Tiamfook, Reddy lead River Hill to individual, team championships
River Hill’s Jasmine Tiamfook crossed the finish line Wednesday at Centennial thrilled and a little bit relieved. The talented junior had been one of the best runners in Howard County the past two seasons, but injuries — which she also dealt with early this year — had derailed her past performances, especially on this course.
But in her first meet back in nearly a month, Tiamfook grinded out a spectacular race and finished the day with her first Howard County championship.
“Feels honestly the best ever and to finally get it with everything that I’ve been through, especially at this course — when I passed out from dehydration last time, when my quad was just gone, like it just feels good to finally get it,” Tiamfook said, after crossing with a time of 18 minutes, 48.84 seconds. “If I didn’t come into this with a positive mindset, I wouldn’t have come out of it the way that I did and every time I looked it the mirror I told myself that I could do this — and I did it finally.”
Tiamfook was determined on a better outcome than last year’s county meet and her fourth place at the Howard County Invitational at Centennial on Sept. 9.
“She had an up-and-down year a little bit and I think that at HoCo Invite she didn’t have her best race — she would be the first to tell you that — and she was kind of battling through the mental aspect of the sport,” Hawks coach Paul Hugus said. “So to see her come out and win today was a huge thing for her moving forward.”
River Hill senior Owen Dannelly ran with Tiamfook for most of the race and ultimately finished one of her best meets of Jasmine Tiamfook of River Hill wins the girls individual title at the Howard County cross country championships. her career, placing third in 19:05.05.
It was an excellent day to wear the River Hill blue, as the Hawks earned both team titles and placed runners in the top three in both the boys and girls races.
Hawks senior Rahul Reddy also went home with his first county title Wednesday, as he stayed within the top of the pack for most of the race and ended with the only sub-16-minute time of the day.
Reddy — who finished third at the HoCo Invite — led a tight pack that included Howard junior Nick Deamer, Oakland Mills senior Joey Navarro, Mount Hebron senior Jacob Edmondson, Wilde Lake senior Jonathan Sussman and Reservoir junior Kai Muniz after the first mile or so. But Reddy set the pace, staying with those guys until he gradually broke away in the final stretch.
“I would like to think that my pacing was a little bit better this time around,” Reddy said. “I didn’t start as nearly as fast as I should have. I think my first mile at the HoCo Invite was around 5:08, but this time it was around 5:20, so pacing has definitely gotten better over the season and that was the difference between the Invite race and today’s race.”
Behind Reddy, Navarro edged River Hill’s Jake Parker, whonearly sneaked behind him in the final steps toward the finish. Ultimately, Parker took third with a time of 16:11.23, .17 of a second slower than Navarro.
Deamer (16:12.65), Edmondson (16:14.69) and Sussman (16:20.39) finished in the top seven, while the Hawks’ Anish Nanjappa (16: 25.75) and Benjamin Oldhouser (16:28.86) and the Vikings’ Sahil Sardesai (16:31.04) rounded out the top 10.