Maryland State Track Championships: Gruver Vaults Franklin to 3A Win


Milford Mill Academy girls indoor track team lost the Maryland State Track Championships a year ago by one-half point to Huntingtown, 67.5 to 67. This year, they once again took home the second-place finalist award, as the Franklin High School Indians from Reisterstown captured the victory, 48 to 46.

A total of 18 of the 48 points were captured by Senior Olivia Gruver in the pole vault (1st) and high jump (2nd). Also grabbing 18 points was freshman Nyjari McNeil who won the 500, while taking second in the 800. Junior Amanda Murphy won the shot by close to two feet, throwing it 39-05.25.

But the final two points for victory came in the 1600-meter relay. With a 10-point lead and Milford Mill being the favorite and defending champion in the event, all Franklin needed to do was score something. The Indian girls managed a seventh place finish and two points, while indeed the Milford Mill Academy girls won the race.

But the true high point for the girls belonged to University of Kentucky-bound Olivia Gruver, one of the top vaulters in the country and winner of the Penn Relays in 2014. At the state meet last year, Jackie McNulty of Oakdale in Division 2A set a new all-time record, only to have it broken by Gruver the next day. This year, McNulty did it again last week, posting a vault of 13-3.  And again, Gruver proved that “anything you can do, I can do better” by adding an additional inch in 13-4.

Without doubt, Nyjari McNeil is a rising star in Maryland Track and Field. A veteran of years of high-level club completion, she took home her first state title by winning the 500-meter run in 1:15.29.  She later took second in the 800 in 2:20.37 – not bad for a ninth-grader.

Whereas Franklin got the bulk of their points from three girls, Milford Mill used a more diverse lineup to score with a number of placement finishes. Their sole gold medal was the 4×400. They did manage a silver medal in the 4×200, along with Aliya Sharp taking silver in the 300-meter dash.

Emily Mulhern of Urbana continued her great distance running career by winning both the 1600 and 3200 in 5:02 and 11:13.  She had won the 3200 in 2014 with a record-crushing performance of 10:59.

Here are the 2015 State Champions …

55 Meters – Kiara Parker, Westlake – 7.06

300 Meters – Kiara Parker, Westlake – 39.89

500 Meters – Nyjari McNeil, Franklin – 1:15.29

800 Meters – Jenifer Bleakney, Atholton – 2:18.9

1600 Meters – Emily Mulhern, Urbana – 5:02.06

3200 Meters – Emily Mulhern, Urbana – 11:13.16

55 Hurdles – Sydney Williams, Henry E. Lackey – 8.34

800 Relay – Westlake – 1:45.81

1600 Relay – Franklin – 4:01.43

3200 Relay – Seneca Valley – 9:48.67

High Jump – Caitlin Bowman, Northern of Calvert – 5-02

Long Jump – Olivia Gruver, Franklin – 13-04

Shot – Amanda Murphy, Franklin – 39-05.25

Team Scores

  1. Franklin, 48; Milford Mill, 46;  3. Urbana, 41.5;  4. Westlake, 30;  5. Seneca Valley and Gov. Thomas Johnson, 28

Next: Milford Mill Academy Wins Boys 3A Track Title