Underclassmen, overachievers Performers of the Year 1993 ALL-MSA/BALTIMORE CITY TRACK TEAMS

June 09, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Mervo's Anthony Stuckey and Western's Tamara Laing rose to the occasion when necessary to help their respective track teams.

Each is an underclassmen who won gold medals in four events in their respective league championship meets.

Stuckey, a junior, is The Baltimore Sun's Male Track Performer of the Year representing the Maryland Scholastic Association, and Laing, a sophomore, is the Female Track Performer from Baltimore City.

"This is a great honor, and it's all kind of caught me by surprise," said Laing, who was chosen the Most Valuable Player by her team and the city league, also known as District 9.

No points were kept in this year's District 9 public schools meet for the girls, but Western dominated for the third straight season, winning 12 of 17 events.

Laing was a major reason for that dominance, taking the 200 and 400 meter --es and running the first and second legs of the winning 400 (51.2 seconds) and 1,600 (4:15.4) relay teams.

"The most rewarding thing about this season was working with the team to accomplish our goals," said Laing, who clocked in at 26.6 and 59.6 seconds, respectively, in the 200 and 400.

Laing was successful during her inaugural venture into the state association's 4A regionals, taking the 200 title in 25.8 seconds and the 400 in 59.8. She also helped the regional runner-up 400 (50.2) and 1,600 (4:11.4) relay teams to improve their times.

"The biggest thing, I think, is we just worked real hard to correct any mistakes we made," said Laing, who began running just last season. "I'm going to be doing a lot of running with [Ed Waters Track Club] this summer, and we've already started practicing."

Like Laing, Stuckey also runs with Ed Waters, an endeavor he began six years ago. The experience helped turn him into Mervo's most productive member this season. He anchored the Mustangs' regional and 4A state-champion 800 and 1,600 relay teams and ran the third leg of the regional and state champion 400 relay.

He began the final three weeks of the season by winning the 200- and 400-meter --es at the MSAs before helping the Mustangs win MSA meet crowns in the 400 and 1,600 relays. Only a dropped baton kept the Mustangs from a chance at the 800 relay title.

A friendly rivalry has developed between Stuckey and junior teammate Ben Braswell, who is a member of two relay teams.

Braswell was chosen the MSA meet's Outstanding Performer on the basis of his title-winning efforts in the 100 meters and long jump, but Stuckey wasn't jealous.

In fact, he made a sacrifice for the team in the state meet, when -- despite having posted a faster time (21.7 seconds) than Braswell (21.98) in the 200 meters -- Stuckey gave in to coach Freddie Hendricks' decision to run Braswell, who finished as the state runner-up.

"That was a good decision by coach, and I was all for it, especially since the 400 is my better race," said Stuckey, who was a regional champ and state runner-up in the 400-meter --. "I just felt it was my role to do whatever I had to do to help pull the team through."

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