Koehler wins Centennial boys third Indoor track and field

February 23, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

If Centennial's boys team had a few more performances like the one turned in by junior James Koehler, the Eagles would have been celebrating a state championship yesterday instead of watching DuVal of Prince George's go wild.

But, Koehler's accomplishment was nothing to sneer at and neither was that of Centennial, which finished third behind Howard (38) and DuVal (59) in the boys team competition at yesterday's Class 3A State Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

Centennial's girls finished fifth with 25 points, well behind winner Watkins Mill (49) and runner-up Linganore (46).

"I was feeling pretty confident coming in here because I came up a winner at regionals," said Koehler, who won the regions with an identical jump of 6 feet 4. "There was a lot of competition here that I didn't know about, but I knew about [third-place finisher] Matt [Kirkpatrick] because he's on my team and I knew he would push me."

Omar El Sawi of Atholton was the only other countian to win an individual state championship. El Sawi won the pole vault by clearing 13 feet, 1 inch. Howard's Jim McClelland finished second at 11-6.

"This was first time I used my new 15-foot pole in a competition and I was a little nervous using it, but once I cleared 12 feet, I had a lot of confidence," said El Sawi, a junior. "That pole gives me a lot of lift at the top. I think I'm starting to like it."

A mere 1.5 seconds cost Atholton's senior distance runner Bryan Townsend a state title in the boys 1,600 run. Townsend had to settle for runner-up honors behind Josh Orenstein of Walter Johnson; Centennial's Bobby Van Allen was fifth. Townsend later picked up a bronze medal in the 800 run.

Sophomore Melissa Williamson of Howard and Jennifer McManus of Centennial were 1-2 in the girls high jump. Williamson won the state title by clearing 5-0; McManus, a junior, was runner-up at 4-10.

Centennial's boys 3,200 relay team edged Franklin of Baltimore County by six-tenths of a second to claim the state title. The Eagles finished in 8:47.0, well behind the apparent winner Walt Whitman of Montgomery County, which was disqualified because one of its team members was not wearing team-supplied shorts.

Centennial freshmen Kari Meyer and Heather Tanner finished 4-5 in the girls 1,600 run, with Meyer edging her teammate by one-tenth of a second at 5:39.9. Howard's Chris O'Gwin finished third behind DuVal's Keith Ford and Chris Jones.

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