Newcomer Mervo stuns field with 2nd in states Old Mill 3rd Track and field

May 30, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

They don't have a track, can't field an indoor team and lack the facilities to train in the pole vault or discus.

But the Mervo Mustangs came within an eyelash of shocking the local track establishment yesterday.

Mervo finished second in Class 4A at the state track and field championships at Western Maryland College.

Their first appearance in a state title meet earned the Mustangs 82 points, just 1 1/2 behind 4A champion Quince Orchard. Old Mill took third, Eleanor Roosevelt fourth and Gaithersburg fifth.

The next best local team was Perry Hall in 10th.

For the Mustangs, who have been forced by circumstance to travel to City, Morgan State or "wherever else is available" to train, "that just caps it off for us," said coach Fred Hendricks.

"Even though we didn't win, we made a name for ourselves. Going into this, I gave us a chance to win. But after I saw what Quince Orchard and Old Mill had, I thought it would take a miracle."

But the Mustangs almost got one.

They came up with wins in the 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter relays, the first of which they finished in 41.9 seconds -- the third fastest time in state meet history.

Rodney Cabean, Antoine Nelson, Anthony Stuckey, James Carter and Benjamin Braswell led Mervo's effort, teaming in different combinations to make Mervo a force in sprints and relays.

Members of the team say that a healthy attitude can more than compensate for a lack of facilities.

"We just work hard," said Cabean. "If you work hard it pays off, and that's what happenned today."

Said Stuckey: "We came here as the underdogs, but I think we showed a lot of people what city track is about. We came here as a team and went out as a team."

Other boys champions were Francis Scott Key in Class 1A, Oakland Mills in 2A and Linganore in 3A.

Another big surprise was Owings Mills. The Eagles finished among the top five in six events, helping them to a third-place finish in Class 1A with 50 points.

Sprinter Lonnie Humphrey led the way with a win in the 100-meter --, second place in the 200 and third in the 400.

Among the girls, Smithsburg took Class 1A, Glenelg 2A, McDonough 3A and Eleanor Roosevelt 4A. Dulaney, led by Amanda White -- who took state titles in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 -- finished third in Class 4A.

Another top performer from Baltimore County was Julie Caler of Towson, the eighth-place finisher in Class 2A. Caler, a sophomore, took second in the 1,600 and 3,200, third in the 800 and anchored the fourth-place 3,200 relay team.

"I was really happy with how I did," said Caler, who ran a personal best 2:22.37 in the 800.

Other local boys champions in the three-day meet were Perry Hall's Charles Adams (4A shot put) and Southwestern's Stanley Ross (3A long jump). Woodlawn's Sheraie Darby also had a win in the girls 4A 300 hurdles.

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