Nearly a decade of dominance at the county athletics meet is on display and in full effect before the meet even begins.
The Urbana Girls gather over 100 people, including a group of 40 freshmen and 43 sophomores, some of whom are likely to become stars and champions in their events.
The Hawks don’t hit their athletes in the ground with multiple events — although there are plenty who participate in more than one — because it’s really unnecessary.
For example, senior Tessa Stanley was fresh for the 400 meters at Thursday’s county meet at Linganore High School because she hadn’t held any other events yet.
That, combined with her competitive streak and knack for chasing leaders, paid huge dividends when she crushed Middletown’s talented Haley Lucido at the finish line to win in 58.44 seconds.
Lucido had already completed six jumps in the long jump to finish second in this event before the race. She placed second in the 400m in 58.57 seconds.
“I was cooler. So I was kind of ready,” Stanley said. “I said, ‘Just run’ right off the bat. Just chasing everyone because I was in lane 3. So I could see everyone in front of me. The coach told me not to chase anyone and run my own race, and that’s what I did.
If someone is having a day off or not feeling their best or just not feeling it in the moment, there is usually someone very capable ready to step in for them.
The Hawks win with their depth as much as their talent. They don’t need to win many events to win Tag Team Championships, as they are capable of scoring points in almost any.
“I think that’s the expectation we have as coaches. We want to be the best,” Urbana Girls’ coach and architect of this juggernaut CJ Ecalono said after the Hawks had over 200 points (203) for the county’s second straight meeting to win. their seventh consecutive tag team title. Linganore finished second with 106.
“That’s kind of how we do it,” Ecalono said.
The Linganore boys do not have the recent record of the Urbana girls. But the Lancers have impressive depth, as they showed by winning the tag team championship in last week’s Maryland Central Conference meeting and again Thursday on home turf by winning the county tag team title with 140 dots.
The Oakdale boys were second with 119 and Thomas Johnson third with 101.
Linganore’s Jack Sears, the county cross-country champion, narrowly missed school and hit records by winning the 1,600m race in 4 minutes, 21.11 seconds, lowering his record by more than three seconds staff from last week’s CMC meeting.
“Best execution, I think,” said Sears, who also won his best event, the 3,200m race, in 10:02.44. “I came in with the same plan as last week. But, last week, I didn’t start very well, and that kind of messed me up. But today, I kind of took the good start and I got into a rhythm. I’m really excited with how I raced today.
The Linganore boys also excelled once again in the throwing events, as senior Jacob Cannon won the shot put with a winning distance of 47ft, 1¼ inches and junior Logan Rich won the discus with a throw of 145-11.
Other county champions in the boys’ meet were Korell Asamoah of Tuscarora (100 dashes, 10.98 seconds), Edwin Niemandt (high jump, 6-4) and the 4×100 (47.03 seconds) and 4×200 (1 : 30.37) of the Titans; Simon Essono of Thomas Johnson (200 dash, 22.26) and Thomas Sligh (triple jump, 39-10¼), Mason Scott of Oakdale (300 hurdles, 40.64), Samuel Starrs (pole vault, 15-0) and relay 4×800 from the Bears (8:25.43), Christopher Sappe from Urbana (400, 49.54 and 800, 1:58.04) and 4×400 relay (3:27.02) and Nashon McKinney-Spear from Frederick (long jump, 20-9¼) and Arthur Core (110 hurdles, 14.6) .
On the girls’ side, the county champions were Urbana’s Fiona Agyekum (shot put, 38-2¼), Samantha Heyison (discus, 126-1), Angeline Amefia (long jump, 17-2½), as well as the 4×100 of the Hawks (50.15 seconds) and 4×200 relay (1:46.23), Mikayla Moxley of Linganore (1600, 5:11.53 and 800, 2:23.49), Caroline Perrone (3200, 11:17.51) and 4×800 relay (9:53.08) , Thomas Johnson Elisa Ramos (pole vault, 12-0), Taylor Beaver (100, 12.44), Ava Allen of Middletown, 100 hurdles, 14.97 and triple jump, 35-2) and 4×400 relay (4:05.82), Christiana Hinds of Tuscarora (high jump, 5-0), Ellen Gill of Oakdale (300 hurdles, 45.46) and Valerie Boards of Walkersville (200, 26.01).
One of the most impressive performances that didn’t result in a win was by Catoctin’s Brody Buffington, who clocked a school best 10.59 seconds in the 100 dash prelims, qualifying for a national meet. in the process, before pulling out of the race due to resting his ailing hamstrings.
“It was amazing,” Cougars coach Dave Lillard said of Buffington’s time.
On his decision to drop Buffington from the race, Lillard said, “Best to save it for when it counts. You can’t go to the States without racing Regionals. [next week].”
Follow Greg Swatek on Twitter: @greg_swatek