Victims of a regional scheduling snafu, the Oakland Mills Scorpions didn't have entrants in some of their best events at yesterday's state boys track and field championships at UMBC.
By day's end, however, there's one thing the Howard County power did have - a state title.
Led by Kyle Farmer's four gold medals, the Scorpions managed to turn a seemingly debilitating deficit into their seventh title in 10 years, holding off Williamsport, 83-62, despite not fielding any qualifiers in the 100, 200 or 100 hurdles, due to a mix-up that had them miss their Class 1A regional qualifying meet May 17.
"When we found out that they weren't letting us run the 100, 200 and 110 hurdles, we were just like, 'Is it really worth going?'" said Farmer. "We sat down that day in practice and just figured out what we had to do to win it. We came out here and put on a pretty good performance."
Farmer won the 400 in a Class 1A record time of 47.81, then ran legs on the winning 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. On Friday, he also ran a leg on the winning 4 x 200 relay team, and the Scorpions went on to win the 4 x 800 as well, giving them a sweep of all four relays.
"We knew we couldn't make any mistakes," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton. "I just told the kids that wherever they were, they had to score some points."
Other individuals to score for the Scorpions yesterday included Nicholas Fambro (third, 300 hurdles; fourth, discus), Jean Brunache (third, 400), Tyrone Hines (sixth, 400), Alex Bailey (fifth, 800) and Izudin Mehmedovic and Gordon Rusinko (fourth and fifth, respectively, in 1,600).
Middletown (2A), Thomas Johnson (3A) and Gaithersburg (4A) were also team winners.
There were also a number of individual state champions from the area, including Chesapeake's Devon Telp (1A 100), Hickey's Brandon Hammond (1A 300 hurdles), Poly's Clifton Turner (2A 100), Catonsville's Marques Sneed (2A 400), Edgewood's Matt Diggs (2A triple jump), Joppatowne's James Murray (2A discus), Annapolis' Mike Brown (3A 110 hurdles), River Hill's Shane Stroup (3A 1,600), Long Reach's Luis George (3A 400 and 800) and Wilde Lake's 3A 4 x 100 relay team.
Woodlawn and Westminster finished third and fourth in the 4A field. The Warriors were paced by AutonioThomas (third, 400; fifth, 200), Jerron White (fourth, 400), Clevon Johnson (third, 800; fifth, 1,600), Anthony Jenkins (fourth, 300 hurdles), Noel Dehaney (fifth, triple jump), Vincent Fuller (fourth, 200) and the second-place 4 x 400 relay team.
For Westminster, the bulk of the scoring was done by seniors Jesse O'Connell and Jared Craig. O'Connell won the 800 and 1,600, and Craig captured the 300 hurdles, taking a circuitous route to the gold.
Leading by two meters, he stumbled over the final hurdle, staggering forward before sliding head-first over the wet finish line to win by a neck, giving himself bloody arms, shoulders and hips.
"I tripped up on that hurdle and I just slid," said Craig, who was third in the 110 hurdles. "I was positive I had won; then I saw it on my dad's videotape."
It was a solid performance for Westminster, though not nearly enough to help the Owls duplicate their Class 4A state indoor title.
Long Reach, led by George and Kelvin Jones (third, triple jump) finished fourth in Class 3A, five points ahead of River Hill.