When the Poly boys won last year's Baltimore City Indoor Track and Field Championships, it was seen as a bit of surprise. The Engineers then went on to prove they were no fluke by winning the Class 2A-1A state title.
No. 6 Poly again showed it was for real at last night's city championships, using a mix of depth and talent to capture a second straight championship at the Fifth Regiment Armory. No. 3 Western won the girls title. The Doves have won every city title since the meets began in 1995.
Poly got a lot of points from a lot of places, finishing with 101 to easily beat out Digital Harbor (71.5).
Coach Steve Williams thought his team was tougher this year because it had more talent.
"I think we have more depth in individual events," Williams said. "It gives us the ability to flood events and get [points]."
Seniors Lemuel Pridgen and Lee Reynolds led the way. Pridgen won the 500 meters, took second in the 300, second in the 800 and ran on the 1,600 relay team that finished second before being disqualified in the night's final event.
Reynolds captured the 55 and 300 and anchored the victorious 800 relay. Kenneth Andoll won the 55 hurdles, and Ami Lawson won the shot put to help the Engineers capture six of the 12 events.
Western finished with 123 points to easily beat No. 4 Digital Harbor (76). The Doves also won six events.
For Western, first-year coach Alicia Williams is adjusting to life after long-time coach Jerry Molyneaux. Williams took over after Molyneaux moved to Northwestern, and the Doves didn't miss a beat.
Freshman Brinae Robinson sparked Western, winning the 500, 800 and 1,600. The Doves also captured the 3,200 relay title, thanks to good efforts from Syrita Hunt, Jessica Mengle, Bianca Fedd and Brittany Williams. Western also won the 800 relay and took the top three spots in the 55 hurdles, with Destane Stokes and Ayanna Turner tying for first.
Williams, a former Western runner, said she has been able to adjust to her new job because the Doves have a lot of talent - especially a bunch of freshmen and sophomores who hadn't dealt with another coach.
"I have a lot of girls who can do a lot of things," Williams said. "I have a large number of girls who are freshmen and sophomores, and they were new to me, and I was new to them."
Alyssa McClure won 55 and 300 for Digital Harbor, but the Rams couldn't match Western on this night.