A half dozen Atholton girls track team members did cartwheels across the track after their team was announced as the winner of the Class 2A South Region yesterday at River Hill.
Atholton, which finished ninth at the Howard County championships and hadn't won a girls track title since 1987, edged perennial state power Central, 96-94.
The Raiders proved that a team doesn't have to have great sprinters to win a title. They didn't score a point in the 100 or 200, only one point in the 400, and didn't even enter the 400 and 800 relays.
Junior Ashley Wall led the Raiders with first-place finishes in the triple and long jumps, and seconds in the 100 high hurdles and high jump.
Freshman Lindsay Grigoriev won the discus, finished third in the triple jump and 100 high hurdles, and sixth in the shot put.
The shot put was the last event of the day and Grigoriev knew the meet came down to that event - a head-to-head confrontation against a Central thrower."I scratched the first two throws and was feeling a lot of pressure," said Grigoriev. "My last try was 29-feet, 5 1/4 inches." Central's Athena Whiting managed only a fifth-place finish worth two team points. Grigoriev earned one team point - good enough for the team victory."We thought we had a chance to win it, but Central is a perennial power," Atholton coach Ed Ivory said. "We knew our strengths and weaknesses and picked our battles."
Atholton also got points from Meghan Bolton (fifth 3,200 run, sixth 1,600 run), Stacy Downs (sixth pole vault; second 1,600 run), Aisha Raheem (third 800 run; sixth 400 run), Rachel Smith (second long jump).
Atholton also placed second in the 3,200 relay and fifth in the 1,600 relay.
Other Howard County individual champions yesterday were Nasozi Kakembo of Hammond, who won the high jump, Jeanette Curtis of Mount Hebron, who won the 100 high hurdles, and Bridget Baker of Howard, the 1,600-meter run champion.
Lackey won the Class 2A boys championship with 85 points over runner-ups Mount Hebron and Hammond, each with 60 points. Howard was fourth with 55 points.
Long Reach sweeps 3A
Long Reach, which swept both Howard County championships, pulled off another sweep in the Class 3A East Region championships at River Hill yesterday.
The Long Reach girls won their third straight regional title, squashing their competition in the two-day event by outscoring runner-up Wilde Lake, 170-92.
But the boys championship came down to the last event, the discus, before Long Reach emerged with a 120-119 1/2 victory over Annapolis and its first regional title.
The Lightning boys did not score in the discus, and would not have triumphed without help from River Hill's John Wendle, who won the event, pushing two Annapolis throwers back to second and third place. Kyle Acker and Chahal Jagman of Annapolis were first and second after the preliminaries, but Wendle unleased his winning throw on his second attempt in the finals.
Annapolis, which dropped from 4A to 3A this season, was also hurt by a tie for sixth place in the 800 run that cost the Panthers a 1/2 -point."Had we run 4A we would have won easily," said Panthers coach Mike Ballard.
McDonogh sprinting standout junior Chanel Lattimer toppled meet records in the 100 and 400, and ran the anchor leg in the record-breaking 4 x 400 relay, leading the Eagles to their second straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship at Calvert Hall
McDonogh won with 116 points, followed by Bryn Mawr (92) and regular-season league champion Catholic (85).
In the boys competition, Alan McDavid won the 100, 200 and 400 to lead Calvert Hall to its third straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association title.