Meade's boys and Central's girls are again the teams to beat at Saturday's 29th annual National Guard Meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory.
Meet director Ed Walker said 83 schools will be represented (80 boys teams and 78 girls teams), matching last year's largest field ever. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 10 a.m.
Meade has won the last two boys titles, and Central (Prince George's County) has won six girls titles in the last 10 years, including 1990.
"If we get normal performances from several people, we should be right there again," said Meade coach Jay Cuthbert.
Those key performers include hurdler Anthony Lowe, high jumper Derrick Barr, pole-vaulting twins Jeff and Eric Miller and distance man Ray Burleson.
Lowe boasts a 7.6-second clocking for the 55-meter hurdles and Barr has cleared 6 feet, 5 inches. Jeff Miller has topped 14 feet three times, doing 14-4 last week, and brother Eric has cleared 13-6.
Burleson faces the stiffest test in the 1,500. Walker said that could be the day's best event, with at least four area runners all turning in 1,600 times in the mid 4:30s.
Burleson turned in a 4:35. Lansdowne's Jason Cox has done 4:36 and Old Mill's Scott Boetig had a 4:35 effort last week. Centennial's Pat Rodrigues, The Evening Sun Runner of the Year in cross country last fall, will be right in the middle of 1,500 battle, too.
Old Mill finished second to Central last year in the girls' competition.
Although a meet with Catonsville, Dulaney, Hereford and Towson at the Armory on Tuesday was canceled because of anti-war protests at the building, the National Guard meet will run as scheduled. According to Walker, no protesters showed up yesterday, and "Saturday they will beef up security around the building. There will be a meet," Walker said.
In other track and field developments, plans are under way to hold a senior all-star outdoor meet between the Maryland Scholastic Association and Baltimore County. Details will be forthcoming.
* Randallstown ended Perry Hall's streak of 36 straight dual meet wrestling victories Tuesday, 33-27. Heavyweight Eric Gertner registered a pin for the Rams to seal the victory.
Ironically, Randallstown first-year coach Jeff Langrehr is the cousin of Perry Hall coach Al Miller. Langrehr, 30, wrestled for Miller at Perry Hall in 1978 and has spent 10 years coaching in the Perry Hall junior leagues.
"It was weird," said Langrehr. "I coached a lot of Perry Hall's wrestlers in the junior leagues."
Langrehr landed a teaching position at Deer Park Middle School and took over the Rams' post when Joe Bosley stepped down.
* QUESTION: Do MSA wrestling coaches really appear trimmer this season?
ANSWER: (From the wrestling portion of the minutes of last month's Maryland Scholastic Association meeting): "All coaches must report actual weights at the meet and also must meet tournament weight requirements."
* Two teams are needed to join six others for the third annual Sons of Highlandtown -- Patterson High School Softball Tournament, set for April 13. It's a one-day event and guarantees each team at least two games. Contact Derek Maki (396-9274).
* Fallston's Jenny Howard perhaps recently ran her best race ever, according to coach Gary Trott. Howard, The Evening Sun All-Metro Co-Runner of the Year last fall in cross country, ran 3,000 meters in 10:30 in an open meet at Princeton. She placed fourth.
* Northeast-AA guard Gene Pleyo registered his 187th career assist last week in a victory over North County, surpassing the old school record held by George Henson (1988).
* The Eastside Invitational Wrestling Tournament will be held this Saturday at Mervo. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m., and teams competing are Mervo, Northern, Patterson, City and Lake Clifton.
* Old Mill's Jim Dillon, Northeast-AA's Bob Grimm, Sparrows Point's Mitchell Moon, John Carroll's Jerry O'Brien, Queen Anne's John Sharp and Mary Lucas of the MPSSAA represented the area at the National Federation's 21st annual National Conference of High School Directors of Athletics and Athletic Administrators Association last month. More than 2,600 attended.
* Calvert Hall needs football opponents for Sept. 13 and Sept. 20. Call Lou Eckerl at 825-4266 for more information.
Reminder: Nominate Athletes of the Week to The Evening Sun (332-6669) on Mondays between 8 a.m. and noon.