BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) – At Friday and Saturday’s Maryland 4A state track and field championship, the Walter Johnson high school boys track and field team will try to repeat as state champions.

“We got a little taste of it last year and, you know, we want it again,” Walter Johnson senior sprinter Fernando Ibarra, who is committed to run at American University, said. “So I think this this new group, we have a lot of new people coming in and they want to know how it feels like.”

Coming out of a tough COVID quarantine in 2021, the Wildcats won their first state title in school history.

“Over COVID there was no official practices,” senior team captain and distance runner Andrew Schell said. “So it was just a small group of guys training but we came out of that pretty fast and we all wanted to run some fast times, do some special stuff. And that happened last year with winning states so we have to continue that.”

In 2022, the senior-heavy team picked up where it left off, winning their region and the county championship.

In his 25th season leading the program, head coach Tom Martin says his team is ready to roll for the championships this week in Landover.

“We’re going to do nothing different this year,” Martin told WDVM. “We’re not gonna think about, you know, winning, we’re gonna think about just every individual doing their best and if it works out, you know, in the end, that we win, that’s fantastic.”