In the first section of the girls 1600m, the weather was calm and cloudy. Before the second section began, the wind picked up with so much force that the "fast section" of girls moved slower through the first 800 meters than the earlier section. The high winds were sustained for the next twenty minutes before giving way to a steady downpour that lasted for the remaining duration of the championship meet.
Just about every other year Montgomery County athletes endure rainy conditions on the big championship day, but unlike in years past, the 2012 meet was never delayed. Despite relentless rain and chilly conditions, the meet pushed forward ahead of schedule until all champions were crowned.
The much-anticipated "chess match" between Clarksburg Coach Scott Mathias and Quince Orchard Coach Seann Pelkey fittingly ended in a "stalemate" with both boys teams finishing the day with 85 points.
Any way you look at it, inches and milliseconds prevented one of these two teams from coming out on top, but the fact of the matter is that the two teams tied because they could not be more evenly matched.
|# of Events
No other MoCo team comes close when it comes to spreading its athletes around to all of the events this year.
Walter Johnson's Elad Covaliu was named the James Demoss Male Athlete of the Meet for his double victory in the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles. He set a personal best of 15.11 in the 110m hurdle finals and then came within 0.33 seconds of breaking the 17 year old meet record of 39.0 (handtimed) under less than ideal conditions in the 300-meter hurdles.
Wootton had six individual girls and four relays score points to claim the team title with 86 points.
Sylvia Deppen sacrificed one of her strongest events, the 300m hurdles, to go after points in the open 400m. She won the race by over two seconds in 57.05. Casey Dowling scored 18 individual points for Wootton, jumping 18 feet (1st) in the long jump and 36-02 (2nd) in the triple jump.
It was Wootton's Gwen Shaw who coaches appropriately voted as the female meet MVP for her dominant wins in the hurdle races and contributions to two winning relays. Shaw was untouchable in the hurdle races, winning the 100-meter hurdles by nearly a second in 14.56 and winning the 300-meter hurdles by over a second in 45.97. Wootton may not have caught Blair to win the 4x200 relay without Shaw anchoring the relay and willing herself to victory in 1:47.27.
Wootton needed to finish no worse than fourth in the 4x400 relay to clinch the team title, but everyone in the stadium knew the race would come down to Northwest and Wootton. Shaw was handed a small cushion on the anchor leg which Northwest's Tiara Wellman quickly closed. Shaw stayed steady and continued to hammer until the space behind her opened once again. she crossed the line first in 3:58.34.
Kellie Redmond said that it felt good to win the county title again despite the cramps in her shoulders after hours of shivering in the cold, rainy weather. Wootton last won the outdoor county title in 2008, the year in which Olivia Ekpone began her high school track career as a Wootton Patriot.
The only meet record of the day came from Clarksburg's Claudia Ababio who threw a personal best in the shot put (40 feet) by two feet in the rain. She became the first Montgomery County girl to record a 40 foot mark since 2004, and the first to do so outdoors since the 1990's. The previous county meet record was 39-04 set by Amy Schwinn all the way back in 1984.