It's been two years since we had a "normal" outdoor track season here in Maryland, so it can be hard to remember, but mid-April is perhaps the busiest time of the year when it comes to racing. When including meets in the surrounding area (DC, NoVA, Delaware, Pennsylvania) there are usually up to half a dozen invites per weekend offering great races and performances. The April 22nd weekend in the spring of 2017 was no different. Meets that weekend included the Lanham Rebel Relays (South Hagerstown), the Scorpion Classic (Oakland Mills), the Aziz Ra'oof Invitational (Northeast), the Knights Invitational (North County), the McNamara Mustangs Invitational (Bishop McNamara), the Talley-Zimmerman Invitational (Walkersville), the Riverdale Baptist Invitational (Riverdale Baptist) and the Viking Invitational (Walter Johnson).
That year's Viking Invitational was a two-day meet, featuring some premium events on Friday evening before the rest of the events ran on Saturday. One of the best races came on Saturday as Leonardtown and Quince Orchard met in the girls 4x200 relay. Both squads were anchored by state qualifiers and eventual state champions or runners-up in Leya Essex and Kyra Lyles, respectively. Essex and the Raiders pulled off the win, edging Quince Orchard by just six hundredths of a second. Both times (1:45.83 and 1:45.89, respectively) put them 14th and 15th on the Maryland leaderboard at the time.
The two teams would meet just once more throughout the season, at the 4A state championships. Quince Orchard was coming off a second-place finish at the 4A West regional meet while Leonardtown had captured the 4A East title. At the state meet Leonardtown beat out Quince Orchard for the second time, this time by three tenths of a second, as the two teams finished fourth and sixth overall.