Similar to their coaching colleagues throughout the state, the brain trusts of Woodlawn and Dulaney spent last weekend crunching the numbers, hoping a break here and good fortune there would lead to the realization of a state class 4A/3A indoor track championship at the 5th Regiment Armory last night.
"I must have gone over the seeding sheets about 15 times," said Woodlawn coach Mike Sye. "I figured 45 points would win the boys meet. The team I was worried about, the team I thought could score that and more was Westminster."
Unfortunately for Woodlawn, fortunately for Westminster, the coach was nearly dead solid perfect. The Warriors got their 45 points. More, in fact, 45.33. But up ahead was Westminster with 47.5 and the first-place trophy.
The thinking out at Dulaney was that 65 points would be needed to capture the girls competition. Another bull's-eye. Only problem for the region champs was that Largo hit the magic number on the button. Dulaney finished in a tie for second with pre-meet favorite Eleanor Roosevelt, which had a five-year winning streak broken.
Woodlawn and Dulaney got off to good starts, both leading after five events. Anthony Jenkins and Clevon Johnson accounted for 16 points in the long sprints and mile for Woodlawn. Westminster lurked a half-point in arrears. Dulaney was shocked slightly when it failed to win the two-mile relay and Tenke Zoltani was nipped at the wire in the 1,600.
Jared Craig won the hurdles for Westminster and it drew clear by 10 points when Montgomery County champ Gaithersburg suddenly came alive. It posted a 1-2 in the 55 dash and pulled into a tie with Westminster, eight points ahead of Woodlawn. Gaithersburg took the lead with a second-place finish in the pole vault, with Andy Kuchera finishing third for Westminster, and it appeared as if it would be these two battling it out down the stretch.
After eight events, it was Gaithersburg 40, Westminster 37 and Woodlawn stuck on 20.83, behind Old Mill (27). "Our events are coming up," said Mike Sye.
Woodlawn won the 800-meter relay and closed in, the coach confident that he had a crack mile-relay team as his trump card.
Prior to that, though, Johnson had to come back and get some points in the 800, which was all but conceded to Westminster senior Jesse O'Connell. After losing the 500 to what many considered a blatant false start by Dwayne Thomas of Northwestern, O'Connell wasn't about to be denied in his specialty, especially with Thomas as the main opposition.
The victory gave Westminster the 47 points it needed to win and, after Gaithersburg advanced to 44 with a fourth in the pole vault, it was time for Woodlawn's garrison finish in the relay to squeeze by Gaithersburg and into the runner-up position.
The Dulaney girls were sparring with Roosevelt and Suitland after seven events, one point separating the trio. Largo was sort of hanging around in fourth when the 55 dash took center stage. Whoosh! Chiquite Stephens, Melanie Bailey and India Ransom went 1-2-3 for Largo, the 24 points more than doubling its score to 47 and, in just 7.42 seconds time, the competition was for second place.
Leading the charge for Dulaney was Zoltani, whose win in the two-mile gave her 18 individual points, Laurie Twardzik and Stephanie Kuehne, who won the 800 and high jump, respectively.
Individually, Victor Thillet of Old Mill won the mile, was third in the 3,200 and fifth in the 800.