State Championships Galore: Athletes To Watch This Weekend


* The Tatnall girls celebrate a major win at the Manhattan XC Invitational this fall



It's going to be a Tatnall-centric show this weekend at the Prince George Sport's And Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland. 

The Delaware program is clearly in a league of its own this winter coming off a top 10 finish at Nike Cross Nationals.

Abby Downin will look to grab titles in the 800m and 1,600m, while also featuring in the 4x400m. So far this season, the sophomore has gone 2:13 in half-mile and clocked a 4:57 in the 1,600m. She is the fastest girl in the state by a second in the latter discipline. 

Her teammate Katie Payne is the defending champion in the 1,600m and was the runner-up in the 3,200m last year. The junior will join Downin in the mile relay and she looks to triple individually in the 800m, 1,600m and 3,200m, just like her training partner Ruby Schwelm

After winning the title in 2022, Isabelle Walsh of Middletown looks to add another 800m state title to her resume this weekend. This year, she set a lifetime best of 2:11. This performance puts her at the top of the leaderboard in the state and U.S. No. 5. 

The state's fastest sprinter, Juliana Balon of Padua Academy, will have a busy weekend.

The Miami recruit will toe the line in the 55m, 200m, 400m and the long jump. She enters the meet with the bests of 7.09 and 24.86.

At last year's championships, she ran a personal best of 55.67 in the 400m and leaped to 19-2.25 to claim gold in both events. The University of Miami signee accumulated seven indoor state titles throughout her high school career and we don't think she will stop there. 

Ethan Walther of Salesianum School is off to a quick start on the boys side.

He already set lifetime bests of 1:54 in the 800m and 4:14 in the mile. He holds the No. 1 spot in the state in his 800m and will be in the hunt for his first title in this event. Walther will compete this weekend to defend his 1,600m title. Last year he crossed the finish line in 4:23 to set a new lifetime best. 

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