Surreal. That's the best description of what happened at Tuesday's Class 2A-1A Central Regional track and field championships at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, where Glenelg defeated Atholton for the girls title, 110-92.
Carrie Selmer of Glenelg and Lindsay Grigoriev of Atholton, the top point scorers for their respective teams, both missed the state qualifier, and neither girl can compete in her individual events at the state championships on Feb. 18.
Upon learning they had won the regional title, the Glenelg girls called Selmer, a senior team captain, to relay the news.
"It's ridiculous how happy I was when I heard we won," said Selmer, who missed the meet because of food poisoning. "It's amazing what they've done. I didn't expect them to win."
Leading up to the county championships, Selmer missed five days of training because of the flu, which resulted in subpar results in her specialties: the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. But the girls team took home the title.
Twice now, her teammates stepped up to deliver victory.
Atholton also stepped up Tuesday after losing Grigoriev to a pulled right hamstring. Grigoriev was a favorite to win the 55 hurdles and shot put at states and is a strong high jumper as well.
Grigoriev popped the hamstring while working out on a treadmill and is most likely out for the rest of the winter season.
"She couldn't bend her leg or put any pressure on it," said Atholton coach Adrian Valdez. "The regional title was our best chance of winning something this season. We would also have been a contender for the state title. Now, we'll finish second or third at states."
Atholton still qualified 13 girls for states: pole-vaulters Tessa Laidig and Stacy Downs; Michelle Freda and Kristen Freda in both the 1,600 and 3,200; 800 runners Stacy Downs (first) and Meghan Bolton (third); 55 hurdler and 500 runner Aisha Raheem, who was second in both events; and high jumper Stephanie Person. Atholton also qualified for the 1,600 and 3,200 relays.
Glenelg qualified 11 girls for states and had nine different girls score high in individual events.
Sabrina Putro finished first in the shot put and third in the high jump. Elaina Christmas won the 55 hurdles. Mallory Heinke won the 3,200. Katie Pencek won the 1,600 and was second in the 3,200. Brandy McReynolds finished second in the pole vault and third in the 55. Mary Rollyson finished second in the 800 and third in the 500. Robin Lancaster finished second in the high jump.
Selmer will be allowed to run at states on the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.
"It was pretty disappointing waking up and realizing I didn't feel well enough to run," Selmer said. "I'm going to try and make the best of it."
Said her father, Glenelg coach Mike Selmer: "As a father I was disappointed; as a coach, it was kind of exciting. It's exciting to have a team that reaches a little deeper every time out. We still scored 110 points, which is what I thought we'd score with Carrie. Both teams showed character. Stacy Downs and Meghan Bolton ran phenomenal for Atholton in the 800."
On the boys side, Izudin Mehmedovic stole the show by scoring four firsts, while Oakland Mills racked up an astounding 153 points by winning eight of the 13 events, finishing second in four others and third in one.
Runner-up Glenelg finished with 58 points.
Mehmedovic, a premier distance runner, captured the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, and ran on the first place 3,200 relay.
Vernon Hampton won the shot put. Matej Herangozo won the pole vault. Jaovon Wright took the 55 hurdles. The Scorpions also won the 800 relay.
The only disappointment for the Scorpions was in the sprints, where Chris Barksdale ran second in the 300. Also, he was just third in the 55 behind second-place teammate Anthony Cole.
A pair of superb Baltimore County runners won those events - Adam Grossman of Pikesville (55) and Stann Waith of Loch Raven (300).