The Carver boys and Liberty girls won team titles in Saturday's state championship meet at Morgan State. But the Bears and Lions earned their championships in different ways.
No. 4 Carver had no trouble repeating as the Class 1A champion, while No. 3 Liberty needed a late rally to pull out a dramatic victory, edging North Hagerstown and Long Reach for the school's first state crown.
Carver finished with 112 points for a 40-point win over Catoctin. The Bears now have won state titles in indoor and outdoor track this year and last.
"We had a lot of injuries. It was a lot of patchwork for us," said Carver coach Stephen Kimes. "But everyone came through, and I was really proud of them."
The Bears got help from a lot of places, including wins in the 400 relay (43.70) and from Carlton Sheppard (800, 1:57.33), Jonathan Rogers (discus, 149-1) and Maurice Taylor (triple jump, 47-10.25).
For Liberty, Michelle Keller's second-place finish in the shot put behind North Hagerstown's Charlotte Anderson proved crucial. That was the meet's final event, and Keller's eight points gave Liberty (78.5) enough to beat North Hagerstown (75) and Long Reach (72).
"I had no idea what was up," Keller said. "I saw the whole team was watching, and I thought it was just because the last event was going on."
Liberty coaches Bobby Ward and Brandon Lutz also praised Samantha McElroy and others. McElroy won the 800 and teammate Brittany Arndt took third, giving the Lions 16 points that sparked their late run. Liberty won twice Thursday, and got a big second-place finish from pole vaulter Jamie Russell.
Aneesha Scott carried Long Reach, winning the 100 (12.22), 200 (25.20) and 400 (55.65), and running on the victorious 400-relay team (48.64).
No. 7 Catonsville's girls also came very close. The Comets tied John F. Kennedy for second with 47 points, 1.5 behind Huntingtown. Zoey Whittington won the 400 (54.78), and the Comets captured the 1,600 relay (3:53.95). Century's girls took second with 50 points, four behind Walkersville.
In Class 1A, the Harford Tech girls also finished second (100 points), eight behind first-place Boonsboro. The Cobras won the 400 relay (49.01) and took top-three finishes in the long jump, shot put and 100.
Old Mill's Alexis Franklin found success like Scott. Franklin won the Class 4A 100 (13.89, class record) and 300 hurdles (43.41) and finished second in the 400.
There were several other local state champions, including Dulaney's Megan Wall, who set a new state record while winning the pole vault (12 feet, one inch).