No. 5 Western was the only local team in first place after yesterday's opening day of competition for Class 4A and 3A schools at the state track and field meet at Morgan State.
The Doves led the Class 3A girls with 18 points, ahead of No. 3 Meade (13), thanks to winning the 3,200 relay easily in 9 minutes, 28.27 seconds. Syrita Hunt, Danielle Douglas, Brittany Williams and Brinae Robinson teamed up in that race. Western also took second in the 800 relay.
Some other local schools were primed to make a run today as boys and girls competition ends. The top-ranked Meade boys got a victory from Anya Uzoh (high jump, 6 feet, 2 inches) and were tied for third with Atholton and Westlake at 18 points. Huntingtown led with 23 points.
Atholton's Graham Bazell outlasted Joey Thompson of Howard in the 3,200 to win his first outdoor state title. Bazell went out fast and had about a 20-yard lead heading into the final lap.
He then had to hold on to win in 9:18.69 as Thompson (9:19.66) had a strong kick. The victory completed Bazell's comeback from a stress fracture of the right ankle that kept him out much of the winter.
"If I get the lead big enough early, then that can drain his kick," Bazell said. "I just pushed it early."
Torrie Saunders of Annapolis won the Class 3A girls triple jump by a thin margin as her leap of 37-4 3/4 edged Brittany Abraham of Crossland (37-4).
Also in Class 3A, Towson's Rachel Pillion won the girls 3,200 in 11:12.18. Shawn Myers of Perry Hall took the Class 4A boys pole vault at 14-6.