Severna Park completes triple crown, winning first outdoor state title
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Severna Park completes triple crown, winning first outdoor state title

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After Jack DeBaugh won the Maryland 4A championship in the grueling 800 meters Saturday, all the Severna Park senior wanted was a snack and something to drink.

But as DeBaugh rejoined his teammates at the Falcons’ station at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, he received a boost of energy from another source. He learned that, with his win, the Falcons had clinched the first outdoor state title in program history.

“It was such an awesome experience,” said DeBaugh, who finished in 1 minute 55.94 seconds. “I usually try to tune out the point-counting and just focus on the race ahead, but when I came back and heard that we’d clinched it with, like, four events to go, my body was just overtaken with a feeling I’ve never felt before — like, we really did it.”

Coming into the meet, Severna Park was brimming with confidence. Beyond being the favorite on the boys’ side, most of the team already had championship experience; the Falcons claimed cross-country and indoor track titles this school year.

But the state outdoor meet presented another variable: The first session, scheduled for Friday, was postponed by inclement weather. As a result, teams in 3A and 4A participated in preliminary heats in the morning and then returned for the finals later in the day.

“Not much changes from a physical standpoint because everyone is having to adjust and deal with the same condensed schedule, but the mental standpoint is where meets like Saturday’s can be won or lost,” Severna Park Coach Josh Alcombright said. “So I just reminded them in an email Friday night that being really focused was going to be the key. Accepting that the day was going to be long can be a huge advantage for us before we even stepped off the bus.”

DeBaugh’s victories in the 400 and 800 and as part of the 4×800 relay played a major role in Severna Park (87 points) beating Old Mill (59) and Northwest (43). On the girls’ side, Urbana (102) beat out Blake (90.5) and C.H. Flowers (66.2) for the 4A title.

In the 3A girls’ competition, Howard ran away with the win, scoring 104 points to double the next-best team and repeat as champions. (The Lions won in 4A last year.) Senior Nimrit Ahuja played a crucial role, winning the 800 and 1,600 and running on the Lions’ victorious 4×800 squad.

The Northern boys scored 57 points to edge Huntingtown (55) and Howard (52) for the 3A title — their first state championship since a dominant stretch in which the Patriots won in 1980, 1982 and 1983.

In Class 2A, the Oakland Mills boys (168 points) dominated and the girls (88.5) edged runner-up Hereford (82). The boys were the 3A champs a year ago and now have 15 state titles.