Thea LaFond won three events on the final day of competition to bring her state title count to four at this year's outdoor track state championship. Her career state title count is now at nine which is one more than former Churchill star Audrey Gariepy-Bogui had.
She did not set any personal records but said, "All this is for the team."
With a sixth place finish by the 4x100 relay and a fifth place finish by Aimee Hart in the shot put, Kennedy tied Catonsville for second place in the team standings with 47 points. Kennedy won the coin toss to keep the finalist trophy. Huntingtown won the 3A state title with 48.5 points.
LaFond said the team started discussing winning the outdoor state title at the end of indoor season. She really wanted to do it for the underclassmen. For weeks leading up to the state meet, they were watching the competition and tallying scores for different scenarios. Of course the strategy to win was primarily dependent on Thea LaFond winning four events and there was a little thing called prom scheduled in the middle of the meet. Coach Kevin Monroe said Lafond was home from prom by 1:00 AM Saturday.
She won the 100-meter hurdles in 14.45 in the very first event of day three and she won the long jump on tired legs at the very end of the day. In between, she won the high jump with a jump of 5-06.
She cleared 5-06 easily on her first attempt but struggled when the bar was raised to 5-08 and all other competitors were eliminated. On one attempt at 5-08 she said her foot rolled on the plant and fatigue was starting to set in.
Towards the end of the 90 degree day, she jumped 17-11.50 on her second attempt of the long jump. On the third attempt, she landed what she felt was a 19 foot jump, but she was called for a scratch. She sat in the pit open-mouthed for a second, not in protest of the call, but with a feeling of being pleasantly surprised with the jump and distraught at the same time. 17-11.50 would hold up as her best jump.
"I had a 19 out there. I tried to bring it. It's not how I wanted to win but reminds me things don't always go as you want."
She plans to compete in the high jump and triple jump at New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
"I'm looking forward to dominating."