FORT WASHINGTON — While the other winter sports wrapped up in February, the indoor track and field team still had athletes competing. On March 10, two Germantown Academy athletes made the most of their trip to the New Balance Nationals in New York, earning top finishes in their events.
Caleb Johnson ’19 returned to Nationals to compete in the Emerging Elite Boys Pole Vault. Johnson participated in the same event last year, but said that he did not do as well as he had hoped. In 2018, things were much different. The junior took first place in the EE division with a jump of 15′ 9.25″, almost six inches more than the next closest athlete.
“I’m overall happy with the results,” Johnson said. “Jumping high 15′ 9″ helped solidify the fact that my 16 foot jump at states wasn’t a fluke. I was close to 16′ 4″, which would have been a PR, but I just missed it.”
Not only did his jump earn him the top spot in the country, but it also set the meet record. However, that was never his intention.
“It’s really exciting to know that all of the hard work my coaches and I have put into this has resulted in a record that is recognized nationally,” Johnson said. “I never thought I could hold the meet record for EE at Nationals, it just never occurred to me. I hope it stays for a while considering I won’t be able to beat it next time around.”
While Johnson claimed the top spot in a field event, Kyle Garland ’18 was securing titles on the track.
Garland placed first in the Championship Boys Pentathlon with a total of 4,169 points. The next closest competitor tallied 3,969 points. Garland earned all those points by putting together top performances in the 1000 meter run, 60 meter hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put.
He took fourth in the 1000 meter with a time of 2:54.93, missing out on first by 5.26 seconds. He took second in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 7.74. The senior jumped 6′ 4″ in the high jump and 23′ 2″ in the long jump for second and first place, respectively. In the shot put, Garland registered a 53′ 5.5″ that earned him first.
“My overall performance was really good,” Garland said. “I came into the event not having competed in about 4 weeks and put up some really stellar personal best marks. My body felt really strong and I felt really healthy when competing.”
This trip to nationals was Garland’s last as a high school athlete, but he made it count. By taking first, the senior repeated as champion.
“The feeling of being a two-time National Champion is incredible,” Garland said. “This was my last time competing at New Balance Nationals so I wanted to go out with a bang, and defending my title allowed me to do just that. No other athlete has been able to repeat national champion performances so it makes what I did 10 times sweeter. It still does’t feel real to me all the way, but at the same time its the greatest feeling ever.”