The Westminster Owls continued their county dominance in xTC track and field as the boys came away with their 12th straight Carroll County championship and the girls claimed their fifth straight title yesterday afternoon at Western Maryland College.
Depth was the riding factor in both races as the Owls overwhelmed the rest of the county with a number of second- and third-place finishes to go along with their accustomed firsts.
The boys won by a 158-90 margin over runner-up Francis Scott Key. South Carroll was third with 74 points, followed by Liberty with 43 and North Carroll with 5.
The Owls' depth was more evident in the girls race as second-place Key won eight events to Westminster's seven, but the Owls still came away with an easy 144-78 victory. South Carroll took third with 63 points; North Carroll was fourth with 44 and Liberty finished fifth with 26.
"Depth has always been a big part of our program and hopefully it always will," said Westminster coach Bill Hill.
"We're always try to cross train some individuals with three people per event. It's been working for us for years and was the difference today."
Senior Kenya Warfield led the way for the Westminster girls with wins in the high jump and 100-meter hurdles, along with a third in the 300 hurdles and a strong anchor in the Owls' win in the 1,600 relay. Her mark of 5 feet 6 in the high jump broke a 18-year county record owned by Westminster grad Becky Martin.
Fellow senior Jessy Farinholt had wins in the shot put and discus; freshman Becky Fischer claimed the 200 and finished second in the 100; and Holly Stewart took first in the triple jump and second in the long jump.
Ali Jones captured the 400 and 800 races to lead Key, which also won three of the four relays.
"We thought there would be a challenge in the girls race," Hill said.
"Key definitely had the athletes to give us a go, but the Westminster girls stepped up to the challenge well."
Denine Henderson won the long jump for South Carroll.
North Carroll senior Ashlee Douglas led the Panthers' effort with a win in the 300 hurdles.
On the boys side, Westminster got two wins each from Matt Knights (triple and long jumps) and Steve Kahler (800 and 1,600). Knights' effort in the triple (46-1) set a county mark.
Hill was equally impressed with the work of Dion Stanton and Gunter Kroe. Stanton took seconds in the 800 and 1,600. Kroe filled in for the injured Wade Shank and came away with a third-place finish in the 200 and played a role in the Owls taking three of the four relay races.
"Those two guys are both unsung heroes," Hill said.
"Gunter did a great job stepping in for Wade today, while Dion Stanton is always there for second."
Key's Scott Kreit enjoyed wins in the 100 and 200. Jim Woods took the high jump and Haven Barnes won the 400 for South Carroll. Liberty's Ted Sanders captured the 110 hurdles and finished second in the 300 hurdles behind Westminster's Jay Merker.
"It was just a great team effort. Every kid had his or her role and got the job done," said Hill.
Other Key winners were Jay Heinemann (shot put), Josh Crone (pole vault) and Kristian Hochberg (discus).
Westminster also got a first from Chris Zendgraft in the 3,200.