Track and field is similar to that of horse racing's Triple Crown and if one team sweeps its championship meets, the same question arises every year — can that same team do it again?
Century's boys swept last season's county, regional, and state meets and they repeated the same feat in indoor. The Knights won the county and Class 2A West meet in decisive fashion, and edged Westlake by 2.5 points at states.
They'll be on the hunt for their sixth straight county championship at Manchester Valley on Tuesday.
Century crowned four individual champions in five events at last year's meet. Senior Zachary Fenton, the reigning 1,600 and 3,200 county champ, is back this season. Jalen Stanton, the 2A indoor high jump state champ, currently holds Carroll top performances in the 110-meter hurdles and high jump.
Look for Century, Liberty, and Westminster's relays to perform well on the boys side, South Carroll's on the girls side.
The Cavaliers girls crowned six individual champions in seven events at last year's county meet and won with 163.5 points over runner-up Liberty. They were regional runners-up and fourth at the state meet.
Cavs junior Grace Fipps leads the county with top performances in the 100 dash and the pole vault. Senior Allie Zolkiewicz leads in sprints and mid-distance (200, 400, 800), and Jamie Anderson and Grace Siehler hold top spots in the distance events.
SC sophomore Brooke Flanigan (sprints) and Megan Plummer (field) add depth as well, and should equally contribute in their respective events.
Manchester Valley senior Kelli Garriott has yet to lose at high jump this season and cleared a personal record height of 5 feet, 4 inches April 11 at the Liberty Road Challenge. Garriott said Francis Scott Key's Emma Taggart is her closest competition in the county. The two competed at the Maverick Madness meet at Manchester Valley on Friday — Garriott cleared 5-2 for the win, Taggart jumped 5-0 for third.
Taggart finished third at last year's county meet as well and Garriott took the victory.
"For me, if I jump well at a meet before a big meet, I go in with more confidence knowing I hit it last time and I want to do it again and improve if I can," Garriott said. "Emma Taggart from FSK, she is my closet competition in the county so going in and trying to beat her [Friday] gives me confidence going in Tuesday to hopefully do it again."
The Mavericks, along with Francis Scott Key, have found most of their success in the field events. Adam Melville and Joshua Gerber, like Garriott, are exceptional at high jump. Melville jumped 6-2 at the Maverick Madness meet for a season best height. He won the high jump outdoor county title last season and repeated as the indoor county champion as well.
Liberty senior Zach Stump and South Carroll sophomore Patrick Tunkel had successful indoor seasons in pole vault and should see equal results this spring.
Francis Scott Key senior Fru Bayelle has won every triple jump event he's competed in this season and a PR jump of 46-5 came at the Gator Invitational on April 28. Look for Man Valley junior Evan Bare to perform strongly in discus and shot put, including Key's Summer Burton and Elizabeth Mahoney on the girls side.
"It'll help a lot because a lot of my buddies that I know from other schools are there," Bare said at Friday's Maverick Madness meet. "It will be good to compete against them, so it should be good."
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