Perry Hall boys, girls run to titles

January 31, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

In recent years, the Perry Hall girls have taken a back seat to the boys at the Baltimore County Indoor Track Championships.

Yesterday, however, after 10 years of waiting, they finally joined their male counterparts in center spotlight.

The Gators finished in the top three in 11 of 12 events en route to winning their first county title in a decade at the 5th Regiment Armory.

Perry Hall scored 102 points to top Catonsville (88) and Dulaney (55.5). Woodlawn was fourth, Towson fifth Randallstown sixth and Parkville seventh.

"We did what we came to do," said coach Jerry Martin, whose boys team also easily won its meet. "We had a solid performance and no mistakes."

Yet, with a strong effort by Catonsville, Perry Hall -- which finished third last year with top runner Krissy Jost out sick -- didn't clinch its victory until the next to last event.

This time, however, Jost was healthy -- and showed it.

She scored victories in the 800, 1600 and 3200, and ran a leg on the winning 1600 relay team. Along with teammate JoAnna Helm (second in the high jump, third in the 300), the Gators proved too much for the rest of the field.

The Comets kept the pressure on with standout performances by junior Tia Douglass (first in both the shot put and high hurdles), Lori Havrilla (second in the shot put) and the winning 3200 relay team.

Said Martin: "They were a good-enough team to force us to do things that we didn't want to do. We had to run Krissy [Jost] three times because it was so close."

But, close or not, it was nearly a perfect day for the Gators on both the girls and boys sides.

Pole vaulter Dave Russell led the way, clearing 14 feet, 1 inch, to break the county record by a quarter-inch. Russell, whose previous best had been 14 feet, 1/4 inch at Saturday's Virginia Tech Invitational, said things came together despite a less-than-perfect sprint.

"My speed felt a little down," said Russell, who vaulted more than three feet higher than anyone else at the meet. "Somehow, everything still fell together."

The senior also finished second in the high jump despite it being just his second time competing in the event.

His success in multiple events, along with several others, helped Perry Hall earn 162 points to beat Woodlawn (52) and Parkville (38.5)

Randallstown took fourth, Franklin fifth, Catonsville sixth and Dulaney seventh.

For distance standout Jost, the meet was a chance to tune up for Friday's Millrose Mile -- featuring some of the best high school milers in the nation -- at Madison Square Garden.

One of the Gators' few disappointments on the day was also the best finish.

In the boys' 1600, Parkville's Joe Smith held off Perry Hall's surging Joe Leilich in the final 100 yards.

"I thought I had him, but then I saw him by my shoulder and it scared me," said Smith, who finished third, just behind Leilich, in last year's meet. "I'm just glad I was able to hold him off."

Other winners for Perry Hall included Jim Banach (200), the 3200 relay team and Shawn Kelly, who along with Leilich and Chris Marye gave the Gators a clean sweep in the 800.

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