For the athletes, yesterday's Anne Arundel County Relays were an opportunity to compete without any pressure and, most importantly, have fun.
For the coaches, yesterday's meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory was one last chance to observe their athletes before the start of next week's regionals.
From the smiles on the faces of those wearing medals and optimistic tone of most of the coaches, the meet appeared to have satisfied both parties.
"This is a meet where you can try out some people in some events where you may want to stick them in the regionals," said Annapolis coach Brian Funk. "Overall, you just want the kids to have fun and keep the positive energy going."
Members of Annapolis' girls team, which owns most of the county relay records, broke one of their own meet marks in winning the girls distance medley (800, 400, 1,200, 1,600) in 13 minutes, 7.9 seconds.
Becky Morris, Torrey Hunter, Alison Ross and Misha Bilyeu trimmed two-tenths of a second off a record the Panthers set last season.
Ross, Morris, Bilyeu and Carolyn Nichols joined forces to win the girls 1,600 relay.
Old Mill captured the gold in the boys shuttle-hurdle relay as Isaac Beard, Shawn Marshall, Paul Jackson and Brian Graddy won in 32.8 seconds.
North County's sophomore sprinting corps of Jessica Pratt, Sarah Zaruba, Cuddles Spence and Nayvette Fowlkes combined to win both the girls 800 relay and the sprint medley relay.
The foursome won the 800 relay in 1:54.3 and the sprint medley relay (400, 200, 200, 800) in 4:40.0.
Tyrone Powers, Danny Zavorka, Kiki Ellis and Toney Fowlkes teamed up to win the boys 800 relay and the sprint medley relay for the Knights.
Sophomore Gretchen Oaksmith, who is leaving Broadneck's girls team after the regionals because of her father's military transfer to Korea, combined with Amanda Schmidt, Melissa Bragg and Sarah Holt to win the girls descendo, an event that includes legs of 800, 600, 400 and 200 meters.