As the only member of Oxon Hill's record-breaking 4x800-meter team that didn't graduate last spring, Randy Serville stepped into an expanded role this season — one that he executed flawlessly at the Prince George's County indoor track and field championships Thursday.
"Between Gary Ross, Aaron Robinson and Anthony Wimbish, we lost a lot," Serville said. "We're trying to bounce back as a team and pick up where we left off."
The senior ensured the Clippers did just that at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover by going home with three gold medals, leading Oxon Hill to the boys' team title with 76 points, ahead of Wise (73.5) and DuVal (71).
Serville set the tone early by turning a considerable second-place deficit into a lead during the second leg of the 4x800 relay, which Oxon Hill held on to win in 8 minutes 26.95 seconds. He then seized control of the 500 with 150 meters to go, winning in 1:06.89. He ran the open 800 largely by himself after breaking away from the field early, finishing in 2:01.34.
"I had to learn to run by myself," Serville said. "Last year, I had three guys who had experience and who brought me around. Eventually I've got to take it up on my own."
After a convincing victory in 35.12 seconds in the 300, Largo senior Aaron Hackett breezed to another in the 55 in 6.51, yelling and pounding his fist after crossing the finish line.
"This season has just been really rough," Hackett said. "Last summer I tried to do summer track, and I strained my hamstring, and it just tore me down. This win today wasn't for me; it was for my coach because he did so much for me."
Wise senior Daniel Whitfield has benefited from the county's stout hurdling competition. Heading into Thursday's race, he and Brandon Tunson (C.H. Flowers) shared the top time in the state, but Whitfield closed the day atop the state leader board after winning the 55 hurdles in 7.34 seconds. Tunson finished in 7.41.
Tunson "really pushed me," Whitfield said. "He did run faster than me at one point earlier in the year, but I put the work in, and he really gave me something to work for."
On the girls' side, Douglass's Malia Watkins could feel Wise's Ahliyah Williams pulling even with her just as the pair approached the finish line in the 300. Suspecting her usual lean at the line wouldn't be enough, Watkins dived and tumbled past the finish line.
"I just had to do everything I could to push through," she said.
The strategy paid off in a victory by one-hundredth of a second in 41.31. Instead of celebrating, Watkins peeled herself off the track to prepare for her three remaining events. She finished first in the 55 (7.32), second in the 4x200 and third in the long jump.
But Wise made up any lost ground with a clean sweep of all three relay races, winning the 4x800 in 10:18.34, the 4x400 in 4:06.10 and the 4x200 in 1:45.91 to secure the girls' team title with 116.5 points. C.H. Flowers (60) was second, and Bowie (56) placed third.
Friendly's Antoinette Bradley claimed gold in the 500 (1:17.43) and 800 (2:26.17). Suitland senior Aminah Hamilton posted wins in the 1,600 (5:51.31) and 3,200 (12:53.46). Bowie's Jaedon Joyner won the boys' high jump (6 feet) and triple jump (43-0).