WESTMINSTER -- Milford Mill coach Jesse Hannon was perhaps the most surprised person in Scott S. Bair Stadium when he heard his girls team had won the state Class 1A track and field title yesterday at Western Maryland College.
"That's a total surprise," said Hannon. "I really thought we were going to battle for third."
The Millers had to overcome a couple of obstacles en route to claiming their second state championship -- they shared the title with Boonsboro in 1988.
Yesterday, two Milford Mill runners were disqualified -- and 18 potential points lost -- from the 200 for failing to walk to the starting line after checking in. The Millers also spent the season without a full-time practice facility because their school is being renovated.
"I think some people kept overlooking our girls," said Hannon, noting that most had been anticipating a strong showing by his boys team. "Some of our points [in the regional] were good solid points, and I figured they'd hold up."
Sheron Barton led the way for the Millers by winning the 110-meter hurdles and the 100 -- and anchoring the winning 800 relay. Debbie McDonald placed third in the 110 hurdles, fifth in the triple jump and ran a leg of the 800 relay.
Perhaps the most surprising individual performance of the day was the showing of Hammond freshman Kesha Jett, who won three gold medals in the Class 2A championship meet.
Jett won the 100 -- in 12.14 seconds, the 400 in 56.6 and the 200 in 25.24. And, she might have had a shot at a fourth gold, but was disqualified in the long jump -- apparently because she was not ready to jump because of a conflict with the running of the 100 race.
Another triple winner was Thori Staples of Joppatowne, who won the 400, 800 and long jump in the Class 1A meet.
Jenny Howard of Fallston won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 in the girls Class 2A competition.
Prince George's County teams swept the other girls team titles.
Central won its sixth consecutive Class 2A crown, Bladensburg won the Class 3A crown for the second straight year and Eleanor Roosevelt repeated as the 4A titlist.