Title No. 20 wasn't the easiest to attain.
When the Old Mill boys won the state Class 4A indoor track and field championship at the Fifth Regiment Armory last night, it marked the 20th time that a Ron Evans-coached team took Maryland honors. The first came outdoors in 1970, when Evans was at Arundel. His Old Mill girls won in 1988 and '89, but it was the first title for the boys under cover since 1979.
"You would think after all of these years that I wouldn't worry about these things, but I'm a wreck," said Evans, who is celebrating his 25th year of coaching in grand fashion. "Most coaches come to these meets with a couple of kids, but we've got someone in just about every event, boys and girls, and that creates a big strain."
It also develops the kind of depth that have been Evans' trademark. Yesterday, his boys scored in 11 of the 13 events, dethroning two-time champion Eleanor Roosevelt, 49 1/2 -45. Along the way, they showed a lot of guts:
* Scott Boetig, who missed much of the season with mononucleosis, came back to lend a hand in the 3,200 relay, in which the Patriots placed fourth.
* Jason Rachanow got sixth place in the 800, but it was another moral victory. His achilles tendon was nearly severed in a warehouse accident earlier this winter.
* Rachanow gave up his spot on the 1,600 relay, which the Patriots won in 3 minutes, 32.86 seconds. Anchor man Rufus Beard boldly passed on the inside with 200 meters to go.
"Rufus returns punts for the football team, and he doesn't fair catch many," Evans said of the 5-foot-7 Beard. "He's got nerve."
Rocky McMillan was Old Mill's only individual winner, as he repeated in the 55 hurdles in 7.72. He and Derric Johnson, who was third in the 55 --, teamed on an 800 relay that finished third.
Several national-caliber competitors stood out on the girls' side, where Roosevelt rolled to its third straight title behind Ebony Robinson, who set meet records in the 55 and 300 --es and anchored another meet record in the 1,600 relay. Largo's Tyra Moore, another Prince George's County senior who's getting national attention, took the hurdles and high jump.
Closer to home, Amanda White put on another stellar display of distance running. The Dulaney junior helped the Lions to third in the 3,200 relay and set meet records in the 1,600 (5:04.7) and 3,200 (10:47.1). She then bettered another meet standard, in the 800, only to place second to Kristine Jost of Queen Anne's.
A soccer player last fall, Jost ran an area-record 2:20.46, and earlier White pulled her to an equally-fine time in the 1,600, 5:11.2. Her father, Steve, was the Baltimore County runnerup in the 1,000 yards back in 1976, when he was a student at Perry Hall.
His alma mater had a rough time in the boys' meet, as the Gators lost points in the hurdles and high jump and finished in a fifth-place tie. Junior Charles Adams won the shot put, and Chris Nance and freshman Jim Banach were runnersup in the 1,600 and 55 --, respectively. Other local champions were North County junior Sam Lomax, who won the 800 (2:03.23) and was third in the 500; Chesapeake senior Mattie Cymek, who concluded a fine season in the shot put; and the 3,200 relay teams from Severna Park, which swept the boys and girls' races.