To call their performance “good” would be like calling the Grand Canyon “big.” It just isn't enough.
After almost seven hours of running, jumping, recovering, and running some more, athletes from Prince George's County combined for 30 state titles from all four classes, and that only takes into account Saturday's results.
Frederick Douglass High School's Modesty Lorick sparked the slew of state titles with her fingernail-length win in the 2A 100-meter hurdles past Oakdale's Adell Remsberg from Frederick County.
Funny thing is, she almost didn't make it to the starting line. Ten minutes before the race Lorick was nowhere to be found.
“My only warmup was running like 100 meters to the starting line,” she said after her win. “I was just scared of pulling something. I wasn't even worried about winning.”
From there, Lorick had opened the flood gates of Prince George's County titles. Two races later DuVal's Mobolaji Adeokun collected the first of her four 4A state crowns on the day, breaking rival Alexis Franklin's old 4A meet record set in 2011 in a sizzling 13.75 seconds.
Lorick's teammate, Kyle Smith, was next in line for a title. The senior Clemson University recruit set a 2A meet record in the 110-hurdles with his time of 14.29 seconds. He was followed by Potomac's Dondre Echols, who broke his own all-time state record set at Friday's meet, which had stood for 14 years prior to him breezing past it, winning by nearly a full second with his time of 13.59.
Charles H. Flowers hurdler Malcolm Sykes followed the Potomac star with a 4A state title of his own, capping off Prince George's with five state championships in the first two events alone.
The 100-meter would prove to be similar: Adeokun cruised to another personal record, Gwynn Park's Jasper Savoy broke the 40-year-old 2A meet record (he added another victory in the 200), Potomac's Ron Darby picked up his first of two, and Suitland's David Winters rounded it off with a .35 second victory of his own.
All in all, nine crowns went Prince George's way in the opening 16 races, not to mention that there were three runner-ups as well, including Echols after about a 10 minute rest in between the 110-hurdles and the 100-meter.
“Dondre's amazing,” said Darby after winning his third straight outdoor title in the 100. “He just set the state record and he's running again.”
The rest of the counties got their chance in the distance events, as there were no Prince George's winners in the 1,600 and just one in the 800, Largo's Caitlin Boyles.
But Henry A. Wise's Champ Page got the titles rolling back in again in the 400 meter, his gold shoes crossing the line one second ahead of Suitland's Taivon Jacobs. Then Echols set another state record in the 300-hurdles, flying for a 36.26 second time that boosted him to the No. 5 spot in the nation.
“I had a goal in mind,” he said after the race, a grin stretching ear to ear. “That goal was how I pushed myself.”
The Potomac senior, headed to the University of South Carolina next year, also contributed a leg in the Wolverine 400 relay that broke yet another state record, making that the fourth in three days for him.
When the meet was all said and done, 11 Prince George's teams had an individual taking home a gold medal. Bowie's Antonella Taylor captured the discus; Mohamed Cisse brought his Largo 1,600 relay team back for a win; Forestville's Shatiya Johnson won the shot put; and Crossland's Robert Mercer added a victory in the pole vault.
In the Class 4A boys team race, Wise edged Suitland for the state title, 60 to 59. DuVal was third with 45 points. Others in the top 10 were Oxon Hill (31.5 points) in eighth place and Charles H. Flowers (30) in ninth.Kyle Smith's efforts, coupled with a dominant performance from senior Quincey Sutton, who won both throwing events, bolstered Douglass to a sweep of both the Class 2A indoor and outdoor state titles this year.
“They knew going into it that if they did what they had to do this would be the result,” said Douglass coach Malcolm Drewery.
Bowie's girls captured their first Class 4A outdoor state title in coach Rich Andrulonis's 31-season reign.
“It was a complete team effort,” he said as his girls ran around the track — as if they hadn't done enough of that already — in celebration. “We had sprints, middle-distance, distance, and relays. We were solid all the way around.”
Potomac's boys also picked up the Class 3A state crown behind a county-best five individual state titles.