The Hereford girls’ team set an all-time Baltimore County meet record scoring points and won its 11th straight county indoor track championship at the Fifth Regiment Armory on Tuesday night.
The Bulls finished with 142 team points, breaking the previous record of 137.5 and easily outdistancing second-place Franklin (89).
“We scored in 11 out of 13 events today. That’s pretty impressive,” Hereford coach Brad Duvall said.
Hereford got two individual wins from Kelly Wesolowski in the 1,600-meter run (5:25.20) and the 3,200 (11:18.46) and two from Alex Butz in high jump (5-feet, 4 inches) and pole vault (10-6).
The 3,200 relay team of Kylie Nause, Hannah Ace, Hannah Weeren and Jen Barranco set a county meet record (10:02.1) and the 1,600-meter relay team of Kara Schmidt, Nause, Katie Blair and Tori White also won.
It wasn’t just the individual victories that helped Hereford’s record-setting performance.
They scored 16 points in the 500 thanks to Schmidt (second), White (third) and Blair (fifth).
In the 800 they scored 14 with Barranco (second), Emily Konkus (fourth) and Weeren (fifth) doing the damage.
Behind Wesolowski in the 1,600 were teammates Konkus (second, 5:28.20) and Lily Robertson (fourth, 5:29.20).
Robertson (second, 11:59.65) and Kelly Shearer (sixth, 12:32.23) followed Wesolowski in the 3,200.
“We were trying to get 1-2-3 for all our Hereford girls [in the 3,200],” Wesolowski said. “For me, I kind of ran pretty calmly. I definitely think I could have gone under 11, but there was no reason to.”
Although heavily favored, based on seeding times in both the 1,600 and 3,200, Wesolowski still admitted the Bulls faced some pressure being the target for opposing teams.
“I feel like there is pressure because we don’t want to be the ones to discontinue the streak,” Wesolowski said. “Going in, we were pretty confident as long as we were having a good day.”
Hannah O’Brien scored in the 300 (sixth, 45:18) and Julia Watt (fourth, 9:51) and Caroline Peterson (fifth, 9.81) scored in the 55 hurdles.
Hereford’s 800 relay team of Watt, Erin Williams, White and O’Brien was second (1:54.88).
Kendall Sperber and Bess Tiller tied for third in pole vault (8-6).
The only events the Bulls didn’t score in were the 55 dash and shot put.
“It went better than planned,” Duvall said. “The key for us is to not wear anybody out and to use our depth to our advantage.”
With talent to go with depth, Duvall was able to keep his distance runners fresh.
“Nobody is doing more than two or three events,” Duvall said. “Everyone is staying fresh out there.”
Wesolowski used the meet as another training run as she prepares for the indoor state championships and the outdoor season.
“She doesn’t even look like she is trying,” Duvall said. “She is trying. She is working hard, but she just has a cardiovascular strength that is just unparalleled.”
Her goal was simply to win both of her races and not worry about time.
Meanwhile, Duvall has other ideas for her teammates.
“Every kid on my team kind of knows what their expectation is and where they fit in and they don’t have to be a superstar,” Duvall said. “They all have a certain goal in mind and that goal is usually pre-determined because I think we can use that to win.”
That philosophy has worked for the past 11 years in the county meet.
Dulaney boys win again
The Dulaney boys team’s margin of victory was even greater than the Hereford girls as the Lions produced 123 points, easily surpassing second-place Hereford and New Town (tied with 36), while winning their third county title in the past four years.
“Our guys are just super well-rounded,” Dulaney coach Chad Boyle said.
It was the second straight year the Lions won in a landslide.
Last year, Milford Mill was 98 points behind them when Dulaney won with 148 points.
Individually, Nico Yarbough was the top Lion. He won the high jump (6-feet) and 55 hurdles and he was on the second-place 800-meter relay team with Contrell Goode, Xavier Engleton and James Green.
Yarbough recently broke the Dulaney school record in the high jump by ¼ inch when he leaped 6-feet, 4 inches.
While competing in the high jump he was interrupted when he had to go run in the finals of the 55 hurdles, but he didn’t mind.
“It’s not that hard. We don’t think about it that much because you have time to take a breath,” Yarbough said.
He felt confident once he cleared the first hurdle.
“I got a lot of speed from kicking over the first one and once I’m on the ground, the faster I go,” Yarbough said.
Boyle said one of the keys to 800 relay team’s success was the handoff.
“That’s the best handoffs we’ve had a long as I can remember,” Boyle said. “They really work hard at it so that’s a credit to them. They have chemistry.”
“We are a nice team, close friends and stuff,” Yarbough said. “We are new this year so we have some improvements we could make, but we are doing pretty good, a lot better than we expected to do.”
The 1,600 relay team, that included Nick Owens, Goode, Ozbolt and Green won in 3:41.57 and the 3,200 relay team of Ozbolt, Nick Owens, Brendan O’Brien and Matt Owens won in 9:08.20.
O’Brien’s second-place run in the 3,200 (10:23.96) impressed his coach.
“That’s a real good sign for our future,” Boyle said. “It was not a surprise, but it was great to see him make that breakthrough for himself.”
James Green's winning the 500 meters (1:09.87) wasn’t a surprise to Boyle either, but doing it while not running in the fast heat wasn’t easy.
“It’s one thing to say it and it’s another thing to do it,” Boyle said. “We talked about it before the meet. I said, ‘Listen, you are going to really have to run.’ It doesn’t matter how much gap you have are going to have to really run so that’s a credit to him.”
In addition to O’Brien, the Lions piled up the points in the distance races.
In the 1,600, Brian Mccullough (second, 4:45.00), Drew Dailey (third, 4:45.80) and Connor Martin (fourth, 4:47.70) followed race winner Taylor Baranoski (4:39.80), of Eastern Tech, to the finish line.
Baranoski also won the 800 (2:05.91) and the 3,200 (10:22.58).
Dulaney’s Matt Owens was fourth (10:32.57) and Ethan Samels was sixth (10:34.29) in the 3,200.
Mccullough was third (2:06.48) in the 800.
Several Lions also chipped in in the field events.
Engleton was third in the 55 hurdles (8.54) and Brett Sproul (second, 11-feet), Samuel Hodgets (third, 10-6) and Mark Bonner (fifth, 10-0) scored in pole vault.
Moiz Butt was third in shot put (41-00.75).
While the Lions dominated the team standings, Eastern Tech’s Baranoski was the individual standout.
He became the third straight male runner to win the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the county championship meet.
Last year, Dulaney’s Eric Walz won all three. In 2015, Milford Mill’s Jordan Leon pulled off the feat.
“That’s a great feat because there are some good runners in our county,” Boyle said.
Team Standings (top 10)
Hereford 142, Franklin 89, Dulaney 44.5, Western Tech 42, Parkville 20, Towson 10.5, Randallstown 8, Sparrows Point 8, Milford Mill 7, Patapsco 7.
1. Dulaney 123, Hereford 36, New Town 36, Western Tech 30.5, Eastern Tech 30, Owings Mills 29, Franklin 23, Dundalk 22, Pikesville 17, Towson 17