Before this spring, a Harford County school had never won a girls state championship in track and field.
Harford Tech coach Darrell Diamond didn’t have the luxury of a full season of indoor track to prepare for this spring as the school does not have an indoor track program.
“It’s more considered a club than a sport in the winter,” Diamond said. “The coaches have to be volunteer and we need donations from the parents to pay for the buses to go to the meets.”
Despite this, and despite not having some of the key pieces to this outdoor season because they were playing basketball, Diamond saw enough during the limited indoor season to be optimistic about the spring.
In the early portion of the outdoor season, the Cobras were dominating local competition. However, it wasn’t until the Cy Fritz Open at Millersville University in late April that Diamond began to think his team had the potential to win it all.
“At that time, I still wasn’t thinking about the state meet yet because we were just going against local schools,” Diamond said. “We went to Pennsylvania for a meet at the end of April and the girls team placed second by a few points and that’s when I thought we have a shot.”
As the calendar turned to May, the wins began to pile up. The Cobras won the Chesapeake Championships by 108 points over Bel Air. They scored 330 points at the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Championships to win by nearly 200 points.
They beat Kent Island by 74 points to win the Class 2A East Region, and, thanks to school-record breaking performances from Petronilla Onyebadi (long jump), Beyonce Kelly (high jump) and freshman phenom Caitlyn Bobb (200 and 400), daughter of UMBC standout David Bobb, Harford Tech rolled to the county’s first state track title, beating River Hill by 41 points.
And the Cobras could be even better next year as only 11 of their 101 points were scored by seniors.
Diamond, a 22-year U.S. Army veteran, hopes the school’s achievement sparks the conversation about indoor track in Harford County.
“One of the reason our team we won was because of the great indoor season,” Diamond said. “I would like to think our championship could open the door to start the conversation in Harford County to having indoor track as a regular winter funded sport, I really believe our county would have more teams and individuals contending for championships.”