LANDOVER -- The Poly boys had a memorable afternoon after a rather nerve-racking morning yesterday.
The Engineers got caught in a huge traffic jam on Interstate 95 and arrived at yesterday's state championship indoor track and field meet at Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex about 12 minutes after the scheduled start.
But No. 3 Poly quickly settled down. The team didn't miss any events and won a second consecutive Class 2A state title.
The Engineers finished with 54 points, easily beating out Clarksburg (40).
The fifth-ranked Digital Harbor boys were the other local team to win; the Rams captured the Class 1A crown.
Poly had trouble from the start yesterday morning when its bus showed up to school 30 minutes late. The Engineers then left at 9:30 for the 11 a.m. start of the meet here but ran into a big jam getting on I-95 just outside of Catonsville. They found another route and made it to the building about 12 minutes late.
"I was kind of worried," Poly coach Steve Williams said. "The kids were panicking because they really wanted to be there."
Fortunately, Poly didn't miss anything. Michael Houston, Lemuel Pridgen and Lee Reynolds turned in strong performances.
Houston finished second in the 500-meter run, and Pridgen took second in the 800.
Reynolds helped with third-place finishes in the 55-meter dash and the 300.
The Engineers won the 800 relay in 1 minute, 32.71 seconds, thanks to Reynolds, Jon Marcus, Ian Holland and Terrell Buckson.
Century, anchored by Pat Wachter, took the 3,200 relay, but Poly won the 1,600 relay (3:32.29) with good efforts from Houston, Pridgen, Jarren Williams and Dione Jones.
Digital Harbor used similar balance en route to the Class 1A state title. The Rams finished with 70 points, easily beating Western Tech (51).
Anthony Drumgoole and Angelo Diggs combined to win three events, and the Rams took the 1,600 relay.
Drumgoole won the 55 (6.43) and the 300 (35.39). Diggs won the 500 in 1:09.18 and helped in the relays.
"Balance is the key," Digital Harbor coach Lutalo Bakari said. "But you've got to have some strong kids to come through if you want to win a team title, and Angelo Diggs and Anthony Drumgoole have been strong for us."
On the girls' side, Alyssa McClure sparked No. 8 Digital Harbor to a fourth-place finish. The sophomore won the 55-meter dash (7.23) and the 300 (41.01).
South Carroll finished third in Class 1A. Rachel Sykes led the Cavaliers, winning the 3,200 (11:54.67). Jess Lockatell added a victory in the high jump (4-10).
Katie Harman of River Hill, who won the Class 2A cross country state title last fall, showed why she's one of the area's top distance runners by winning two more championships. She captured the 1,600 in 5:18.83 and the 3,200 in 11:43.56.
Tyshia Oliver from Reginald Lewis also won two events, taking the 500 in 1:16.94 and the 800 in 2:26.88.