These 2 coaches on fast track Coaches of the Year 1993 ALL-MSA/BALTIMORE CITY TRACK TEAMS

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

Track coaches Freddie Hendricks of Mervo and Jerry Molyneaux of Western each began the season with long-range goals of establishing a state-wide reputation for the city schools.

Entering their inaugural venture into the 4A state title chase, the coaches returned a talented but young crop of athletes from the previous season: Mervo had just four seniors and Western only one.

And while Hendricks wanted to "go for it," Molyneaux wanted to "make progress and just not get embarrassed."

Although each could argue that more could have been accomplished, neither Hendricks -- The Baltimore Sun's Maryland Scholastic Association Coach of the Year -- nor Molyneaux, the Baltimore City Coach of the Year, was disappointed.

Mervo (138 points) easily dethroned three-time champion Poly (70) to win the MSA crown. A week later, the Mustangs (157 points) swept past runner-up High Point (91) for the regional crown. Then, Mervo (82 points) shocked the field by narrowly losing to Quince Orchard (83.5) in the states.

Western easily dominated the District 9 public schools meet for the third straight year, winning 12 of 17 events before finishing a respectable third behind Dulaney and Woodlawn in its region, and ninth in the state meet.

"My major concern is that most other teams have an advantage because they have indoor track and we don't, but there's like a 95 percent chance that we'll have it next year," said Molyneaux, who is assisted by Teresa Harris. "We were competing a lot better than I first thought we would in the states. Of course, it wasn't enough."

The highlights of the Doves' season, perhaps, were the regional and state runner-up finishes by the 3,200-relay squad of Somaree Taru, Tamika Blanks, Christina Alemu and Tamara Clark. High jumper Crystal Johnson, a junior who leaped a city record 5 feet, 4 inches, placed third in the state meet.

"Just about all of our girls' times improved," said Molyneaux. "We made ourselves known there [at the states] and I just wish the season lasted another month. No doubt the eyes will be on us next year."

Mervo got incentive in the states from a statement by Old Mill coach Ron Evans. He listed his Patriots (65 points, third in the states), Eleanor Roosevelt (47 points, fourth) and Quince Orchard as favorites to win the state title, adding that "Mervo isn't a factor."

"I don't know what made him think we hadn't come of age, but I told my guys about that," said Hendricks, who is assisted by Ron Taylor and Ron Neal. "Maybe they weren't watching what was going on, but give us a race or two, and we could have won the states."

What makes the Mustangs' effort even more impressive is that some of their competitors were missing or out of position, including regional champion triple-jumper Roger Morning, who was forced to miss the meet because of a family commitment.

"The guys were a little disappointed with second place, but they realize that some teams have been to the states for years and have never even touched a runner-up plaque -- and we got it in our first try," said Hendricks.

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