It was one of those meets that you just don't forget.
There was clear and vivid greatness in the making as Maryland outdoor track and field records were erased, rewritten, and then erased and rewritten again. It was a meet the likes of which several coaches and athletes said they never had seen before.
Prince George's County's contingent returned home from last weekend's state meet at Morgan State University in Baltimore with four team championships, a whopping 38 individual titles, 10 new state records and a sense of pride in the county's collective dominance.
“My goodness,” said Potomac coach Stan Mullins. “It was truly, truly something else.”
There was the sheer dominance of DuVal's Mobolaji Adeokun as she won four events, recording four personal bests — two of which were Class 4A state records.
There was the camaraderie between Frederick Douglass' Kyle Smith and competitors that he could have been jealous of, been motivated by, or even have been spiteful toward. Smith was visibly upset with his second-place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, but not long after that he cheered on a competitor enthusiastically enough that you wouldn't have known they were on different teams without looking at their uniforms.
That competitor was Potomac senior Dondre Echols, a University of South Carolina recruit who had one of the best performances in Maryland state meet history. During the preliminary races in the 110-meter hurdles on Friday he blew past a state record. Not 24 hours later he broke that record again.
“Dondre's amazing,” said his teammate and good friend, Ron Darby, a Florida State University recruit.
Echols moved on to play a part in breaking two more all-time state records: the 300 hurdles and the 400 relay.
“I rewrote history today,” he later wrote on Twitter after his performance led the Potomac boys team to the 3A state title.
But it wasn't just the falling records or the 39 state titles that underscored how significant the state meet was for Prince George's County.
It was the fight in Douglass' girls 1,600 relay anchor Anisah Teach to fend off a Largo team that had beaten the Eagles time and time again.
“I've never in my life started running like that,” she said.
Even more than Teach finding that extra strength to hold off her county rival, it was the sportsmanship extended by both relay teams, embracing in a sweaty, exhausted and collapsing hug before the Eagles broke into celebration.
It was the laughs shared by Bowie's Janice George and Northwest's India Knight as they lay sprawled out in the shade between events, worn out, beaten and drained. Their two teams were separated by four points as Bowie wound up on top with the 4A state crown.
“We're not rivals,” said Knight, laughing. “We're best friends.”
It was Bowie coach Rich Andrulonis getting the ever evasive outdoor state title that has slipped his grasp for 31 seasons.
It was Gwynn Park's Jasper Savoy opening up his arms, looking into the cloudless sky after his 0.03 second win in the Class 2A boys 200 to say “thank you” before he rewarded himself with a drink of water.
It was Largo's Emani Williams getting more excited for her teammate's success in the discus than her own. The junior had her first state title all but wrapped up, but there was no giddy excitement or bubbly anticipation until Largo throwing coach Thomas Butler told her that her sophomore teammate, Favor Ihekweme, had surpassed the 100-foot mark.
“She did what?” Williams asked, stopping right where she was, putting her hands on her hips, and breaking into a wide smile. “Na-uh!”
When Williams eventually won the state title one throw later, you would have thought it was Ihekweme who had taken first — Williams opted to wrap up her teammate in a bone-crunching hug rather than celebrate her own milestone achievement.
It was Bowie senior Charde Barnes walking off the track disgusted after the 1,600-meter run, not because of her relatively poor individual time, but because she didn't score for her team.
“That's what matters most,” she said. “If I don't score it doesn't matter.”
Indeed, there was a lot more going on at the meet than record-breaking times, heights and distances.
“Everything was awesome,” said Bowie thrower Antonella Taylor, who won her second consecutive shot put state title. “We are so proud of P.G. County, especially [Adeokun] breaking all those records. We're all helping each other to better ourselves. At the end of the day we're all there for each other even if we are competing.”
Prince George's County athletes broke 10 state records at last weekend's Maryland Outdoor Track and Field Championships — 11 including Dondre Echols breaking the 110-meter hurdles mark in Friday's preliminaries and surpassing that time on Saturday in the final.
Jasper Savoy, Gwynn Park: 100-meter 2A meet record, 10.65 seconds
Kyle Smith, Douglass: 110 hurdles 2A meet record, 14.29
Quincey Sutton, Douglass: Discus 2A meet record, 167 feet, 10 inches
Dondre Echols, Potomac: 110 hurdles 3A meet record, 13.87
Dondre Echols, Potomac: 110 hurdles 3A meet record/state record, 13.59
Dondre Echols, Potomac: 300 hurdles 3A meet record/state record, 36.26
Potomac 400 relay: (Dondre Echols, Ron Darby, Josh Thorne, Tavon Young) 3A meet record/ state record, 41.08
Mobolaji Adeokun, DuVal: 100 hurdles 4A meet record, 13.75
Mobolaji Adeokun, DuVal: Long jump 4A meet record, 19-6 1/2
Suitland 400-relay: 4A meet record, 41.64
Wise 800-relay: (Champ Page, Beyshawn Hamilton, Antoine Whitaker, Rasaan Johnson), 4A meet record/state record, 1:26.25