A surprising sweep in the day's longest race helped unranked Bryn Mawr win by the narrowest of margins yesterday in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland track meet at Calvert Hall.
The Mawrtians' Laure Drossner, Ashley Campbell and Elizabeth Cukor went 1-2-3 in the 3,200 meters, to go along with meet-record wins in the 800 and 1,600 by Nyam Kagwima, as Bryn Mawr held off three-time defending champion McDonogh, 108.5-106. Indoor champion Mount de Sales finished third (92) and Notre Dame Prep (90) fourth.
On the boys side, second-ranked Mount St. Joseph used a strong all-around effort to upend three-time champion Calvert Hall in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association meet. The Gaels finished with 121 points, followed by the third-ranked Cardinals (101), Gilman (95) and Loyola (74).
While Mount St. Joseph's win wasn't much of a surprise, Bryn Mawr's first track championship came as a shocker.
"Coming into this season, I don't think any of us would've predicted that we'd be able to take this," said Bryn Mawr first-year coach Amy Buck "We were really gunning to be in the top three. We thought that would be a great goal."
The Mawrtians got other wins from Aliya Mosby (triple jump) and Zakiya Shivers (shot put). And aside from her wins in the 800 and 1,600, Kagwima ran legs on the second-place 800- and 3,200-relay teams.
"Everybody had to pretty much have their best performance," Kagwima said. "We kept on trying, and we did it."
The key, however, was the sweep by Drossner, Campbell and Cukor, who entered the race seeded first, seventh and fourth, respectively.
"We knew it was a possibility, but we weren't expecting it," Buck said.
For Mount St. Joseph, which had held its senior prom the night before, the celebration continued.
The Gaels got a pair of wins from Howard University-bound senior Nick Wright, in the 110 and 300 hurdles, as well as a win from discus thrower Mike Blanchard (discus) in winning their first MIAA crown since 1997. Just as important to their success, they finished among the top three in 12 of 18 events, earning them valuable points.
They also got a boost when Calvert Hall high jumpers Dwayne Birden and Brent Gordon, seeded first and fourth, respectively, failed to clear any height in the event. Coach Mary Bondyra's team already had lost its 1,600-relay team to a disqualification in qualifying.
"Every year something would happen and it just didn't work out for us. This year, our sprinters just stepped up," Wright said. "You make do with what you have, and not everybody's on their game every day. Today was our day."
Wright's performance of 38.31 seconds in the 300 hurdles shattered the 4-year-old league record by more than a second.
"That was probably my best race all year," Wright said. "It was my cleanest race."
It helped the Gaels hold off the Cardinals, who stayed close thanks in part to wins by Tim Rider in the 100, 200 and 400.
"We came here expecting to win, and we pulled it out," said Mount St. Joseph coach Gene Constantine. "We've always seemed to lose to [Calvert Hall] -- by seven or by four -- but we're back."