400 meters (4:00.36); Mount Hebron’s girls won the 3A 4x400 meters (3:59.96); Wise’s girls won the 4A 4x400 meters (3:50.45); Lackey’s boys won the 1A 4x400 meters (3:27.08); Reservoir’s boys won the 3A 4x400 meters (3:22.81); and Suitland’s boys won the 4A 4x400 meters (3:18.61).
“Track is just great,” Hackett said. “Not too many people can say ‘I’m better than you’ in one sport.
“Basketball, you can cook somebody one-on-one, but at the end of the day, you can’t be a state champion by yourself.”