Manchester Valley junior Kelli Garriott talks about winning the high jump in the Frostbite Invite Friday. (Tom Worgo / Carroll County Times)
Earlier this year, Westminster High junior sprinter Zane Lewis' interest in track seemed to be waning.
Lewis sat out track last spring to concentrate on lifting weights for football.
Even so, Westminster coach Desmond Wars constantly poked and prodded Lewis in the offseason, trying to get him excited about running indoor track this winter.
Consider Friday afternoon his welcome back party.
Lewis won individual championships in both the 55- and 300-meter dashes in the 14th annual Frostbite Invite, a meet that featured four public county schools and some top-notch private schools from the Baltimore area.
"I definitely think he is more engaged in track than he has been in the past I would say," Wars said. "In the past, he had a different mindset toward it. Now, you can tell he wants to see the results and do well. He is one of the few kids to stay after practice to do additional work."
Lewis edged Colby Owens of Owings Mills for both of his first-ever titles and the Owls' effort guided Westminster (55.5 points) to tie Loyola Blakefield for third-place finish behind runner-up Archbishop Curley (68) and Gilman (95).
Charlie Ferguson (third in the 3,200, 10:26.99), Terrence McAllister (third in long jump, 18 feet, 3 inches) and Cade Leek (sixth in pole vault, 9-6) also shined for Westminster.
The Owls' 800 relay team of McAllister, Owen Babylon, Wilson Funk, and Troy Johnson placed third.
Rachel Rogalski (second in long jump, 15-6), Kaileigh Harrison (fourth in 55 dash, 7.73) and Erin McGrath (sixth in 3,200, 12:47.14) led the Westminster girls team.
For South Carroll junior Allison Zolkiewicz, it was business as usual on the track at the Frostbite.
Zolkiewicz, the reigning Class 2A indoor state champion in the 500, won a crown in the same event in 1:19.41 and placed second in the 800 in 2:30.02 to help Cavaliers girls team to a fourth-place finish among 13 teams competing.
"It was her first 500 and 800 of the season," South Carroll coach Bill Gerhold said. "Our goal was for her to run good times to help us with seedings at our championship races and she accomplished both today. She didn't have much time to recover for the 800 between races and she did a great job there."
Grayson Fipps (third in pole vault, 8-0), Sarah Langille (third in triple jump, 32-6), Megan O'Neill (fourth in 800, 2:33.12), Jamie Anderson (fourth in 1,600, 5:38.47), Natalie Hoff (sixth in 55 hurdles, 9.62) and Malayna Fowler (sixth in shot put, 32-6.5) also made their presence felt for the South Carroll girls team.
Jason Cave (fifth in 3,200, 10:55.58) and Nicholas Trey (sixth in long jump, 17-4) were the standouts for the South Carroll boys.
The Frostbite Invite provided a sense of relief for Manchester Valley junior Kelli Garriott.
Garriott said she grew tired of repeatedly finishing close behind winners in the high jump but things changed Friday. She won the event with a leap of 5-2, which beat Maryvale's Sydney King by two inches.
"This was my first time ever winning the high jump," Garriott said. "I was very proud of myself. It's been two years of competing and always taking second or third."
Garriott's teammate, senior Julia Brocato, was the Mavericks' other winner. She took top honors in the long jump, beating Rogalski by a foot.
"She is a dual-sport athlete and she doesn't get to practice much," said Man Valley coach Jim MacDonald, noting Brocato also participates in cheerleading in the winter. "She had one day of practice and won the event. That is really impressive."
Manchester Valley's 1,600 relay team of Lauren Weitzel, Mackenzie Poist, Veronica Schilling, and Lindsay Marks captured third. Weitzel (fourth 300, 3:93) was the other MV girl to score points.
Sean Dodson (second in 500, 1:08.36; third in 300, 36.62), Adam Melville (second in high jump, 6-0) and Jacob Newton (sixth in triple jump, 34-6) paced the Manchester Valley boys.
Emma Taggart (sixth in high jump, 4-10), Sarah Pernell (fourth in triple jump, 31-10) and Summer Burton (fourth in shot put, 34-4.5) led the Francis Scott Key girls while Fru Bayelle (third in triple jump, 38-6) and Jared Holland (third in pole vault, 11-0) led the Eagles' boys.
"We are having success in sprints and field events," FSK coach Juan Cortez said. "It's a young team. We're excited about the work ethic they have and the potential we for the rest of the season."