There's a tendency in indoor track to pooh-pooh the regional championships. It is argued that they are simply a replay of the county championships with minor differences. Sometimes, though
With just two events to go in last night's Region 3A/2A qualifier at the 5th Regiment Armory, the sixth and qualifying team spots for the state championships in two weeks were up for grabs.
Milford Mill held the sixth spot among the boys with 22 points, but Liberty and North Carroll were hovering close behind with 19 and 18 points, respectively. On the girls side, Liberty had 25.5 points in sixth position, but Edmondson was close with 22 points.
As it worked out, the teams in the lead held on to join the field at "states" Feb. 21, but a slip here, a botched baton pass there could have made all the difference.
It's also imperative that teams and individuals turn in their best times and performances in order to be seeded in the top or fastest heats later on.
Randallstown, which finished a distant second to Woodlawn in the Baltimore County championships, had a tough time with Franklin before prevailing, 82-66.5, to lead a pack of 19 boys teams from four counties and the city.
The North Carroll girls, paced by a 24-point splurge as a result of a 1-2-3 finish in the hurdles, defeated Franklin, 87-71, with a wild scramble for third among Northeast of Anne Arundel (48), Catonsville (47) and Randallstown (46).
There were a raft of fine individual performances, including double victories scored by Marques Sneed of Catonsville (300, 500) and Brittney Milliken of Northeast (800, 1,600). Perhaps the best races in the boys competition was Alex Scally of Poly holding off Cordis Stanfield of Milford Mill in the mile by less than a second, and Mike Lisby of Franklin doing the same thing to Bobby Mead in the 3,200-meter relay that started the show.
Besides its sweep in the hurdles, North Carroll got a first-place finish out of Anna Korovina in the shot put, and thirds in the 3,200 relay and 55 dash.
The Randallstown boys also dominated the hurdles (1-2) and were strong in the field events, with Will Epps taking the shot put (46 feet, 9 inches) and Gary Bates high-jumping 6-4. Franklin was led by its Mikes, Gill and Lisby, who went 1-2 in the 800 and were integral parts of its two winning relay teams.
The first six finishers in each individual event and six teams qualified for the state championships.