Not too many schools can lose an athlete the caliber of Kyle Farmer for an afternoon and still control the competition the way Oakland Mills did at the Knights Invitational Track and Field meet yesterday at North County High School.
Say hello to Jeff Johnson, a senior speedster at the Howard County school who has been serving faithfully and with scant notice behind Farmer for two years.
With Farmer, who won four individual events in the state championships last spring, home with the flu, Johnson stepped in and led his team to a 1-2 finish in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and anchored two of the Scorpions' four victorious relay teams.
Oakland Mills won six events and had two seconds and three thirds in a meet that didn't count team scores and awarded medals to the first three finishers in each event.
Meanwhile, on the girls side, Broadneck won seven of 18 events, including relays, with Oakland Mills and Old Mill not far back.
Individually, at least six competitors showed they're in midseason form as they took a run at the outstanding performer awards.
Danielle Stoddart of Oakland Mills and Chanel Lattimer of McDonogh were double winners, both establishing meet marks in the process. The only thing that separated them was Stoddart beating Lattimer in the stretch run of the 400 meters, thus taking home the trophy.
Other girls standouts were Danielle Veilleux of Broadneck, first in the 1,500 and second in the 3000, and teammate Kierney Hiteshew, who pushed the meet standard to 9-0 in the pole vault.
All-Metro performer Chris Scott of the host school took top individual honors by tying the meet mark in the 110 high hurdles (14.2), then eclipsing the old mark in the 300 hurdles (39.2). Nick Wright led Mount St. Joseph with a win in the triple jump (41-10), a second in the high hurdles (14.8) and high jump (6-2), and a third in the 300 hurdles (41.1).