Photo courtesy Craig Amoss
After Maxwell Willis, one of the best high school sprinters in the nation, transferred from Bowie High School to Archbishop Carroll High School (DC) many were left wondering who was going to be next in line to take over the reigns of the rich Maryland high school sprint tradition. No one expected a sprinter who is in his second year of ever running track to be the one capturing the nation’s attention.
“There was so much negativity once Maxwell left, everyone was saying that Maryland track was dead after him and Tony (Antonio Coleman, class of 2015) left.” Tajh said. “However, my only focus is staying dedicated and sticking to my goals.”
Tajh Gilchrist, of Bowie High School (MD), came into the season not really knowing how to run individual events. He recently started his running career last year, in his junior year of high school, to improve his speed for his upcoming football season.
“I came into the season not really knowing how to run individual events because all last year indoor I only ran relays until outdoor where I started running individual events, so this indoor season was my first time actually running a 55.” Tajh Gilchrist said. “The reason why I ran track was to get faster for football, and once I started running track I decided not to go back to football.”
That season, Tajh Gilchrist was a part of a relay team, along with Maxwell Willis, Antonio Brown, and Jonathan George that was a force to be reckoned with. According to Tajh, their relay team had not lost a meet until the New Balance Indoor National Championship.
After his life changing indoor season last year, Tajh realized that “track is life.” “Track is my key to success it will get me to where I want to be such as college and everything else, it means everything to me.” He said.
The following season in outdoor, Gilchrist wasn’t able to run 100-meter dashes. However, he was able to lower his personal record (PR) in the 200-meter dash from 23.22 all the way down to 21.82. He credits his time drops to his coaches and his ability to learn quickly.
“I learn quickly. My coach can teach (me) and tell me this is wrong and I immediately fix it. My coach is the best, today I had practice and we was doing blocks and my left arm wasn’t going up high enough, so she told me to throw it (my arm) above my head and once I did that, she was able to tell the difference quicker.”
Coming into this indoor season, Gilchrist just wanted to showcase his drive to the world; he wants everyone to know how hungry he is, how hard he has worked, and that he is striving for to be one of the best sprinters in the nation.
“Coming into indoor I knew that I had an advantage because I was doing preseason conditioning work and blocks with my coach to make sure I was ahead of everyone. It has been constant running, I don’t think I have stopped since I started,” Gilchrist said. “Whenever I go to Mile Split I look at the rankings and I say to myself, ‘I want to be there’ so I want to work my way up (to the top),” Gilchrist said.
His main goals this season was to win counties, regionals, and states. So far, Tahj has delivered; he is a county, regional and state champion in the 55-meter dash. He has also won counties in the 300-meter dash.
His personal best as of right now in the 55, 300, and 500 meter dash is a followed: 6.35, 34.98 1.06.97. New Balance Indoor Nationals will be taking place this year from March 11th through March 13th; he hopes to win nationals in the 60-meter dash and come in top three in the 200-meter dash as well.
As of right now, not many schools have reached out to Tajh Gilchrist but he hasn’t been deterred and knows that it is just a matter of time. He is currently holds the fastest and 9th fastest 55 meter dash time (6.35) in the state and nation.
“Not many schools have reached, hopefully once outdoor comes I will display some good times so that I can have more coaches looking at me.” Gilchrist said.
Tajh Gilchrist plans to fully delve into his recruiting situation this summer; he hopes to run for Texas Tech University, the University of Tennessee, or the University of Maryland. But as of right now, Tajh has his eyes set on working hard to improve every day and hopefully someday becoming the best sprinter to come out of Maryland.
Video courtesy of Tajh Gilchrist
Latest posts by Sununu Bah (see all)
- Electric second quarter lets Maryland rest starters in win over Towson - December 6, 2016
- Confroy helps Maryland scorch UMBC in return home - December 4, 2016
- Maryland holds off No. 7 Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge - December 2, 2016