It's funny how one loss can motivate certain programs.
Take, for example, the Woodlawn boys and Dulaney girls indoor track and field teams. Entering this season, Woodlawn had taken home five of the past six Baltimore County crowns.
Dulaney had an even richer history, garnering seven of the previous eight titles.
But that one hole in their resumes continued to drive them last night, as both squads walked away with county championships at the Fifth Regiment Armory.
Woodlawn registered 94 points to barrel past Randallstown and Dulaney en route to a county-record 11th crown.
Dulaney kept Franklin at bay long enough to secure a 10-point gap and a county-record 17th title.
For Woodlawn, the victory further distanced them from their loss to Dulaney in 2001 and reminded the Warriors that their work is incomplete.
"This is the first step to a state championship," said senior Ronald Bias. "We're looking to things higher than this."
Woodlawn boasted champions and depth in nearly equal amounts. Wins from Bias in the 55 hurdles (7.9 seconds) and the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches), senior Samuel Henry in the 800 (2 minutes, 6.6 seconds) and senior Scott Burley in the shot put (46 feet, 6.75 inches) kept the Warriors in contention.
Plugging away with at least one point in 11 of 13 events, Woodlawn settled matters emphatically in the relays. While a first-place showing from the 1,600-relay squad of Bias, Henry and seniors William Bean and Justin Cheeks (3:47.6) wasn't startling, a gold medal from the 3,200-relay team of Henry, Bean, senior Donald Myrick and freshman Dwight Parker was to coach Mark Pryor, who hadn't expected points from that group.
Randallstown placed second with 58 points, courtesy of a win from its 800 relay squad of Martisse Williams, Stephen Pinkett, Jamari McCullough and Justin Dailey (1:40.8).
Dulaney, which finished third with 57 points, boasted a double champion in Travis Knox, who took the 1,600 (4:54.3) and the 3,200 (10:24.1).
Chesapeake's Augustus Korkoya also took home two golds with wins in the 55 (6.5 seconds) and the 300 (38.3).
Other titlists included Milford Mill's Andrew Simpson in the 500 (1:13.0) and Perry Hall's Joe Dillard in the pole vault (11-6).
The Dulaney girls were fueled by their setback to Milford Mill last year, a loss that ended a seven-year reign in the county.
Senior Kim Cook said the team hasn't forgotten.
"It's pretty embedded in our minds," she said. "It was kind of depressing going from first to seventh [the Lions' finish last season at the county championships]. This year, we were all motivated, and we wanted it."
Although the Lions emerged with just one individual champion --Kristen Marshall took the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches) -- they racked up points in nine of 13 events to finish with 65.
Franklin got 55 points, finishing second. Sophomore Michelle Donadio defended the 1,600 crown by placing first in 5:40.9.
She then joined Brittany Kiessling, Andie Hallock and Candice Holden to claim the 1,600 relay (4:37.3).
Western Tech was third with 35 points, thanks to victories from sophomore Enjoli Alexander in the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches) and its 800 relay squad of Tamia Chancey, Jessica Fields, Dominique Moore and Courtney Beckham (1:58.6).
Woodlawn senior Leslie Conley was a double winner in the 500 (1:24.7) and the 800 (2:35.4).
Parkville earned a gold medal from Nneka Madu in the shot put (31 feet, 6.75 inches).
Towson sophomore Lauren Capone also scored two victories. She repeated as the 3,200 champ (11:52.3) and teamed with seniors Laura Shane and Jenny Gillenwater and junior Allison Cutting for the 3,200 relay (10:34.5).
Other winners included Randallstown senior Kisha Thomas in the 55 (7.5 seconds), Milford Mill sophomore Ariana Forbes in the 55 hurdles (8.8 seconds) and Owings Mills senior Shantel Taylor in the 300 (45.9 seconds).