Long Reach senior Robert Carter couldn’t have asked for a better day to return to the track. With a slight breeze, accompanying a sunny, 70-degree afternoon at the Howard County Championships on Tuesday at Wilde Lake, Carter wanted to get back to the level he was used to.

He’d been forced to miss the majority of the outdoor season due to a sprained AC joint sustained at the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet in New York in March. Having spent most of the spring resting, Howard County’s top hurdler was eager to get back to business.

He did just that, posting a time of 14.31 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles final, giving him his first individual win of the day. He followed that with a meet record 38.95 in the 300 hurdles and by anchoring the Lightning’s 4x100 relay team to a first-place finish with a time of 42.39.

“I’m happy to be back on the track,” Carter said. “That’s my main blessing. I’m glad things are back to normal.”

Long Reach’s boys finished third in a tightly contested team meet with 96.33 points as Wilde Lake (100) won the team title and Reservoir (97) placed second. Howard took the girls’ county championship with 146 points, with Atholton (84) and Wilde Lake (74) rounding out the top three.

Carter said he had a tough Monday when he ran the preliminary race of the 110 hurdles in 15.65, though he did help Long Reach’s 4x200 relay pick up a first-place win (1:39.34).

On Tuesday, he felt like himself again.

“I definitely feel I came back a lot stronger,” Carter said. “My warm-up felt better. I guess I came in with a different mindset. I needed that day to clear my head, to get back in the mindset of running and being competitive.”

Fellow Lightning senior Tosin Oyewole won the 100 dash (10.66) and the 200 (21.49), tying former Hammond runner Brian Allred’s 1987 meet record in the latter. Oyewole’s 100 time was a personal best, even though his start off the block didn’t go the way he wanted.

“Coming in, I wanted to remember to relax, but keep my form,” Oyewole said. “I had a terrible start [in the 100], but I remained relax. I kept my form, came back, won the race and ran a PR.”

Howard senior Justin Marsh set a meet record in the 400, winning with a time of 47.95. He also ran the anchor on the Lions’ meet-record-tying 4x400 run of 3:23.20.

Wilde Lake picked up 45 of its 100 points in field events, with senior Khari Jackson taking first-place in the high jump (6 feet 2 inches) and the long jump (21-11).

The Howard girls did their damage in the same area, getting 81 of their 146 points in field events. Lions senior Sydney Biniak won the high jump (5-6), long jump (16-8 ¾) and triple jump (35-1). Howard junior Taylor Scaife won the shot put with a throw of 36-10 ½.

Wilde Lake sophomore Jamila Brown took home three wins in the 100 (12.04), 200 (25.12) and the 400 (59.45). Following the 400, an exhausted Brown needed a minute to catch her breath after pushing herself to set a new personal best in the win.

“I’m going to be completely honest — I don’t know how I just did that,” she said. “Adrenaline was just pumping.”

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