Severna Park senior Ryan Forsyth had his eyes set on breaking the meet record Tuesday in the 3,200-meter race at the MPSSAA 4A/3A indoor track championships in Landover. With about two laps to go, he realized he was on pace to do so.
It didn’t hurt that one of his coaches kept yelling he was running too slow. The motivation helped keep Forsyth’s energy level high, though the early pace he set was one that would be tough to beat.
Rounding the final turn, it was apparent the meet record was in reach. When Forsyth crossed the finish line in 9 minutes 16 seconds, it was all his.
“This was my goal, and I achieved it,” Forsyth said.
Forsyth’s time ranks as the 10th best in the country this season, according to records kept at track and field Web site DyeStat.com. His previous best was 9:21.28, which he ran at the Howard County vs. Anne Arundel County Challenge on Jan. 6.
“I didn’t really think it was a reality until [the final 400 meters],” Forsyth said. “Then I just said, ‘I want this.’ I started hauling it at the end.”
Northwest won the 4A boys’ team championship with a total of 48 points. The Jaguars beat Paint Branch (46) and Bowie (45).
South River took the 4A girls’ title with 43.5 points, beating Clarksburg (34.5) and Blake (34).
Long Reach won the 3A boys’ title with 42 points, beating Howard County rival Centennial (36).
Huntingtown won the 3A girls’ title with 67.5 points, barely edging Milford Mill’s 67. Reservoir was third with 38 points.
It was the first indoor track championship win for all four teams.
Long Reach got first-place finishes from senior Robert Carter in the 55 hurdles (7.55) and senior Tosin Oyewole in the 300 (34.98). Northwest junior Diego Zarate won the 4A 1,600 with a 4:21.83.
South River junior Reilly Wagner won the 4A girls’ high jump by clearing 5 feet 4 inches.
Huntingtown’s Shania Collins set the 3A state meet record in the 300 with a 32.29. She followed that performance with a 7.01 in the 55 dash, barely missing the 3A meet record of 7.00.
Collins was also the anchor on Huntingtown’s 4x200 and 4x400 teams. The Hurricanes’ 4x200 team placed third (1:47.13) and the 4x400 team finished second (4:12.12).
“I’ve been training for this all season,” Collins said. “This was a perfect way to end it.”
River Hill junior Christopher Heydrick set a 3A meet record in the 1,600 with a 4:17.50, more than 20 seconds better than his seeded time. Heydrick also won the 800 with a 1:57.84. Wise junior Brenen Garrett posted a winning 6.37 in the 4A 55 dash, which is the best time in Maryland this winter.
Reservoir senior Karli Smiraglia won state titles in the 3A girls’ 800 (2:20.93) and 1,600 (5:16.46).
“The [1,600] was a strategic race,” Smiraglia said. “I wanted to break 5:10 but after the first 800, my coach said to have a strong third quarter and then settle in. I wanted to save some energy in the 800. In the 800, it was everything I had.”
The closest race of the day was the boys’ 4A 500. Bowie junior Antonio Coleman and Howard senior Justin Marsh came around the final turn next to each other. After crossing, Coleman saw his name pop up first on the scoreboard with a time of 1:06.354. Marsh finished second with a 1:06.357.