Foote-Talley had one reply: “All the time,” and that was it. Youngblood challenged his young athlete to make 52 feet. He fell just short of that goal, but Foote-Talley’s effort was more than enough to shatter his previous best.
Foote-Talley’s record-breaking distance of 51-10½ was the highlight of another strong year for the Northwest team, as the boys won their fourth consecutive championship with 75 points.
“I’m just very thankful right now,” Foote-Talley said. “I’m still taking it all in. This just puts [the Northwest program] out there a little more.”
Huntingtown’s boys edged out Watkins Mill by three points to take the 3A championship with 14 top-five finishes. Largo took the girls’ 1A championship with 90.5 points.
After fouling on his fifth attempt, Foote-Talley’s final jump was more than a foot longer than his fourth attempt. The final official measurements took longer than Foote-Talley expected, which made him anxious.
“I kept looking back and forth at my coach and the number,” he said. “And then they had to go get the steel measuring tape and I was like, ‘Oh, this is getting real now.’ Then when they said 51-10, I was excited.”
Largo dominated the relay races by taking first place in the 4x400 and fourth in both the 4x200 and 4x800. Senior Kendal Drewery took first in the triple jump and long jump with distances of 37 feet and 17-9½ , respectively.
Largo Coach Darryl Hamilton said he would not have suspected the girls’ team to be the ones raising the trophy at the end of the year, but the team started to come together after winning the region championship.
“They just work so hard and they banded together as a team,” Hamilton said. “I have such a great coaching staff as well. They need the recognition, too.”
Huntingtown Coach Valerie Harrington, who did a couple of somersaults in celebration after her team took the trophy, said she didn’t have a big speech for her athletes before the meet. She just wanted them to run.
“What it’s been all year is just telling them to go out there, stay focused, have a good time . . . and the points will fall where they are,” she said.
Huntingtown only had one first-place finish but consistently stayed near the top to score the most points. The Hurricanes’ lone first came in the 4x400 relay, just beating out Blake by less than a tenth of a second.
Severna Park’s girls finished in a three-way tie for fourth in the 4A meet and had five top-five finishers, including senior Emily Knight, who won the 1,600-meter run and helped her team win the 4x800-meter relay.
Knight, who is still new to running distance, turned it on for the final two laps in the 1,600 to finish with a final time of 5:02.45.
“I usually just pace off the other distance girls that are ahead of me and rely on my kick for the last lap,” Knight said. “So I just did that again today and it worked out in my favor.”