Gators reap rewards of discipline Perry Hall looks like track force again

January 20, 1993|By Tara Finnegan | Tara Finnegan,Contributing Writer

Perry Hall track and field coach Jerry Martin promises his athletes hard work and no glory.

He delivers, and his team produces -- consistently.

The Gators have won three consecutive county indoor titles and two straight outdoor crowns. And because they have posted some of the top times and marks in the area at the midpoint of this season, they could be en route to another county indoor title.

Jim Banach has the area's fastest time in the 300-meter run (36.9 seconds) and the second-best time in the 55-meter -- (6.3) to teammate Mandel Marsh's (6.2).

Banach, a sophomore who also plays varsity soccer, came out for the indoor track team as a freshman.

"Coach Martin said I would have a good chance of winning some of the races," Banach said. "Everybody thinks the track people are wimps, but it takes dedication."

In the 55, Banach finished second at the Lehigh Invitational and third in the Virginia Tech Invitational. In Saturday's 31st annual National Guard Scholastic Games at the Fifth Regiment Armory, he took first in 6.3, helping Perry Hall finish fourth overall.

Joining Banach in the 55 and 300 is Marsh, a junior who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last fall for the Gators football team. Marsh took third in the 55 at the Lehigh Invitational.

"He has a great drive and a lot of respect for the sport," Martin said. "The respect you develop for track comes from discovering what your own body is capable of."

Said Marsh: "When I came out for the team my freshman year, I didn't know much about track. When I come to track practice, there's a lot of work to be done. It's harder than football."

Marsh is continuing a family tradition of track competition. Last year, his brother Roy competed for Perry Hall, and the brothers were on of a strong 4-x-200 team. Roy is at Ohio State on a baseball scholarship.

Charles Adams, a football teammate of Marsh's, improved his metro-leading shot put figure by seven inches at Saturday's meet with a heave of 52 feet, 8 inches.

Adams, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound first-team All-Metro football selection, said he joined the track team to have something to do after football season.

"A lot of them are using track to enhance their physical attributes in other sports, and along the way, some find out that, 'Hey, I'm pretty good at this,' " said Martin, who is in his 19th year of coaching at Perry Hall.

The girls team, which finished fifth Saturday, was led individually by Darshell Robinson and Patricia Ysern, who finished third and fourth, respectively, in the high jump, leaping 5-2.

The height is a personal best for the Ysern, a 5-foot senior.

"There has got to be an inner motivation," Martin said. "You can't do it with bubble-gum cards and fancy hats. Track doesn't work that way -- it has to come from inside."

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