Mervo's run at title falls short

May 29, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Earlier this season, Mervo coach Freddie Hendricks said that if the Mustangs were to capture the Class 4A state title, they would most likely need to win all four relays.

Yesterday, on the final day of competition at the state track and field championships at Western Maryland College, injuries and other circumstances resulted in disappointments in all but one of those events.

But thanks to a number of strong individual showings, the Mustangs' day was far from a total loss, as their third-place finish among Class 4A boys ranked highest of any Baltimore team.

Mervo's 82 points put them behind only Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County (90) and Old Mill (85). Woodlawn took seventh (20) and Perry Hall 11th (16).

"I felt we did well in spite of everything," said Mervo coach Freddie Hendricks, whose team finished second in the state a year ago.

"We had a great season, and I wanted the seniors to go out as state champions, but they still had a very nice meet."

Seniors Ben Braswell (second in 200 and long jump, third in 100), Anthony Stuckey (first in 400) and Antoine Nelson (second in high hurdles) led the way, with James Carter (second in 400, third in triple jump) chipping in.

A pulled hamstring by sprinter Royston Lyttle in the 100 -- hurt the team's chances. Lyttle, who was expected to finish among the top three in the 100 and 200, could only manage a sixth-place finish in the 200.

But the Mustangs' biggest letdown came in the relays, where they had expected to dominate.

dTC The team finished third in the 4x200 -- an event in which they hadn't lost all season -- where they finished behind two teams (Old Mill and Woodlawn) they had beaten earlier this year, sixth in the 4x800 and fourth in the 4x100 before coming back to win the 4x400 over Suitland.

The Dulaney boys finished 14th in Class 4A, but it was a golden day for senior discus thrower Ian Vair.

Vair, who finished fourth a year ago, won the event with a heave of 158 feet, beating Nate Oliver of Old Mill by nearly nine feet.

He said the difference from last year was confidence.

"Last year I was just in awe of the other competition," said the 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete, who will attend Salisbury State in the fall. "This year, I came in knowing I'd win.

"I've been waiting four years for this."

Other Baltimore County boys teams to finish in the top 10 were Catonsville, led by distance runner Jamie Davies (first in 3,200, .. fifth in 1,600), eighth in Class 2A, and Woodlawn, seventh in Class 4A thanks to strong showings in the relays.

On the girls side, Baltimore County powers Woodlawn, Perry Hall and Dulaney took seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, in Class 4A.

The Warriors got strong performances from Sheraie Darby (second in 300 hurdles), Toni Flemming (second in 100 hurdles) and the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams, which each finished in the top five.

Perry Hall, which began the day in first place, dropped off significantly, but not before getting second- and seventh-place finishes, respectively, from Krissy Jost and Megan Makowski in the 1,600.

According to co-coach Marilyn Bevans, the Gators' problem was depth.

"We just don't have the depth to challenge a lot of these teams," said Bevans. "I'm just very happy with what we've done."

Dulaney was led by freshman Megan White, who took third in the 1,600 and 3,200.

Among girls teams Milford Mill finished ninth in Class 1A, and Northern tied for 10th in Class 3A.

The Western girls, who made a strong run at the Class 4A title last year, finished 16th.

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