FELTON — The Smyrna High boys’ track team has spent the past few seasons watching its girls celebrate winning championships.
On a foggy Friday night at Lake Forest High, they all got to bask in the glory of a conference title.
The Eagles swept both the boys’ and girls’ overall team championships on the second day of the Henlopen Conference track and field meet. The boys recorded 125.5 points to edge Dover and Caesar Rodney who tied for second with 118 while the girls ran away with the title with 183 points, well ahead of second-place CR’s 132.
It’s the fourth consecutive title for the girls, but the first in recent memory for the boys.
“It’s crazy. I remember freshman year we had no idea about winning conferences, we just wanted to win meets,” said Smyrna senior Deuce Carter. “We all came up together and we’re a family, I really mean that. We’re brothers and sisters and it’s just happy to see everyone grow up and mature at the same time.”
For coach Maura Schafer, who coaches both the boys and the girls, this was something she set out to achieve at the beginning of the season.
“It’s been tough having the boys have to watch the girls be successful so that was our goal this year was to have teams with matching success,” Schafer said. “I couldn’t ask for a group of better kids, motivated and love the sport of track and field.”
Schafer was honored at the meet with a pair of awards, winning the Coach of the Year for both boys and girls.
The Smyrna girls were led by Shantell Kargbeh who won the high jump and triple jump, Myrissa McFolling-Young who won the shot put and discus, Naomi Bowser who won the pole vault and 800-meter run while also being a part of one of three Smyrna relay teams to take first place.
“It’s very cool because I’ve never been a part of a team where both the boys and girls had won,” Bowser said. “As you can see, it’s pretty exciting that both of us can have a win.”
The boys’ title came down to the evening’s final event — the 4x400 meter relay.
Smyrna held a lead heading into the final leg but Carter had to hold off a hard-charging Sussex Central team. The Eagles’ winning time of 3:27.29 was a school record, beating the previous mark by three seconds.
“We just wanted it so bad,” Carter said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Schafer said she wanted it to come down to the 4x400 team.
“It was awesome,” she said. “At Smyrna we pride ourselves on putting really good 4x4s out there. I have all the confidence in the world in our 4x4.”
Carter also won the triple jump while Charlie Taylor took first in the 200-meter dash for the Eagles. Tosin Ibironke swept the two distance races, winning the 1600-meter run and the 3200.
“Our seniors definitely stepped up huge,” Schafer said. “They were working for this for four years. We’ve knew we had a more complete team of dedicated guys than ever before and they really wanted to piece it together.”
Sussex Central’s Naiya Smith captured the most individual championships, winning the girls’ 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes.
Full results from the Henlopen Conference track and field championship meet will be available in Sunday’s edition of the Delaware State News.