We are the Champions, 2017 in Harford sports

Winter, spring or fall, it didn't matter what season, as Harford County's high school athletes excelled once again in 2017.

The public schools produced team and individual state champions throughout the year, with a multitude of eye-popping performances. Here's a look back at some of them.

Winter

Patterson Mill's girls basketball team won its third Class 1A state title in four years. Led by senior Chyna Latimer, the Huskies (26-1) cruised in the title game, beating the Southern Garrett Rams, 59-43, in the SECU Arena at Towson University. The previous two titles were won in the 2A classification.

No other Harford County girls basketball team has won more than two state championships. All of Patterson Mill's titles came under coach Holly Ismail, who stepped down following the season to take an assistant coaching position at Harford Community College.

In swimming, Harford Tech's Tucker Young brought home the gold from the state championship meet in the 1A-2A-3A 50-yard freestyle.

On the wrestling mats, it was another year of perfection for Bel Air's Brent Loren, who took the 3A-4A state championship at 113 pounds, as a sophomore. That made it two straight state titles and two undefeated seasons for Lorin, who has also won his first matches of the new 2017-18 season.

Spring

Bel Air's girls lacrosse team won its first state championship, beating Severna Park, 10-9, for the Class 3A-4A title at Stevenson University in May.

Coach Kristen Barry's Bobcats got five goals from Julia Henry and four from Elizabeth Hillman in the title game. Henry scored the game winner with seconds left.

C. Milton Wright's softball team brought the 3A state title back to Harford County, beating Huntingtown, 6-1, at the University of Maryland College Park.

Mustang third baseman Michelle Cisco socked a three-run homer in the sixth inning to seal the victory for coach Russell Kovach's Mustangs. It was the final game at the helm for Kovach, who moved on to a position in Wicomico County.

Harford County athletes brought home several medals from the state track and field championship meet at Morgan State University.

Patterson Mill's Kate Eckart won the 1A title in the 800 meter run, while teammate Chyna Latimer took gold in the triple jump.

The Huskies girls also won the 4x400 relay (Eckart, Latimer, Ashley Betz and Marissa Lapinsky) and the 4x800 relay (Betz, Eckart, Lapinsky and Jessica Bujak).

C. Milton Wright's Christina Riggins won the 3A high jump title, and Harford Tech's Beyonce Kelly won the 2A high jump title.

Bel Air's Kieran McDermott won the 4A title in the boys 1,600 meters.

Fall

C. Milton Wright came into the 3A state title game against Great Mills at Loyola University looking for the Mustangs first championship.

The contest ended in a 2-2 draw through overtime. In the five-round shootout that followed, CMW goalie Ryan Miller made a crucial save, and Jack Spurlock converted his penalty kick in the final round, giving coach Brian Tully's team the title on penalty kicks, 5-4.

Harford runners were dominant at the state cross country meet at Hereford High School in November, taking three of the eight championships.

C. Milton Wright sophomore Haley Cummins won the girls 3A title race for the second year, Patterson Mill's Ashley Betz won the 1A race and Bel Air's Kieran McDermott crossed the finish first in the boys 3A final.

Though there were no state titles, both Harford Tech and Havre de Grace had noteworthy seasons in football.

Coach Tim Palmer's Cobras rolled to the school's first perfect regular season in history and then won the school's first region title, before falling at home to Gwynn Park in the state 2A semifinal game.

Havre de Grace posted a 9-1 regular season and then captured its third straight region championship. Though the Warriors next dropped the 1A state semifinal to eventual champion Dunbar of Baltimore, coach Brian Eberhardt's team had another consistently good season to follow its state finals appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Other milestones

Aberdeen High School graduate Brionna Jones capped off her stellar four-year career with the University of Maryland women's basketball team by being named first team All-American. She finished sixth all time in scoring and third all time in rebounding for the Lady Terps. Jones was drafted eighth overall by the WNBA's Connecticut Sun. Her younger sister, Stephanie, who also played for AHS, is in her second season with the Maryland women's team.

Harford Community College's baseball team finished with a 51-10-1 record, best among Maryland junior colleges. The Fighting Owls won the NJCAA Region 20 championship before falling in the district tournament.

Keith Rawlings stepped down as football coach at John Carroll School after four years that included an unbeaten season and MIAA B Conference title in 2015. He was replaced by former North Harford High coach Ken Brinkman.

Rawlings's son Kurt, a 2016 John Carroll graduate, became Yale University's starting quarterback this season and helped lead the Bulldogs to their first outright Ivy League championship in decades.

The Aberdeen IronBirds were in the playoff hunt until the final week of the New York-Penn League season. The IronBirds finished with a 41-34 record, quite an improvement from the previous season.

Harford Community College's women's soccer team made it all the way to the NJCAA Division 1 national tournament before losing in the second round. The Fighting Owls finished the season 19-2, which included a perfect conference record and region and district championships.

John Carroll senior basketball player Emmanuel Quickley signed a letter of intent to play for national power Kentucky.

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