Wilde Lake junior David Eisenhauer spent three-fourths of his 3,200-meter MPSSAA state championship race behind at least one runner, which helped block a crushing headwind from hitting his face. But with 800 meters to go, Eisenhauer decided it was time to kick, which meant he had to brave the elements on the backstretch of the Morgan State University track twice.

Eisenhauer pushed through it and finished strong, taking the individual 3A state title with a time of 9 minutes 22.43 seconds.

“When I was not leading, I didn’t feel it much,” Eisenhauer said. “When I started leading it hurt. It felt like running through Jell-O or peanut butter.”

Eisenhauer hadn’t been too pleased with his results during the outdoor season, though he was able to place second at the Howard County championships May 5. Prior to last week’s 3A East region race, Eisenhauer decided to rethink his approach to running the distance race. He’d been kicking with 400 meters left, which wasn’t getting him the number of wins he hoped for.

Analyzing his competition in how they ran 800-meter spurts, Eisenhauer decided he would kick a lap earlier. For the second consecutive week, that strategy has worked to his advantage, as he followed last week’s region win with a state championship.

“I knew I had to try something different,” Eisenhauer said. “In cross-country I kicked sooner [at the state meet] and it ended up getting me second place. I figured it ought to work here.”

After Friday’s events, Eisenhauer’s Wildecats are in second place of the 3A boys’ meet with 281 / 2 points, trailing only Digital Harbor (29).

Atholton (20) is in third place of the girls’ 3A meet. Quince Orchard, Paint Branch and Eleanor Roosevelt are all tied in first with 20 points in the 4A boys’ meet. Walter Johnson (23) leads Northwest (15) and Clarksburg (13) in the 4A girls’ meet.

Kennedy senior Michael Scott won the 4A boys’ long jump of 23 feet 4¾ inches and Northwest senior Austin Castleberry took home a state title in the 4A high jump with a 6-4. Other 4A boys’ field winners were Howard junior Trey Clark in the pole vault (14-0) and Paint Branch junior Devonte Johnson in the shot put (54-11 / 2).

Field champions on the 4A girls’ side were Richard Montgomery junior Ozioma Edokobi in the discus (139-7) and Wootton senior Kara Huie in the triple jump (38-13 / 4).

Atholton senior Briana Taborn won the 3A girls’ discus (117-2).

Northern senior DJ Workcuff claimed the 3A boys’ high jump (6-4) and Huntingtown senior Collin McKenny won the 3A boys’ shot put (55-51 / 2)

Severna Park senior Ryan Forsyth earned his third distance championship this school year, following up cross-country and indoor 3,200 titles with a 4A boys’ 3,200 outdoor win in 9:14.53.

Bethesda-Chevy Chase junior Nora McUmber surprised herself with a strong kick with 200 meters to go in her 4A girls’ 3,200 state final. Running with Walter Johnson junior Kiernan Keller (10:53.46), the event’s runner-up, most of the way, McUmber started sprinting around the final turn, winning with a time of 10:45.68.

“I just really wanted it,” McUmber said. “I had to give it all I got today.”