South River's Berger vaults to title Old Mill runs away with team championships

January 17, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Jason Berger may want to consider taking a few more days off.

South River's senior pole vaulter, like most of the county indoor track athletes, hadn't competed for nearly two weeks before yesterday's Anne Arundel County group meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory because of the recent blizzard.

But the layoff proved to be just what Berger needed as he cleared a personal best 13 feet and claimed first place in the final warm-up before Wednesday's county championship meet.

"I'm overwhelmed. I can't believe it," said Berger. "All I wanted to do today was clear the bar. I was working on my stride and I wasn't running that fast and it just happened. I guess being fresh helped."

The recent snowfall didn't faze Christy Nichols. The senior from Arundel won the girls mile run in 5 minutes, 3.8 seconds, besting runner-up Alison Ross of Annapolis and Glen Burnie sophomore Kristy Klima.

Klima, The Sun's Cross County Runner of the Year, took first in the 3,200 run in 12:17.7 -- 22 seconds faster than runner-up Jennifer Ng of Arundel.

Old Mill swept the team competition.

The biggest surprise came on the boys side, where the Patriots tallied 81 points to outlast runner-up North County (57 1/2 ) and Severna Park (52 1/2 ).

Meade's boys, the metro area's top-ranked team, finished fifth with 44 points.

Old Mill's girls outpointed second-place Arundel, 67-52 1/2 .

North County swept first in the 300 run with Toney Fowlkes, winning the boys event in 37.4 and Sarah Zaruba winning the girls race in 46.3.

Chesapeake senior Stephanie Stevens won the girls 500 by edging co-runners-up Jessica Pratt (North County) and Becky Morris (Arundel), and Michelle June of Meade took first in the girls high jump by clearing 5-4.

Chris Robey won the boys 1,600 and 3,200. The Severna Park distance runner won the mile in 4:51.9 and held off teammate Paul Mathieu by two seconds in winning the 3,200.

Deshaun Nick of Broadneck ran the 55 -- in 6.4 -- the best time of the day -- but it came during a nonscoring heat.

Kiki Ellis eventually won the event in 6.5, followed by Richard Queen of Old Mill and Meade's Damion Moss, the winner of the boys 55 hurdles.

Syrea McRae of Glen Burnie won the girls -- in 7.7 and Watkins of Arundel won the girls high hurdles in 9.3.

"This was just like a hard practice for us because we haven't practiced for so long," said North County coach Ed Harte.

"There's not a whole lot you can do when you have speed people. You can't go out and sprint in the snow and ice. They have to be on a dry surface. There's not a whole lot you can do."

Annapolis coach Brian Funk was one of a few coaches who expressed disappointment over the fact that the meet was stopped before the completion of the 1,600 relays and the boys high jump.

"I was hoping to get a full meet out of this," said Funk, who did not support the majority of the coaches' decision to stop the meet prematurely.

"In a basketball game, if it's getting late and the coaches don't like the way the game is going, they can't stop it early. We were trying to win a meet and it wasn't right stopping it."

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