Joppatowne's Thori Staples stole the spotlight from a couple of upstart freshmen by setting a county record and winning four gold medals in her final Harford County Track and Field Championships Thursday.
C. Milton Wright won its sixth straight boys championship easily outdistancing Edgewood, 184-118.
Fallston girls only won four but that was good enough to give the Cougars the title, 129-99, over C. Milton Wright.
The only athlete to win four individual events, Staples won the 100-meter hurdles, the 400 and 800 and the long jump. Edgewood's Chris Gibbons won four gold medals in the boys sprints and sprint relays, and Rebecca Lesesne won the same events for the Rams girls.
But Staples, a senior who won the national AAU heptathlon for girls 17-18 last summer, turned in the performance of the meet setting a new county record in the 100 hurdles. She improved on her own mark, winning in 15.36. North Harford's Heather Ledebur was second in 16.85.
While Staples dominated the middle distances, new queens were crowned in the sprints and the distance events. Lesesne made an impressive debut picking up gold in the 100 and 200 --es. She also joined Givan Collins, Crystal Davis and Louise Bradshaw to win the 400 and 800 relays.
Michelle Apland, a Bel Air freshman, is the new distance %J phenom, winning big in both the 1,600 and the 3,200.
For Fallston, Kristen Svehla won the high jump (4 feet, 8 inches) and freshman Laura Snyder won the 300 hurdles (48.08).
The Cougars' other two gold medals came in the distance relays.
Monica Beall, Carrie Leonard, Snyder and Holly King won the 1,600-meter relay in 4:26.8. C. Milton Wright (Kim Savage, Stacy Murnyak, Amanda Fouts and Jen Catlin) was second, followed by Edgewood (Kim McCoy, Erika Pleasant, Collins and Marleza Canizales). In the 3,200, Beall, Amy Havener, Candy Credito and Pam Toth beat Bel Air (Apland, Julia Foster, Kathy Stitz and Kelly Kutchey) and C. Milton Wright (Kris Sprucebank, Stacy Servia, Erin Bralich and Catlin).
John Carroll's Jennifer Dubois set a school record with a winning 95-11 toss in the discus. Edgewood's Sheron Wesson won
the triple jump (33-8) and Bel Air's Sarah Thomas took the shot put (29-2).
C. Milton Wright's boys team dominated the distance events with Greg Stephen and Brian Harris, first and second respectively, in the 1,600, and Harris and Troy Morse, first and second, in the 3,200.
The Mustangs team of Craig Phelps, Scott Davies, Rodney Bralich and Stephen won the 1,600 relay while Bralich, Davies, Harris and Kevin Koffenberger won the 3,200.
C. Milton Wright coach Jim McNicholas expected to dominate the distances, but he didn't expect to get quite so many points in another area. "In the field events, I was shocked at how many points we got. I think that was the difference in the meet," he said.
Gary Sprucebank won the high jump (6) while Ron Paden won the shot put (46-7), Brewer won the long jump (20-7 1/2 ) and Mike Kralek took the pole vault (10-6). The Mustangs also picked up many points for second through sixth in the field events.
The sprints, however, belonged to Edgewood's Gibbons, who has his eye on the school record of 10.5 seconds. He won the 100 in 10.79 over teammate Chuck Reich, a surprising second-place winner. Reich (11.19) beat out Havre de Grace's Kenny Ringgold (11.23) and Marvin Jackson (11.28). C. Milton Wright's Chris Gill (11.46) was fifth.
"I was more worried about Jackson, because I had never seen him run," said Gibbons. "But I like running against these guys. They come out and push me. I was running 11's, and then we ran against C. Milton, Havre de Grace and Aberdeen and I started running 10's."
Gibbons also won the 200 (22.43) over Ringgold (23.01) and Bel Air's Terry Vail (40.62). He combined with Reich, Kenton Worthington and Jermaine Brice to win the 800 relay (1:32.94) over Joppatowne (Mike Taylor, Earl Phillips, Trent Nicholas and Lewis McKisset; 1:36.79) and C. Milton Wright (Brewer, Phelps, Dan Gartrell and Sprucebank; 1:37.00).
Gibbons, Reich, Brice and Lawrence Worthington won the 400 relay (44.74) over Havre de Grace (Jackson, Ringgold, John Hawkins and Mark Grimsley, 45.93); and Bel Air (Bill Gullett, Brant Livezey, Sean Smith and Roy Sampson, 46.42).
Bel Air's Vail won both hurdling events -- the 110 (15.40) and 300 (40.62). Aberdeen's Johnny Trottie won the 400 (53.16).
John Lamancusa, of Edgewood, won the discus (153-2), and teammate Cornelius Carey won the triple jump (43-5).