Jett breezes to four wins Oakland Mills sweeps county titles

May 13, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

For Hammond's Kisha Jett, nothing quite compares to the 200-meter dash.

To excel in the event, a runner must combine the speed of a sprinter with the stamina of a distance runner.

Yesterday, as the senior standout closed another chapter in her brilliant career -- running for the final time on a local track -- it took one more thing, as well.

The strength to run through a gale.

With winds gusting heavily all day -- standing most runners straight up around the final turn -- Jett beat the elements and devoured her competition, winning four events at the Howard County Track and Field Championships at Oakland Mills High School.

For Jett, even a sweep by the host Scorpions -- who won county titles in both the boys and girls competitions -- couldn't drain the emotion out of this day.

"You don't even realize it until times like this, but it's totally hitting me that I won't be here next year," said Jett, who will begin her college career at the University of Florida this fall. "I'm going to miss this place."

Her competition, however, probably won't miss seeing her a bit.

Jett won the 100, 200, 400 runs and 100 hurdles to help propel the Bears to a third-place finish while increasing her career gold medal total at the meet to 16.

On this day, however, even her performance wasn't enough to match the all-around team effort of Oakland Mills.

Though the Scorpions won only four events -- the 400 and 1,600 relays, and the shot put and discus (both by Lauren McHargue) -- their 20 top-five finishes were enough to give them the nod over Glenelg (by 13 points) and defending champion Hammond (by 35) for their first county championship in 15 years.

"We don't have any one person -- this year it's just a lot of balance," said coach Ciaran Lesikar.

"It's everybody pulling their load and working hard. It was a total team victory."

One of the main contributors was hurdler Melissa Singleton -- a senior who Lesikar calls "the glue of the team" for the role she plays as a leader.

That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, because she's also the youngest child of Oakland Mills boys coach Sam Singleton.

"He's always there for me, showing me what I'm doing wrong or telling me where we stand as a team," said Singleton, a senior, who took fourth in both the 100 and 300 hurdles.

"I didn't realize what kind of talent this team had until we actually got out on the track. This is just a great way to end my senior year."

Last year, Oakland Mills finished fourth.

On the boys side, however, the Scorpions captured their second straight county title and third in the last four years.

And they did it convincingly.

Their 217 team points were nearly triple the total of second-place Centennial, as the Scorpions won 12 of 18 events and took second in three others.

"We were trying to win everything," said sprinter Xavier Brisco, who won the 800, took second in the 400 and ran a leg on the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.

"I still think that last year's team [which won the Class 2A state championship] might have been the best team in Howard County history. We're trying to duplicate that this year."

By the looks of things, the Scorpions are on the right track.

Other winners for the team included Damon Ferguson (100, 200, 400), Greg Curtis (1,600), Kyle Walker (300 hurdles), Tony Howard (shot put), Ryan Hughes (discus) and all four relay teams.

"We wanted to send a message to everybody else that we're the team to beat," said coach Sam Singleton. "In a meet like this [where the Scorpions were far and away the best team] we look to get the kinks out and work on technique."

With regionals next weekend at Chopticon High School, Singleton said the defending state champions will focus their attention on relays.

"The key for us will be to win all four relays in the states," Singleton said. "If we can do that, we'll be in great shape.

-! "We're looking for a repeat."

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