Mervo, Western win city titles, set sights on regional meets

May 15, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Things went as expected at yesterday's inaugural Baltimore City track championships at Poly-Western's complex, as Mervo dominated the boys competition and Western the girls.

Mervo (167 points), which won 10 of 18 events to win last year's Maryland Scholastic Association crown, was first in 12 of 18 yesterday -- including all four relays -- to eclipse runner-up Poly (87).

Western (215 points), which won 12 of 17 events during last year's District 9 championships here, captured 10 of 17 this year, including three relays, to beat Dunbar (82 points, second) and Northern (81).

Because the meet was called the first city championship for track, all winners were considered record-setters.

Neither winning team made a secret of its long-term goals: The Mustangs look to defend their 4A North Region title next week and -- in two weeks -- to improve on last year's 4A state runner-up finish. Western's Doves also look to improve after being third in last year's region and ninth in the 4A states.

Mervo's two-time All-Metro Ben Braswell won the long jump and the 100, and teammate Antoine Nelson won the 110 and 300 hurdles. Mervo's Anthony Stuckey, last year's Baltimore Sun Performer of the Year for Baltimore City, won the 200, and James Carter jumped 45 feet 3 inches to win the triple jump.

Mervo's Mike Curtis and Mahlon Thomas went 1-2 in the 1,600, and Royston Lyttle was second to Braswell in the 100.

Carter, Braswell and Stuckey teamed with Sandy Johns to win the 800 relay. Thomas -- who was second in the 3,200 -- and Curtis teamed with Sundia Gaynor and 800 champ Garfield Thompson to win the 3,200. Johns, Lyttle, Braswell and Stuckey took the 400 relay, and Gaynor, Carter, Thompson and Stuckey the 1,600.

"Today was basically a practice for us, with a lot of guys trying different events," said Braswell. "We were working on different combinations to push ourselves. In the long run, we just want to do better in the states."

On the girls side, Western's Gabrielle Butler (15.9) repeated in the 100 and 300 hurdles, with Steely Spencer taking second in the 300 after being third last year.

The Doves' Crystal Johnson repeated as high jump champ and improved on last year's runner-up finish in the long jump with a winning leap of 15-1 3/4 . Johnson's winning high jump effort (4-10) was short of last year's city record leap of 5-4.

Western's Janee Ward leaped 34-1 to beat the winner of last year's District 9 triple-jump event, Poly's Christina Cissin (third place), and teammate Kimya McCoy, a runner-up in the 800 and 1,600, led a 1-2-3 sweep of the 3,200 with Somaree Taru (second) and Crystal Richburg (third). Tawanda Clark and McCoy were 1-2 in the 800.

Taru, the leadoff of last year's 3,200 relay champ, ran the second leg of this year's winner, with Spencer, Richburg and Tamara Clark. Ward, Butler, Lenaya DeShields and Tamara Laing won the 400 relay, and Spencer, Butler, Ward and Tamara Clark won the 1,600.

"We were mainly running to improve our times today," said Butler. "We feel like we generally did very well with that, but we just want to keep improving over the next couple of weeks."

Dunbar's girls won two gold medals, as Christina Stansberry (400) -- a runner-up in the 100 hurdles -- clocked 58.6 to beat last year's District 9 winner, Laing (second place, 59.7).

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