Carson Sloat didn’t think about a state championship when he began running with the track and cross country teams at Severna Park High School as a freshman two-plus years ago. He just kept running and training with his friends and teammates.
It turns out that process can yield pretty good results.
On February 18, Sloat, a junior, became the latest in a string of Severna Park athletes to garner individual success in distance running when he won the 1600-meter title at the 4A state championship meet at Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
Sloat ran the race in 4:25.81 to win the crown in the 1600, also known as the metric mile, and lead a 1-2-5 finish in the event for the Falcons, as teammate Jake Gelfand was the runner-up in 4:26.52 and Jack Muldoon placed fifth in 4:27.21.
All three runners are juniors, and Sloat said they used the power of numbers in the championship race.
“I always love running with these two guys because we know how to push each other,” said Sloat. “It also gives us an advantage because we can plan out strategies and control the race. And of course, they aren’t only my teammates, but they’re two of my best friends, and it just makes racing that much better.”
Sloat said the state title was less a culmination of seeking a specific goal and more a step along his progress in the sport.
“I’ve always been committed to this team, since freshman year, but I wouldn’t say I really began to compete at the state level until last indoor and outdoor seasons,” Sloat said. “I wouldn’t have even thought about gunning for a state title until this year.”
Merely qualifying for and competing at the state meet is an accomplishment in itself, and Sloat, Gelfand and Muldoon were among a larger group of athletes to represent Severna Park at the state championships. Sloat also placed fourth in the 800, while Muldoon placed eighth and James Louie finished 12th. Gelfand and James Glebocki finished fifth and 10th, respectively, in the 3200-meter run. John Tyler placed fourth in high jump, clearing 6 feet, 2 inches. Matthew Tagle placed eighth in pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 6 inches.
Louie, Nick Engleman, Eddie Sullivan and Collin Mullaney placed sixth in the 4x800 relay.
Muldoon, Chris Kirchner, Engleman and Sloat finished 10th in the 4x400 relay.
As a team, the Severna Park boys finished third with 41 points, behind runner-up Richard Montgomery High School (52 points) and team champion Paint Branch High School (53) in the 31-school field.
On the girls side, Sophia Zell was Severna Park’s top individual finisher, placing fourth in the 3200 and sixth in the 800. Grace Cambon finished 10th in the 3200. Alyssa Combs, Kelsie O’Neill and Brenna Mullaney finished 15-18-19 in the 1600.
The 4x800 team of Caroline Gage, Cara Vandemeulebroecke, Lexi Ensor and Reagan Clark placed eighth. Claire Kintzley finished 10th in high jump, clearing 5 feet. Rebecca Praley finished ninth in shot put, throwing 31 feet, 9.075 inches. Sarah Adams competed in the 55-meter hurdle preliminaries. The Severna Park girls finished 23rd in the team standings.
For the Broadneck boys, Calvin Mohler and Joe Simpson were the Bruins’ top individual performers. Mohler claimed third place in pole vault by clearing 11 feet, 6 inches. Simpson was third in shot put, throwing 53 feet, 4 inches. Spencer Tate placed eighth in the 3200. Reilly Joyce was 10th in the 500. Grayson Miller was ninth in pole vault, clearing 10 feet, 6 inches. The 4x400 relay team of Aidan Rand, Luke Stout, Zephyr Crestwell and Joyce placed sixth. Stout, Rand, Henry Taylor and Jack Collier teamed to place eighth in the 4x800 relay. The Broadneck boys finished 12th out of 31 teams.
For the Broadneck girls, Anna Janke was runner-up in the 1600 in 5:07.34, and teammate Grace Denius placed fifth. Jordan Rawlings placed fourth in pole vault, clearing 8 feet, 2 inches. Janke placed seventh in the 3200, and Madison Palmer finished 13th. Denius was 11th in the 800. Molly Wilson and Nadia Javid finished 11-12 in the 300. Grace Gibbs was 11th in the 500.
Javid, Gibbs, Wilson and Jasmine Jones teamed to finish ninth in the 4x400. Addison Booberg, Zoe Barbour, Lela Clark and Lilah Sage finished 11th in the 4x800. The Broadneck girls finished ninth out of 28 teams.