The fourth-ranked Western girls kept their long winning streak alive while Poly's boys started a new one in last night's Baltimore City championship meet at the 5th Regiment Armory.
Western edged Mervo and won the city crown for the 15th consecutive year. The Doves have finished first each year since the event started in 1993.
But this was Western's closest call as the Doves finished with 119 points, just getting past Mervo (116.5) in a competition that came down to the final event, which turned out to be the high jump.
Western was clinging to a nine-point lead heading into that event, where Mervo got 10.5 points. But Francise Riggs' fourth-place finish gave the Doves the four points that clinched the title.
"That was really close," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux with a smile. "We have good balance this year, much better than last year. This year, we're better in different places."
Letecia Wright played a big role for the balanced Doves. Wright won the 300 (41.2 seconds), the 55 hurdles (8.4) and the 55 meters (7.43). She also ran on the 1,600 relay that the Doves won (4 minutes, 19.5 seconds).
Cierra Glassco was the other Dove to win an individual event, capturing the shot put with a throw of 28 feet, 11 3/4 inches.
Mervo gave Western a fight, thanks to a big night from senior Quantikia Stepney. She won the 500 (1:20.0), 800 (2:32.0) and the 1,600 (5:45.9). Nykeisha Sewell helped with wins in the 3,200 (14:24.0) and the high jump (4-10).
The team title also came down to the final event on the boys' side. Poly's victory in the 1,600 relay sealed the championship. The Poly boys hadn't won until last night when they scored 106 points to outlast No. 9 Digital Harbor (104).
Digital Harbor won last year, but Poly used strong performances from Lee Reynolds, Jamin Gallman and others to accumulate points. The Engineers won despite being disqualified in four events, but coach Steve Williams got his team refocused.
Reynolds won the 55 meters in 6.70 seconds, edging teammate Artavius Williams. Reynolds also captured the 300 in 37.6.
Poly's Gallman won the 500 in 1:08.0, and teammate Lemuel Pridgen took third just two seconds behind. Gallman also finished second in the 800 and ran on the victorious 1,600- (3:42.7) and 3,200-meter (9:02.8) relay teams.
Williams added a fourth-place finish in the 55 hurdles, and teammate Devin Richards took third in the high jump.
Digital Harbor got first-place finishes from Angelo Diggs (800), Justin Thomas (55 hurdles) and Jabre Parker (shot put).