Marcus tries to run with winning indoor track tradition at Old Mill

December 08, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Old Mill first-year indoor track coach Mike Marcus anguishes over the thought of having to follow in the footsteps of Patriots long-time coach Ron Evans. "Filling his size 38 shoes won't be an easy job," Marcus said.

But winning seems to come with the territory.

Old Mill's girls team enters the season with hopes of capturing its ninth consecutive county title while the Patriot boys will try to make it seven straight county crowns when Anne Arundel's 11 public school teams pile into the Baltimore Armory on Jan. 27.

The Patriots will try to keep their winning streaks intact without the help of Michelle Smith and Jamaal Dixon-Hawkins, a pair of state-champion shot-putters and last year's Male and Female Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Year.

Whether or not the Patriots can stay atop without their former mentor and their two top performers is unknown but Marcus -- along with other 10 county coaches -- is optimistic.

The following is a look at the county teams, most of whom will compete today at the Baltimore Armory in the first meet of the season:

Annapolis Panthers

Panthers first-year coach Bruce Reid said he's looking forward to working with the "largest indoor track team Annapolis has ever had."

Senior sprinter/hurdler Kenny Boyd returns for the Panthers along with senior high jumper Alex Purdue and Reid's younger brother, Orlie, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound shot-putter.

Junior Kristen Nicolini, the metro area's Female Cross Country Runner of the Year, will compete for the Panthers on a part-time basis and will try and get qualified for the state competition scheduled for Feb. 21 at the 5th Regiment Armory.

Kisha Henderson will run the hurdles, and Becky Morris should set the pace in the distance races.

Arundel Wildcats

Senior Geoff Warren, the defending indoor state champ in the 3,200 run, is expected to lead the Wildcats' male contingent.

Warren is joined by a number of talented distance runners, including seniors Jason Birch, Steven Kane and Rob Sutton and junior Blair Morse. Senior Wade Rolocut returns after finishing fourth in the states in the pole vault, and he will be pushed by senior Kevyn Dodson, who was one inch away from qualifying for the states last season.

Sophomore Christy Nichols returns for Arundel's girls team after finishing second in the states last year in the 3,200 behind Dulaney's Amanda White. Nichols will get some help in the distance races from junior Shauna Donohue and junior Jen Brooks, who transferred from Arizona.

"We have a lot of returning guys that scored last year and we're hoping to improve on that," said Arundel coach Tut O'Hara. "I think we have a good nucleus of girls. There's still some girls around school that I'd like to get to join the team, and if they come out, we should be tough."

Broadneck Bruins

The Bruins have dropped to Class 3A and won't have to compete against Old Mill. But Broadneck coach Gerald Kiple believes his team will be tested, competing against the likes of Howard County's Centennial and Seneca Valley of Montgomery County.

"It won't be any easier," said Kiple. "In fact, it might be harder."

Senior Jere Hartman is the Bruins' premier distance runner, and he should be flanked in the 800 and 1,600 runs by senior Peter Ormsby and sophomores Jon Carnes and Dave Schilling.

Senior Becky Holmes will represent Broadneck in the middle distances, high jump and relays. Joining Holmes in the middle-distance events are junior Kim Nelson and sophomores Colleen Rossiter and Laura Stickles.

Chesapeake Cougars

John Gray's relay-rich Cougars will get only stronger this season with the return of the three seniors and a junior who captured last year's state championship in the 4 x 800 event.

Seniors Shawn Stallings, Brian Miller and junior Phil Heying will try and defend their four-man title while trying to make a name for themselves in the 500, 800 and 1,600 individual events.

Tanieka Middleton, a quality sprinter who took second in the 100 -- outdoors last spring, leads Chesapeake's girls team along with seniors Kristie Owen and Nikki Spann.

Junior Emily Plenge is expected to help the Cougars in the high jump and hurdles, and Molly Bean, Cammie Owens, Lynn Johns, Stephanie Stevens and Erin Thomas will contribute to the success of Chesapeake's 3,200 relay.

Glen Burnie Gophers

With Glen Burnie's star distance runner Becky McDivitt opting to spend her winter months in the swimming pool, the Gophers will rely on junior harrier Missy Hennessey to carry the brunt of the load for the girls team. After Hennessey, the Gophers are short on experience and depth.

Ditto for Glen Burnie's boys team.

The Gophers will be well-represented in the 300 and 500 with senior Chuck Grubb, but beyond that, they're thin and inexperienced.

Meade Mustangs

When you think of Meade, you think of sprinters and this winter will be no different.

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