Willie Horne of Lansdowne took it easy before yesterday's Baltimore County Track and Field Championships at Catonsville Community College.
The senior got plenty of rest, ate apples and bananas and, most importantly, stayed off his gimpy left leg.
The high jumper's preparation paid off.
Horne cleared a season area-best 6 feet, 4 inches to cap his best all-around performance of the year and give the Vikings their only victory of the day.
"Usually I have the competition on my mind, but today I knew I was going to win," said Horne, who missed clearing 6-6 by the tip of his cleats. "I was feeling really good today."
Horne, the county JV champion as a freshman, said he stayed away from practice since his previous meet, helping a mild injury to his knee to heal.
"He's not the quickest guy in the world, but he's just a good jumper," said Lansdowne coach Ed Walker. "Each year you see a little bit more. I think he's got the potential to clear 6-8."
Though Horne chose not to compete last year in favor of a job, Walker said that a variety of bouncing drills have helped him become one of the premier jumpers in the area.
Woodlawn won the boys meet with 142 points, followed by Perry Hall (90) and Dulaney (65).
The Warriors won every relay race en route to the title.
"That was almost a 'gimme' because of our depth," said Woodlawn coach George Russell. "What surprised me was that we had good scores in the open events."
Woodlawn's Vincent Montoute won the 300 hurdles and took third in the 110 hurdles to teammate Reggie Logan. Al Darby, another Woodlawn runner, was fourth in the 100 -- and fifth in the 200, and teammate Maron Harris won the 400.
Brian Stubbs also contributed, finishing second in a sweep of the 800 and taking runner-up to Harris in the 400.
On the girls side, Woodlawn challenged favorite Dulaney for much of the meet before falling, 133-111. Randallstown took third with 93 points.
For Dulaney coach Bob Dean, coaching his last spring season after 32 years, the Lions' win was gratifying.
"This was a big meet for us," said Dean, who will only coach cross country when he takes over as Dulaney's athletic director in the fall. "I'm going to miss [track] and miss the kids, but that's the way it's got to be. The girls ran hard today, and the girls in the field events really came through."
But it was standout distance runner Amanda White who again carried the load.
Despite straining her leg muscles at a recent swimming practice, White took home first-place medals in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay.
Though her times were somewhat slower than normal, her individual points, along with those of teammates Kristin Friz and Abby Bausman helped the Lions hold off surging Woodlawn.