LANDOVER -- The Atholton boys had won three state titles over a four-year stretch from 1995-1998 but had not captured one since. All season long, the Raiders talked about ending that drought, and they took care of business yesterday in the Class 3A-2A state championship meet.
Andrew Revelle, Jonathan Beltran and several others helped No. 5 Atholton turn in a solid performance and win the state title at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.
Coach Maurice Sydnor's team won it the old-fashioned way - getting a lot of points from a lot of places. Atholton scored in distance, sprints and relays to finish with 50.40, beating out No. 8 Mervo with 36.
"That's how you win any title," Sydnor said. "And we've got the horses. My philosophy is it takes a great effort, so just give a great effort."
Revelle won the 1,600 meters (4 minutes, 26.81 seconds) while teammate Beltran took third. Revelle and Beltran then broke things open late in the meet by taking first and fourth, respectively, in the 800, for the 12 points that gave Atholton command.
For Revelle, the winning time of 2:01.22 barely edged Fallston's Chris Wagner (2:01.26). Beltran took fourth in the 2:04.21.
The duo also helped the Raiders take second in the 3,200 relay (along with Seth Harwood and Reggie King). Graham Bazell added a second-place finish in the 3,200. Andre Grice added points by finishing fourth in the high jump, and Kelechi Odocha was fifth in the 55-meter dash.
"It's been a long time since Atholton's been a good team," Revelle said. "We've just been getting better and better. We're very proud of this."
Sydnor also said the boys earned some motivation from the success of last year's Atholton girls. Those Raiders won the county and region titles before taking second in the state, and Sydnor said the boys wanted to get out from under the shadow of that success.
Also for the local boys, Jason Allen of Mount Hebron repeated as the high jump champion (6-4), edging Marques Pratt from Wilde Lake, who had the same jump. Long Reach's Brandon Wright won the 300-meter dash in 35.41.
Travis Boccher from Wilde Lake captured the 3,200 in 9:47.78 while the Mervo boys took the 1,600 relay (3:31.74). Long Reach won the 800 relay in 1:32.99.
For the girls, Linganore won the championship with 40 points. Mervo was the top local team, taking third with 30.33 points. North Carroll took fifth with 29.16.
Kristen Malloy from Hereford broke the Class 2A state meet record for the 3,200, winning easily in 11:18.65, topping Franklin's Michelle Donadio (11:33.50). Malloy's time beat the previous Class 2A record, held by Towson's Cori Koch (11:24.9), and set a personal mark by 12 seconds.
The state meet involves parts of two classes, but officials said that records are judged by the class the athlete's school is in.
"I thought maybe [the record] was a possibility," Malloy said. "I ran my heart out today. My dad shouted 'you can get the meet record' with about four laps to go, and I went for it."
Other local winners were Liz McCarter from Mount Hebron and Nicole Sohn from Northeast plus Aberdeen's Paris Williams. McCarter took the 800 in 2:21.31 while Sohn won the shot put (38-10.5), just beating Potomac's Rachelle Wright (38-9.75).
Williams gave Harford County some points, taking the 500 in 1:18.03. The Mervo girls took the 1,600 relay in 4:02.54, and North Carroll's Jess Huber won the night's final event, taking the pole vault (9-6).