State titles just rewards for Godwin, Singleton Coaches, performers of the Year

1993 ALL-HOWARD COUNTY TRACK AND FIELD TEAMS

June 11, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

Glenelg girls coach Bill Godwin and Oakland Mills boys coach Sam Singleton this season enjoyed the same coveted goal of winning a state track and field championship.

But Godwin's victory came as a total shock to him, while Singleton's left him able to say, "I told you so."

Glenelg's girls track and field team won its first state (Class 2A) championship. The Gladiators nipped Surrattsville by one point.

But Oakland Mills, which last won a state title in 1991, dominated its Class 2A division to win by an astounding 55 points over runner-up Middletown. The Scorpions' 111 points are believed to be a state high.

Oakland Mills went unbeaten during outdoor track season and also was an unbeaten state champion during indoor season.

"I knew from indoor that we could win it all," Singleton said.

Unlike Singleton, Godwin had no inkling his team could win a state title.

"I had no dreams this would happen," said Godwin, whose team won the regional title by two points over Middletown but finished second -- 22 points behind Hammond -- at the county championships.

This was Godwin's second season as head coach, and for his efforts he is The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year. Singleton, also a second-year head coach, is the Boys Coach of the Year.

Hammond sprinter Kisha Jett, who won four state gold medals, four regional gold medals and four county gold medals, is The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Female Track and Field Performer of the Year.

And Oakland Mills sprinter Damon Ferguson, who won two gold medals, a silver and a bronze at the state meet, is The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Male Track and Field Performer of the Year.

"Sprinters were our strength. We had more of them than #F anyone," said Singleton, a former star sprinter when he was New Jersey all-state in high school track and football and All-American in college football (Wayne State in Nebraska).

In addition to Ferguson, Singleton had C. J. Queen, Brian Howard, Brandy Walker and Mark Schmeckpepper that he could interchange on sprint relays.

Because he's a former ACC indoor high hurdles champ at the University of Maryland, and also a former state champ in the 120 high hurdles at Dover High in Delaware, Godwin's expertise is in hurdles, where Marguerite Rupsis won the state 300 event two straight years.

Glenelg's strength, however, was its distance runners, especially Kelly Pelovitz and Alicia Adams.

Glenelg's 3,200-meter relay team that included Lindsay Rupp, Cheryl Seymour, Rupsis and Pelovitz recorded an outstanding time of 4:10.3 to capture a state gold medal.

"It ran seven seconds faster than it ever had before," Godwin said.

All the superlatives that can be written probably already have been written about Hammond's Jett.

This year she won four state gold medals, winning the 100 (11.8), 200 (24.1) and 400 (57.0) and anchoring the 4x200 for which she ran a 23.6 split -- as fast as she has ever run 200 yards. She set the county record for the 200 at 23.6 in 1992.

"I cut back on my workouts the week leading to the state meet because I was a little tired, and that seemed to help because I felt fresh that day," Jett said.

During her three-year career, the junior has won seven state gold medals.

She also swept the gold at regionals, duplicating her four state events and giving her 12 regional golds for three seasons.

And Jett added four more county gold medals, also making that total a perfect 12. She switched to the 4x100 relay for regionals after winning the 100 hurdles at the county meet.

Jett, a junior who also holds the county long jump record at 18-3, is being heavily recruited and has narrowed her choices to Texas, Florida, Tennessee, Clemson and LSU.

"She's a little bit burned out because there's no one around who can push her," Hammond coach Joe Russo said. "But this summer when she runs with better competition her times will probably pick up."

Jett plans to run with a Prince George's County track club and compete at TAC nationals this summer.

Ferguson is also a junior and blossomed this year into a quality sprinter whose best distance is 400 meters.

He won the Class 2A state 400 (49.39), adding to his region and county 400 gold-medal collection.

That time, his best was 1.39 seconds off the 14-year-old county record.

"That was my most exciting race," he said. "I was seeded only fifth and won with my best time ever."

Ferguson also anchored the Scorpions' state championship 4x400 relay team, running that team's fastest split at 49.3 seconds. He had won gold medals in the 4x100 relay at regional and county championship meets.

In the state 200, Ferguson finished second (22.4), only 1.2 seconds off the county record, after having won the county and regional 200 races. His best 200 time this season was 22.2.

In the state 100, Ferguson finished third (11.1), well off his personal best of 10.8 he ran while winning the county title. His 10.9 was good for second place at regionals.

Ferguson credited teammates Xavier Brisco and Queen for pushing him during practices.

"I've improved a lot through hard work," Ferguson said.

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