WESTMINSTER -- Milford Mill returned to the winner's platform and Joppatowne's Thori Staples completed a progressively strong career at the Class 1A state track and field championships yesterday.
The Millers, who won the team championship in 1988 and '89, edged Wilde Lake, 81 1/2 -71. Coach Jesse Hannon's team got just one first-place finish yesterday, as Mike Mamo won the 1,600 in 4:31.5 some 16 hours after taking the 3,200 the night before. Mamo was fourth in the 800 and sophomore Andre Eure and Joe Henderson placed second in the 110 (15.4) and 300 hurdles (41.0), respectively. Those three accounted for 69 of the Millers' points.
Hannon and company had to regroup three years ago, when they were moved to Sudbrook Middle while the senior high was being renovated. Hannon said, "We've been working out wherever possible -- in fields, hallways, the gym."
Wilde Lake's Andre Martin, who false-started out of the region 100, won the 200 yesterday in 22.5 -- .2 seconds ahead of teammate Reggie Alston. Craig Butler, the second-best sprinter for coach Bill Valcarenghi, won the 100 in 10.9 and the same personnel easily won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
Staples was the girls star, as she handily won the four events she was allowed to enter. She won a national age-group championship in the heptathlon last summer, and probably could have won several other events yesterday. Staples won three state titles as a junior, two as a sophomore and one as a freshman, giving her 10 for her career.
Yesterday she won the 400 in 56.6 and the 800 in 2:20.6, took the 110 hurdles by 10 yards in 16.5, and reached 17 feet, 7 1/2 inches in the long jump. She'll take her talent to North Carolina State, where she plans to compete in track and field and soccer, a sport in which she's a standout back.
Milford Mill junior Tiffany Smith won the 300 hurdles in 48.1 and was second to Staples in the 100 hurdles.