On This Date: One Chapter in a Season-Long Saga

Thierry Siewe Yanga (left) holds off Jacob Grant in what was a series of thrilling races between Blair and Churchill throughout the 2016 spring season. (Photo by Marleen Van den Neste)

Some seasons, it's clear which teams are the ones to beat in the relays once the postseason rolls around. Even if certain teams haven't thrown down terrific performances, they have the personnel to completely dominate certain relays at regionals and states. Other years, the field is full of great teams that meet multiple times throughout the season.

In 2016, the 4A boys field featured plenty of teams stacked with mid-distance talent. Montgomery County alone featured three 4A teams - Montgomery Blair, Winston Churchill and Northwest - that hovered around the 8:00 mark throughout the season. Churchill won the first matchup with Blair at the Screaming Eagles Invitational in early April. Round two - at the Viking Invitational in mid-April - went to Severna Park, with Churchill, Northwest and Blair all shortly behind.

The three Montgomery County teams met once again at the county championships on a day marked by a rainstorm and the subsequent outage of the automatic timing system. Northwest and Churchill led at the first exchange, and the Bulldogs began to widen their advantage over the course of the middle legs. Blair began the anchor leg in third place, but also saved their best for last in breakout junior star Thierre Siewe Yanga (who would go on to sweep individual county, regional and state titles in the 800). As most of the races in this particular rivalry went, this one went right down to the wire, as Siewe Yanga held off Churchill senior Jacob Grant to complete Blair's comeback.

The Blair boys would also go on to sweep the regional and state titles in the 4x800, with Siewe Yanga anchoring each time. At the regional meet, they beat out Northwest (8:01) and Churchill (8:02), and then took down out-of-county 4A rivals Howard (7:59) and South River (7:59) at the state meet.