Don't look for high-tech psychological training methods on Edgewood High's boys track team. These guys, especially the jumpers, have a simple formula for motivation.
"What gets us into it is us talking junk to each other," said Lawrence Worthington.
That good-natured but rapid-fire ribbing takes the edge off of competition for these guys. They want to win, but track season is a little more laid back than the rest of their sporting year.
"It's tough during the regular season playing football straight into basketball," explained Worthington. "Our basketball season was a long one and this keeps us going. But it is different."
The Rams take their cuefrom head coach Roy Norris, who runs around snapping pictures at every meet. The athletes say Norris can be a tough coach, but he expectsthem to have fun too.
"Everyone on this team is just so talented," said Norris, who gives away many of his photos to the athletes at the end of the season. "They come out here to compete. They have fun, but when it comes down to race time, they do their thing and they do it very well."
In fact, the Rams boys' track and field team is undefeated in dual meets and have high hopes of winning a third straightClass 2A regional championship.
In Thursday's dual meet at Fallston, the Rams' domination of the field events led the Edgewood boys toa 91-54 victory over the Cougars.
The girls, however, don't have the same kind of experience. They fell to a talented young Cougars squad, 93-52.
The Rams' boys won all of the field events and swept the top three places in the discus, shot put, long jump and triple jump.
Norris bolstered his squads'field events strength by recruitingfootball and basketball players. One who turned out last year for the first time was Steve Lewis, who went on to win the state title in the high jump.
Lewis missed the meet at Fallston to attend a funeral, but that didn't make much difference to the outcome. Worthington, Charles Ferguson, John Hobbs and Cornelius Carey, all members of the Rams' state runner-up basketball team, nearly swept the field events against Fallston.
Carey won the triple jump (40' 7") and the high jump (5' 10"). Worthington won the long jump (18' 9") and finished third in the high jump (5' 6") and the triple jump (38' 4"). Ferguson was second in the long jump (18' 2") and triple jump (39' 5"). Hobbs took third in the long jump (18' 1").
Hobbs also won the discus (120' 1") followed by teammates Damon Bomar (119') and John Lamancusa (112' 3"). In the shot put, Bomar took first (44' 4") followed by Hobbs(41' 3") and Lamancusa (35' 5").
The Rams' sprinters have the same kind of rivalry as the jumpers.
Chris Gibbons won the 100-meter -- in 11.17 seconds followed by Brian Johnson (11.23) and Chuck Reich(11.54). Reich won the 200-meter -- in 23.7 seconds followed by Gibbons (23.8) and Johnson (24.16).
The same trio combined with Mike Karwakta to win the 800-meter relay (1:35) and the 400-meter relay (46.26).
Fallston kept the team competition close for a while by winning all of the hurdles and distance races.
The Cougars' Mike Hoffman won both the 1,600-meter run (4:57) and the 3,200-meter run (10:58) while Matt Radimer won the 100-meter hurdles (16.95) and the 300 hurdles (45.57). Hoffman joined Dave Bergman, Ben Hall and Jesse Jeffries to win the 3,200-meter relay (9:54). Hoffman, Bergman, Radimer andRaj Ayyagari won the 1,600-meter relay (1:32.5).
In addition, Bergman won the 400-meters (54.09) and J.J. Weininger won the pole vault(9').
In the girls competition, Fallston swept the distance and middle distance events even without state champ Jenny Howard, who skipped the meet so she could run in another one yesterday.
The Cougars lost 13 seniors from the squad that won the county title last year.That team lost the regional title by five points and tied for fifth in the state. Despite an abundance of freshmen and sophomores, the Cougars have lost only one dual meet so far -- to C. Milton Wright.
Against Edgewood, Monica Beall won the 1,600 meters (6:01) and freshman Laurie Cicero won the 3,200 meters (13:59). Amy Havener won the 800-meter run (2:42) as well as the 400 meters (1:04.22).
Havener, Beall, Kristen Svehla and Pam Toth won the 3,200-meter relay (11:34) while Havener, Svehla, Beall and Darlene Papier won the 1,600-meter relay (4:41). Jaylane Bohl, Carrie Leonard, Shelby Worthington and Paige Dixon won the 800-meter relay (2:00) while Erika Beynon, Sarah Sheckells, Bohl and Leonard won the 400-meter relay (57.25).
Toth won the 300 hurdles (54.61) while Beynon won the 100 hurdles (19.28). Svehla won the high hump (4' 6").
Edgewood got double victories from Jamese Kirby in the shot put (28' 9") and the discus (89' 11") and Shavon Ringold in the 100-meter -- (13.62) and the 200-meter -- (28.44). Robyn Smith won the tripled jump (29' 2") and Kareema Holmes won the long jump (13'8").