BALTIMORE — One senior finished what another senior started in Bowie’s 4x100 relay at the Maryland state track and field championships Saturday, and two underclassmen provided the glue in the middle.
Briana Gooding led off, underclassmen Lexus Ramsey and Taylor Williams took care of the middle 200 meters, and San Diego State-bound Janice George finished the Bulldogs’ second consecutive outdoor 4x100 title (47.57) and helped Bowie (92 points) to its second straight girls’ title.
“We just had to send her out with a good win, make her proud and let her know we’ll hold it down when she’s gone,” Williams said.
George, after a near-miss in the 400, wanted badly to go out with a win as well, and the quartet made smooth handoffs and ran hard in gusty winds at Morgan State.
“It means a lot to me because I’m a senior and I’m going to college in San Diego so I’m going far away from all of them,” George said. “For us to all run together means a lot. We worked really, really hard.”
Ramsey won the 100 (12.05) as well for Bowie on Saturday, just ahead of Wootton’s Sylvia Deppen (12.15).
Deppen’s teammate, Louisville-bound senior Gwen Shaw, had another red-letter day, winning two more state titles in the 100 hurdles (14.42) and 400 (56.60), outlasting George (56.74) in the final 50 meters. Wootton finished runner-up with 64 points.
“I was hoping I could outdig her,” Shaw said. “She’s got a pretty good stride and I was hoping I could last just a little bit longer than her.”
On the boys’ side, the final team results were still unclear when Northwest sophomore Jalen Walker finished the anchor leg of his team’s 4A state-title winning 4x400 relay (3:26.30).
That was until he was discussing his day, when he spotted his teammates a few feet away starting to yell.
“I think by their reaction we just won the state championship,” he said, almost in disbelief.
Indeed, they had. Brandon Young’s discus throw (138-5) and the 4x400 championship in the final two scored events gave the Jaguars 68 points, plenty to top runner-up Clarksburg (51.5).
Walker also won the 100 (10.95) and 200 (22.26) Saturday but almost shrugged at his personal performance.
“I won so I’m excited about that,” he said. “I was a little off today. I thought I was going to run better times. A win’s a win, but I’m not going to dwell on it too much.”
His reaction to the team victory was considerably different.
In 3A girls, Thomas Stone’s Kolbi Sims not only had the pleasure of winning the 400 (57.47), her senior teammate Rachel Halmon (57.86) took second behind her in an 18-point burst for the Cougars.
“That was the plan, to come in one-two,” Sims said. “She usually beats me in that race. Being a senior and all, following in her footsteps, she’s taught me a lot.”
That made all the difference, as Thomas Stone (55) beat Howard (54) by just one point for the team title.
Mount Hebron (58) outlasted Hereford (55) for the 3A boys’ championship.