Miami-Dade County has seen its share of prep dynasties over the years, but few with the lasting power of the Northwestern girls’ track team.
Northwestern once again dominated the competition, not only locally but at the state level as it continued adding to its record haul by winning an eighth consecutive state championship in Bradenton to highlight the Dade spring season.
How dominant was Northwestern?
Not only did the Bulls start piling up points to run away with the title; no one else had a chance.
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Northeast, out of Oakland Park, finished second in the Class 3A standings, just a mere 114 1/2 points away.
“We were ready to run and win,” said Northwestern junior De’Andreah Young, who won a state title in the 300 hurdles as well as the 1,600-relay team.
“Throughout the whole trip, we knew that we came up here for business and we didn’t allow any distractions.”
Said senior Timetria Mitchell: “We knew what we have done and the work that we have put in to get to this point. We just had to keep the legacy going.”
A number of Dade teams also brought state championship hardware south this spring, highlighted not only by Northwestern’s domination on the track but in the pool as well.
Miami-Dade swept the water polo championships as Ransom Everglades took the girls’ championship and Belen Jesuit won the boys’ title by beating Broward rival St. Thomas Aquinas in the finale.
Speaking of dynasties, Ransom Everglades sure has one. Playing host to the state finals, the Raiders beat Orlando Olympia to win their third consecutive state title and seventh in the past eight years.
“These girls are coming from a dynasty,” said coach Eric Lefebvre, whose team started the year 1-2 before winning 21 of its last 23 games en route to another title. “This year we had to work harder than I think we’ve ever had to work to reach this point.”
For Belen, winning another boys’ water polo title was equally sweet. In a rematch of last year’s title game, the Wolverines beat Aquinas again — this time after rallying from a halftime deficit to do so.
“I asked for the kids to get together,” coach Jimmy Aguilera said. “They’ve been through a lot throughout the season … therefore, they worked together.”
On the tennis court, Gulliver swept the team titles in Class 2A while Mourning junior Tom Jaworski won the Class 3A individual singles championship and Riviera Prep senior Sara Culbertson won her school’s first tennis title with a dominant performance in Class 1A.
Coral Gables brought home four gold medals as double players Daniel Krulig, Jack Lee, Kristina Fernandez and Sofia Quevedo swept their events.
Not every team came back from state a winner.
The Hialeah flag football team, in its first season, lost to Seminole Ridge in the state semifinals and ended its historic season 13-4.
“It was a fantastic learning experience,” Hialeah coach Denoff Johnson said.
“After the year we had, winning a district title and a regional title and getting all the way to the state semifinal, you can’t say it was disappointing.”
Killian advanced to the boys’ volleyball final only to lose in a hard-fought, five-set match to Broward’s Archbishop McCarthy in that sport’s first Dade-Broward championship bout.
“We lost, but we did awesome,” Killian coach Clinton Reid said.
“This team really stood out, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The Westminster Christian softball team was back at the final four for the third consecutive season, but the Warriors couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit as they failed to win a second title in those three seasons.
“It wasn’t our day,” coach Scott Doan said. “It was one of those days.”
In baseball, four teams advanced to the state final four with Belen, Monsignor Pace, Westland Hialeah and Columbus all heading west to Fort Myers in search of gold.
For Westland, the first trip sometimes is the sweetest as the Gladiators scored three runs in the top of the ninth to beat host Delray Beach Atlantic.