Howard senior Nimrit Ahuja crowns her career with second straight win for Howard County Times Girls’ Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year
Howard’s Nimrit Ahuja was superstitious. Early in her high school career, when she was starting out in running, Ahuja ate the same breakfast before every race, wore the same hair, wore the same wristband.
However, the more experience she gained, the more Ahuja realized that the real key to success lay in maintaining consistency in her preparation.
Extensive training and repetition fueled her dominant senior season in which she won state, regional and county championships in the 800 and 1,600 meters and 4×800 relay. She also finished first in the 4×400 relay at regionals and counties and third in the states.
She played a key role in the Lions winning the Howard County Championship, the Class 3A East Regional Championship and the 3A State Championship. Ahuja, who will run collegiately at Brown University, is the 2022 Howard County Times/Columbia Flier Girls’ Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
This is the second consecutive season that she has won this honor. This is also his fourth straight season to win the award, also receiving the honor in the cross country and indoor track and field seasons this school year.
“I always tell athletes to think back to successful practices and races, replaying those in your mind, what can we emulate to start over when it’s a future race coming up?” Howard’s trainer Zachary Dickerson said. “I think Nimrit took that to heart and I think she really trusted herself more in her four years.
“She’s obviously in great physical shape, but I think what sets her apart from other top athletes in the state is how strong she is mentally. You don’t see that by looking at her. is an unassuming, normal-looking girl, but she’s tough as nails and I wouldn’t want to be near her with 400 meters to go in a race because she’s probably going to win that.
After clearing five minutes per mile for the first time in the United States last season, she has done so twice more this year. She ran 4 minutes, 59.68 seconds at regionals and 4:59:92 at states. She was the only girl to break five minutes at the state championships.
“It’s exciting,” Ahuja said. “I did it for the first time in the United States last year. So to be able to do it in one place is always a special place for me and I know everyone there is super talented. It just reaffirmed just how big of a difference seconds and milliseconds really can make.
This year’s playoffs came with its own unique set of challenges. At regionals, Ahuja competed in the scorching heat of Reservoir and was not slowed down. State championships are normally split into two days of competition, but were consolidated into one day due to weather. However, Dickerson kept Ahuja in all four events, knowing she could rise to the challenge with her extensive training and preparation.
“Knowing what to eat between races can be tricky,” Ahuja said. “Sometimes I have 30 minutes between races. If I just ran the mile and I have the 800 to come, I don’t know if I should eat a real solid meal or just a granola bar. I don’t want to I don’t want to eat too much and have a full stomach, but I also don’t want to eat too little and have no energy.I relied heavily on drinks with electrolytes.
By effectively striking that delicate balance, Ahuja’s performance in the States helped ensure that the Lions would not fall short of the States. After losing by two points in the indoor national finals, the Lions finished with 104 points, doubling second-placed Linganore’s tally.
“Finding out that I ran the best time in the 800m with my teammate Hannah [Schwab] it was really exciting,” Ahuja said. “We were just hugging each other. From the last race, the 4×400, we knew that we already had the national title as a team. It was really exciting to race the 4×400 with no pressure knowing it was my last race and putting my heart into it.
Jamie Adams, Reservoir, senior
The senior excelled on the biggest stage in the United States with a pair of individual golds in the 100 and 200, also taking place in the 4×100 relay and second in the 4×200 relay. She won the 400m but finished fifth in the 200m at the Howard County Championships.
Janasia Buckner, River Hill, senior
Janasia won a bronze medal in the 100 in the United States, finishing in 12.1 seconds. She also won silver and bronze medals in her home country as a member of the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams. The senior also secured third place in the 100m at the regional and county championships.
Larasia Buckner, River Hill, Jr.
Larasia was third in the 100 hurdles in the United States, finishing in 15.59 seconds, and was a member of the silver and bronze medal-winning 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams. She broke her previous personal best of 15.81 seconds, which she set when she finished second at regionals.
Alicia Hall, Oakland Mills, Freshman
In the United States, Hall finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 34-10½. She finished fourth and fifth in the high jump and long jump, respectively. She won second place in all three regional events, including a personal best in the long jump (16-3.½) and triple jump (35-8).
Elizabeth Holcombe, Howard, senior
Holcombe won the 3,200 m at county, regional and state championships, improving his time in each competition. Finishing in 11:34.9 on May 10, Holcombe ran nearly 30 seconds faster in the United States, finishing in 11:06.98.
Camryn Jones-Howard, Wilde Lake, sophomore
Jones-Howard won a US bronze in the high jump with a score of 5-2 and a silver in the triple jump with a score of 36-6¾. Jones-Howard also competed on the 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams, which placed in the top seven.
Arayana Ladson, Mount Hebron, second year
Ladson won two state championships, winning the 100 hurdles and the long jump. Ladson won the 100 hurdles in 14.67 seconds and the long jump with an 18-3¾ jump. She also won regional titles in both events.
Aliya Murray, Oakland Mills, Jr.
Murray finished in the top 10 of the 100, 200 and 400 in the United States. Her best results came in the 100 and 200 where she finished fourth in each. At the county championships, she finished fourth in the 100 and third in the 200 and 400.
Frankie Moore, Oakland Mills, sophomore
Moore won a state gold medal in the 1600m, finishing in 5:14:72. She also took first place in the event at Regionals and third place at County Championships. The second was fourth in the 800 in the United States.
Liv Ragonese, centenarian, senior
Ragonese won first place in the shot put at the County, 3A East Regional and State Championships. She also earned a state silver medal in discus after winning the event at county and regional championships, with a personal best 112 feet at regionals.
Ruth Smith, Howard, junior
Smith won first place in the high jump at the Howard County, 3A East Regional and State Championships. She finished 5-4 in all three competitions.
Shanise Staats, Wilde Lake, junior
Staats finished fourth in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles in the States. Prior to the States, Staats finished first in the 300 hurdles and second in the 100 hurdles at regionals with a personal best 12.33.
Chloe Williams, Hammond, Jr.
Williams was third in the United States in the 200m, finishing with a personal best 25.74 seconds. She also placed fifth in the 100. At the Class 2A West Regional, she finished third in the 100 and 200.
Bailey Allmon, Glenelg, senior
Oba Aofolaju, Oakland Mills, Jr.
Valerie Ashamu, Oakland Mills, second year
Sophie Davidson, Reservoir, Senior
Kani’a Dozier, Reservoir, junior
Bianca Durant, Howard, Freshman
Annabelle Gannon, Glenelg, second year
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Michaela Greene, Howard, senior
Riley Herdson, centenarian, freshman
Arianna Marshall, Oakland Mills, senior
Kiara Murray, Howard, senior
Ciara Amon-Nicholls, Long Reach, second year
Araoluwa Omitowoju, River Hill, senior
Hannah Schwab, Howard, senior