Streaks were the story at last night's Carroll County track and field championships at Winters Mill.
Winters Mill ended the Westminster boys' 23-year county title run by edging Liberty for the championship. The North Carroll girls started what they hope is a long winning streak by capturing their first county championship in 19 years.
The Falcons boys finished with 106.5 points, just ahead of Liberty (105), North Carroll (94.5), Century (92) and Francis Scott Key (90). Westminster lost many key athletes from last year and was without coach Kevin Mooney, whose wife went into labor yesterday afternoon. The Owls finished in sixth place with 48.5 points.
"It's a lot of pressure on the kids, and it's tough for them," said Westminster girls coach Christine Johnson. "The reality is that streaks do end sometimes."
For the Winters Mill boys, everything came down to the final race. That's when Winters Mill pulled out a narrow victory over the Lions in the 1,600-meter relay to take the team title.
Joe Taylor of Winters Mill and Nick Hruch of Liberty were neck-and-neck entering the final 100 meters, but Taylor pulled away to give the Falcons the win in 3:32.53, just ahead of the Lions' 3:33.33.
"I looked deep inside of myself and just somewhere I got that burst of energy," Taylor said.
Taylor, a senior, also won the 400 in 52.03, took second in the 100 and ran on the second-place 400-meter relay team. Junior Jordan Wike won the pole vault (13-0) and ran on that 400-relay squad. Senior Chris Stinnette ran on three relay teams and was second in the 800.
Hruch had a big night for Liberty, anchoring the victorious 3,200 relay team and winning the triple jump (42-5 1/2 ) and the high jump (6-4).
Tim Wunderlich of North Carroll also won three times, taking the long jump (21-8), shot put (49-5) and discus (133-4). Century's Chris Jones won the 110 hurdles (14.65) and the 300 hurdles (40.65), Century's Dyron Johnson took the 100 (11.40) and 200 (22.80), and Bryan Leiter of Francis Scott Key won the 800 (2:01.90) and 1,600 (4:52.61).
In the girls competition, Katie Hursey won the 800 (2:26.07), the 1,600 (5:33.20) and the 3,200 (12:04.85) to carry North Carroll to the title. The Panthers captured two of the night's final three events to pull away and finish with 127 points, ahead of Westminster (98) and defending champion Winters Mill (94).
Bethany Perna of Winters Mill was the only other three-event winner among the girls, capturing the pole vault (meet-record 10 feet), the long jump (16-2 1/2 ) and triple jump (33-10).