Poly made it three straight titles at the 75th annual Maryland Scholastic Association track and field championships yesterday, but the Engineers know that dominance could depart along with a senior class headed by Tramont Evans and Omar Nixon.
Evans won three events and Nixon two, and there might have been a fourth gold medal for both if Nixon hadn't lost the baton trying to get it to Evans on the second exchange in the 4x100 relay. It was one of the few miscues for coach Bill Hickey's team, which racked up 118 points.
The host school also had a triple winner on the girls' side, but an all-star team led by Anita Manning could not have denied Western a second straight City-Wide title. The Doves piled up 221 points, well ahead of second-place Carver.
Among the boys, Evans equaled his personal best in the 110 hurdles, 14.3; covered the 300 intermediate hurdles in 38.4, and took the triple jump with a best of 45-3 1/2 . Nixon bounced back to take extremely competitive races in the 400 (48.8) and 200 (21.6). The two will continue to see plenty of each other in the Patriot League, as Evans is going to Lafayette and Nixon will attend Colgate.
"We're going to knock heads next year," said Evans, the meet's Most Valuable Performer, who was mildly disappointed with yesterday's times. "I'm not upset for myself because I won three events, but we were primed for that relay [4x100]. I felt we were going to run 41.6 or 41.7 and break the area record [42.0]."
Hickey's team would have had to visit that neighborhood to knock off Mervo, which rolled to an official clocking of 42.3, one-tenth of a second off the meet record. The Mustangs ran Rodney Cabean, Ronald Keene, Anthony Stuckey and Ben Braswell, and despite a sluggish start, their sophomore anchor excelled in the open 100. Braswell's 10.4 tied the meet and school record, as he barely overcame Poly junior Eric Gay, who appeared to run much faster than his official 10.8 clocking.
With Keene taking second in the triple jump (44-10 1/4 ) and 400 (50.2) and anchoring the winning 4x400 (3:28.0), Mervo was second with 72 points, just ahead of Mount St. Joseph's 60. Gaels senior Romero Wilson was a double-winner, as he took tactical races in the 1,500 and 3,000 ahead of teammate Phil Hurley. Michael Richardson helped Carver to fourth, as he won the high jump (6-3) and was third in the long jump (22-2).
Gilman's Victor Carter-Bey reached 56-3 1/2 in the shot put, bettering the meet record set by Douglass' Ray Chester in 1966, and teammate Chas Iliff dipped to 1:58.8 in the 800. Forest Park junior Bilal Bahar posted another area-leading performance in the long jump, 22-8 1/2 , and discus winner Corey Garbish was Calvert Hall's first varsity champion in meet history.
Poly's Manning again loomed large in the girls' distance races, easily claiming victory in the 1,500 (5:09.0), 800 (2:26.2) and 3,000, but Western sophomore Dionne Smith was named the Most Valuable Performer. The Doves' leader won the 100 (12.4) and 200 (25.4), and ran on winning 4x100 (51.5) and 4x200 (1:47.9) relay teams.
Under the direction of Jerry Molyneaux and Asbury Hopewell, Western won 11 of the 16 events. Besides Manning's triple, McDonogh's non-scoring team took the 4x800 relay and Northern's April Allen the discus.
Sophomore Crystal Johnson ruled the high jump (4-11) and 100 hurdles (16.5), and Renee Smith was another impressive contributor for the Doves, as she reached 16-7 1/2 in the long jump and ran on two winning sprint relays. Senior Jeanette Gibbs led the 300 hurdles, Tamara Laing the 400 and Maisha Riley the shot put.