Brothers Brandy and Kyle Walker of Oakland Mills High School say they've been competing with each other since they were old enough to run.
First it was baseball, then basketball, with pieces of almost every competitive sport thrown into the mix. But when the two $H discovered track and field, they knew they had found their true calling.
Yesterday, at the Class 1A-2A Central Region Indoor Track Championships at the 5th Regiment Armory, they showed just how much all those years of competition have paid off.
Led by Kyle, a sophomore, the brothers finished second and third in the 55 -- -- combining with teammate Damon Ferguson to give the team a clean sweep in the event -- while Kyle added a win in the high hurdles to help the defending state champion Scorpions capture the overall team title.
Oakland Mills won the meet with 105 points, followed by South River (96), Atholton (71), Milford Mill (37) and Catonsville (36).
Other top finishers from the county were Glenelg (sixth), Hammond (eighth) and Wilde Lake (tied for ninth).
Team placements, however, don't mean much in a format where the top four finishers in each individual events qualify for the state Class 1A-2A championships to take place at the Armory on Friday.
Both Walkers will be there, helping to set the pace for Oakland Mills' powerful sprint team.
Up until two summers ago, however, that scenario would have seemed outlandish.
Kyle said that he wasn't especially interested in running, choosing instead to root on older brother Brandy.
"I didn't want to run," said Kyle, 15. "I went to meets to watch him. He kept on telling me I should try it."
Kyle soon gave in, finally believing his brother's predictions that he could be a star in the hurdles.
Now Kyle consistently is beating his brother. Brandy, a senior, says he's thrilled for Kyle's success, though it's not always easy to swallow.
"It's kind of hard seeing your brother's name in the paper all the time," said Brandy, 18. "Right now, I'm just trying to catch him in the 55. I know that if he beats me I'll never hear the end of it."
Other Howard County winners were Atholton pole vaulter Omar El Sawi, Oakland Mills' Xavier Brisco (500) and the Oakland Mills 3,200 relay team.
On the girls' side, Catonsville won the meet with 81 points, followed by Hammond (70.5), Glenelg (65), South River (49) and Towson (40). Oakland Mills took sixth, Atholton ninth and Wilde Lake 11th.
Hammond got the bulk of its points for star sprinter Kisha Jett, who scored victories in the 55 --, 300 and high hurdles.
Other winners were Alicia Adams of Glenelg (3,200), her teammates, Mary Rose Rankin (high jump) and Marguerite Rupsis (800) and Hammond's 800 relay team.