Howard County put on a commanding display at the 2A South, 3A East and 4A North regional meets over the weekend. In repeat fashion from the county championship, the Howard girls and Wilde Lake boys took home team titles once again.
In 4A competition, the Lady Lions collected 112 points to beat out James Hubert Blake (102) and Sherwood (88) to round out the top three finishers. Taylor Scaife (shot put, 37-04.50 and discus, 105-08) and Sydney Biniak (high jump, 5-02.00) were the team's only individual winners.
Against the majority of their county opponents, the Wildecats (106) once again edged powerhouse Long Reach (101.50) for first-place honors for the boys.
Also in 3A, the Reservoir girls rebounded from a disappointing showing at the county championship to take home the top team spot with 85 points, followed by Atholton (79) and Wilde Lake (78).
“The biggest change was that we had some girls step up,” said Gators coach Phil Rogers, who, along with coach Jud Lincoln, saw a big improvement in the way the girls improved on the larger stage. “We made some mistakes at counties. Some of the emotions there got the best of us.
“The girls were super motivated to work on handoffs and technique. The distance girls worried about proper run pace. It was definitely a refocusing.”
The Lady Gators didn't field any winners in the meet, but a surplus of girls who placed helped build the team's lead overall. Kelsey Ponton finished sixth in the 800-meter run (2:30.58) and third in the 1,600 (5:29.68). Atholton's Jen Bleakney won both races (2:18.02 and 5:12.32).
Ponton also finished fourth in the 3,200 (11:52.86). Glenelg's Julia Nardone finished first in the event (11:23.74).
The Reservoir girls' 4x200 team finished second overall, and first among county competition. Gator pole-vaulter Katie Cruz (8-04.00) finished second to River Hill's Sophie Caplan (10-02.00). Cora Johnson finished second in shot put (33-02.00).
Wilde Lake's Jamila Brown was a winner in the 100 (12.40) and 200 (25.00). Long Reach's Taylor Selber swept the 100- and 300-meter hurdle races (14.93 and (45.77). Atholton's 4x800-meter relay team finished first as well (9:54.28).
In the field, Atholton's Briana Taborn won the shot put (36-10.75) and discus (125-03). Mt. Hebron's Kimara Walker won the long jump (16-03.25).
The Wilde Lake boys team's first-place performance in back-to-back postseason meets has athletes like Khari Jackson, who won the high jump (6-00.00), finished third in the long jump (21-07.50) and fourth in the triple jump (43-07.00), ready for the next step.
“I wouldn't say it's out of the blue, but we weren't expecting counties and regionals,” Jackson said. “We're really excited. This is the first time we've been on that banner in the gym. In high school, that's a big deal. Now that we have both, we're really motivated.”
David Eisenhauer took home first-place honors in the 3,200 (9:33.91), second in the 1,600 (4:26.50) and fourth in the 800 (2:00.73) for the Wildecats. Jas Chung-Campbell finished third in the 400 (51.83).
Also powering the winning team was Samuel Enomanna, who finished fifth in the 110-meter hurdles (15.23) and third in the 300-meter hurdles (39.82). Long Reach's Robert Carter won both events (14.20, 38.29).
Devon Groves finished second behind Jackson in the high jump (5-10.00), and fifth in the long jump (20-06.00) and triple jump (43-05.00). Gavin Watson finished third in the pole vault (10-11.00).
The Wildecats' 4x100 team finished fifth, the 4x400 team finished third and the 4x800 team finished fourth.
Long Reach's Tosin Oyewole won both the 100 (10.71) and the 200 (21.76). The Lightning also nabbed wins in the 4x100 and 4x200. Chris Heydrick won the 800 (1:58.17) and 1,600 (4:24.88) for River Hill. Mt. Hebron won the 4x400, and River Hill won the 4x800.
Reservoir's Folarin Onifade won the shot put (48-00) and discus (138-05).
Dillon Carrington won the 400 (50.25) for Atholton, and Glenelg's Calvin Pitney won the pole vault (12-05.00).
The Howard boys team finished third overall behind Paint Branch (170) and Dulaney (119). Justin Marsh won the 200 (22.19) and 400 (49.20) for the Lions, who also collected wins from the 4x100 and 4x400 teams.
The Oakland Mills boys team was the highest-placing squad from Howard County in the 2A South regional, finishing second (79) behind Frederick Douglass (191.50). The Scorpions' 4x800 team was the county's lone winner in 2A.
The Marriotts Ridge girls finished third (66) behind Largo (158) and Douglass (91).
The Maryland State Championships run May 22-24 at Morgan State University.