The Eleanor Roosevelt girls' team was ubiquitous at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex in Landover yesterday. The Raiders, competing in the Maryland 4A/3A indoor track and field championships, won six of the 10 running events and easily clinched their seventh straight state title.
Roosevelt finished with 82 points, ahead of Churchill (50) and Baltimore's Western High (38).
Not to be outdone by the girls' team, Eleanor Roosevelt's boys scored 60 points to win their first indoor title since 2001. Westlake was second with 42 points while Meade was third with 30.
Senior Marika Walker led Roosevelt's girls with two individual titles. She won the 1,600 meters in a meet-record 5 minutes 0.59 second and narrowly missed becoming the first girl to run a sub-five-minute mile at a Maryland state championship. Later, the North Carolina State recruit won the 3,200 after pulling away from second-place finisher Cara Harrison of Quince Orchard with about 400 meters remaining.
Walker also ran the lead leg on a 4x400 relay that also featured sophomore Doris Anyanwu and seniors Tameka and Takecia Jameson. Roosevelt won that event in a meet-record 3:52.18, ahead of second-place Walter Johnson (4:04.50).
Churchill's Audrey Gariepy-Bogui joined Walker as a double individual winner. The senior won the 55 hurdles in 8.12 seconds and leaped 5 feet 8 inches to win the high jump for the second straight year. That mark tied the 4A record.
Several boys' records fell as well. Westlake senior Corryl Boyd defended his title in the 300, winning in a record 34.65 seconds. C.H. Flowers's Jerod Franklin won the 800 in a state-record 1:56.94.
But perhaps the most dominant performance belonged to junior Justin Murdock of Glen Burnie. At Tuesday's 4A/3A Central Region meet, Murdock ran the fastest high school time in the country this season to win the 55 in 6.27 seconds. In yesterday's 55, he blazed to a win in 6.21 seconds, establishing a new U.S. top time and a meet record.
Wednesday "I had to soak all day and ice," Murdock said of his preparation for the state meet on just two days' rest.
It was hard to ignore the Roosevelt dominance in the team event, however.
"You go into a meet like this and you say Roosevelt's just on another level -- 'Let's get second,' " Churchill Coach Scott Silverstein said. "If we had dual meets against the teams in our area we'd go something and one. [Roosevelt] is basically the top team in the country."
New Record:C.H. Flowers senior Jerod Franklin set a new state record in the 800 (1 minute 56.94 seconds), besting the mark set last year by Eleanor Roosevelt's Kelli Thibou. Thibou was expected to defend his title in that event, but was unable to compete after falling and hitting his head at the finish line while winning the 500 earlier in the meet.
Very Fast:The Eleanor Roosevelt girls also have won 12 outdoor track and field titles since 1990 and the last three cross-country state championships.