Glenelg's Tvarkunas sets vaulting record

January 31, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Glenelg pole vaulter Pat Tvarkunas thrives on competition.

With little to speak of during this snow-shortened indoor season, Tvarkunas has had to reach deep within himself to find the drive needed to propel him to new heights.

At yesterday's Howard County Relays at the Fifth Regiment Armory, the 5-foot-11, 155-pound senior used what he called "internal motivation" to help him clear a county indoor record of 15 feet, 1/2 inch.

"Right now, I would love to have some guy come in here and [push me] because I think I would jump better," said Tvarkunas. "I get an adrenalin rush when I'm pushed because I hate to lose."

That was apparent from the outset of yesterday's pole vaulting competition.

After missing twice with the bar set at 13 feet and watching his injured teammate, Dave Binck, clear a personal-best 10-6, Tvarkunas pulled his ski cap over his eyes, thought about what he had to do, stepped onto the runway and did it.

"I was pumped and I knew I was going to smash it," said Tvarkunas, who will travel to Boston in March for the indoor nationals. "The first couple of vaults I was a little hesitant but the last one, I was fired up and I just went [making a motion like he was planting his pole] boing."

Tvarkunas wasn't the only Glenelg athlete to excel at yesterday's meet. Carolyn Flowers, Stephanie Willet, Mandy Miller and Beth Santilli combined to win the girls 1,600 medley relay, and Luke Reinke, Luis Diaz, Chris Seymour and Chris Selmer teamed up to win the boys 3,200 relay.

Kristin Sunderdick, Dawn Strait, Erin Morrow and Lauren Drake of Oakland Mills joined forces to win the girls distance medley relay that consists of legs of 800, 400, 1,200 and 1,600 meters.

Wilde Lake's boys won the 1,600 medley relay with blue ribbons going to Hasan Faisal, Lashawn Tomberlin, Javier Pender and Mike Brosenne. The Wildecats also won the boys 1,600 relay, thanks to the efforts of Keith Anderson, Dane Lewis, Jeris Hooker and Duane Kerr.

The girls 1,600 relay went to Howard's girls after Gianna Alston, Tamika Howard, Donna Mullings and Coleen Parker finished the event in 4 minutes, 25.6 seconds.

"We looked at this meet as a fun-type practice because for most of these kids this is the last time they will run all year before regions and states," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton. "For us, this was just another workout."

For Tvarkunas, it was just another chance to shine.

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