Glenelg's Adams, Hammond's Jett, Sharps honored


March 10, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Hammond indoor track and field coach Pete Hughes calls Kisha Jett "her own worst critic."

But even a perfectionist, such as Jett, couldn't find much to complain about this season.

After collecting the maximum four first-place ribbons at the regional meet Feb. 11, Jett, this year's selection as The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Female Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, returned to the Fifth Regiment Armory a week later. She won three Class 2A-1A state titles, setting two state records along the way.

Jett's winning time of 41.78 seconds in the 300 fell short of the state standard, but the deceptively quick junior would not be denied in the 55 -- (7.24 seconds) or high hurdles (8.15), as she set Class 2A-1A state records in each event.

"The more experience I get, the more confidence I get," Jett said. "When I was a freshman, I worried about falling behind; now, all I think about is moving forward. I'm more confident and stronger now than I've ever been, and my times show that."

In the regionals, Jett outscored five teams on her own with victories in the 55 --, 55 hurdles, 300 and 800. She was a triple-winner at the county meet, winning the 300 (44.9), 500 (1 minute, 23.3 seconds) and the 55 (7.65). Jett appeared to win a fourth event when she crossed the finish line for the 800 in 2:30.4, but later was disqualified for bumping another runner.

"It's a pleasure to just sit back and watch her run," Hughes said. "She not only has the natural ability, but it's her work ethic that vTC enables her to do so well. It's been a pleasure for me because it's not often that a coach gets the opportunity to work with such an elite athlete."

It's even more rare for a coach to have two "elite" athletes.

Enter Hammond senior hurdler Robert Sharps, the Howard County Male Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Sharps emerged as the state champion in the 55 hurdles with a winning time of 7.69 that was the state's best indoor time among both Class 3A and 2A-1A schools. In the Region II championships, Sharps, a 6-foot, 165-pound senior, won the high hurdles and was runner-up in the 55 --.

"I think the big key for Robert this season was that he picked up the foot speed that was missing last year," said Hughes, who will accompany Jett and Sharps this weekend to Syracuse, N.Y., for the National High School Indoor Track Championships at the Carrier Dome.

Said Sharps: "All you can do is practice hard and hope for the best. Everything sort of fell into place. I'm very happy."

So is Glenelg girls coach Pete Adams, this year's Howard County Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.

Adams had plenty to smile about in his first year at the helm of the Gladiators. Glenelg's girls team won county, region and state championships, much in part to some "silly games" he instituted in practice throughout the season.

"At the beginning of the year I noticed there was a lot of talent but very little team spirit, so I did things to try to build team spirit and promote the team concept," said Adams, a history teacher at Laurel High in Prince George's County, where he coaches track in the spring. "We played trust games, where they would close their eyes and fall back into the arms of their teammates. By doing this, they learned to depend on each other and build trust among each other.

"I think the turning point came in January. That's when they really started to jell as a team."

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