Mount Hebron's Liz McCarter and Katie Hursey of North Carroll waged another battle in a state championship race yesterday.
The teammates-to-be at Syracuse met in the Class 3A 3,200-meter final, and McCarter pulled away for an impressive victory at Morgan State.
McCarter had beaten Hursey in a mild upset in the Class 3A state championship cross country race last fall, using a kick that the North Carroll senior couldn't answer. Hursey then topped McCarter in this past winter's Class 3A-2A 1,600 state title run.
The two were close throughout the first half of yesterday's race before McCarter made her move on the fifth of the eight laps. McCarter won in 11 minutes, 11.26 seconds, beating Katie Ogden of Northern (11:22.08), Monique Ositelu from J.M. Bennett (11:26.08) and then Hursey, who slid back to fourth (11:40.45).
"You have to play it by ear, but I just decided I'd speed up first," McCarter said. "I didn't know I was that far ahead."
McCarter was disappointed with her third-place finish in last year's Class 3A 3,200 state race, especially because she won both the 800 and 1,600 the following day. She'll try to win those two races again today when all four classes finish the meet, which will begin at 10:30 a.m.
North Carroll was the area team that fared the best overall yesterday in the girls competition. The third-ranked Panthers got a victory from Jess Huber in the pole vault (10 feet, 6 inches), and their 3,200 relay team broke a 22-year-old school record in finishing third. Largo was the Class 3A leader with 27 points, and North Carroll (20) stood second.
In the boys competition, North Carroll was tied for first with Bethesda-Chevy Chase and Wilde Lake (24 points), but the Panthers will likely drop some as they'll only compete in the 400 relay today.
Erik Adami of North Carroll was the only multiple-event winner of the day, capturing the high jump (6-4, a personal best) and the pole vault (13-6).
"He raised our whole team's level of competitiveness," North Carroll co-coach Jim MacDonald said. "He's had a phenomenal season."
Wilde Lake won the 800 relay for a big chunk of its points.
Top-ranked Meade finished tied for second with Richard Montgomery and Quince Orchard with 18 points, four behind Gaithersburg in the boys Class 4A meet. The Mustangs got a second-place finish from Terry Marshall in the shot put, plus Zalik Mafar's third-place effort in the 3,200.
Shannel Shivers of Aberdeen repeated as the Class 3A girls discus champion, easily winning with a throw of 123-8. She beat Alyce Harrell of Long Reach (118-5), who defeated Shivers in last week's Class 3A East regional meet. Harrell won the triple jump (36-3 1/2 ) yesterday.
Fallston's boys won the Class 3A 3,200-meter relay in 8:05.63, edging Bethesda-Chevy Chase (8:06.14).
Broadneck's boys won that race (7:57.67) in Class 4A, thanks to the disqualification of Eleanor Roosevelt and Bladensburg because of uniform issues. The two teams had set records in the race.