1996 All-Howard County indoor track and field teams

March 12, 1996|By Steven Kivinski

Boys performer of the year

Pat Tvarkunas, Glenelg, Sr.: Tvarkunas crushed the state indoor pole vault record of 13 feet, 9 inches by clearing 15-1 in the Class 1A-2A state indoor track championships. His vault also eclipsed the overall state meet record set in 1987 by Jim Yurwitz of Old Mill (15-0). At the county meet, Tvarkunas won the pole vault and was runner-up in the high jump. He emerged as region champ in the pole vault and he won gold medals and set meet records at both the National Guard Meet (14-1) and the Dickinson Invitational (15-1). At last weekend's national competition in Boston, Tvarkunas soared to 15-9 and finished third. "He's been a student of his event for a couple of years now and he knows the technical aspects of the vaulting," said his coach, Roger Volrath. "He is a coach's dream." Tvarkunas hopes to attend North Carolina.

Boys team at a glance

Mike French, Centennial, Sr.: French won the 3,200-meter run at the Class 3A state meet where he also picked up a silver medal in the 800. At the Class 3A West Regional meet in Hagerstown, French won the 3,200 and again was runner-up in the 800. At the county meet, French, a two-time All-County cross country runner, was second in the 800 and third in the 1,600.

Faisal Hasan, Wilde Lake, Sr.: Hasan capped his senior indoor season by winning the 1,600 (4: 34.7) and 3,200 meters (10: 10.6) at the Class 1A-2A state championships. His surprising second-place finish in the 800 earned his team 28 points for the day, helping the Wildecats finish in a tie for second. He scored 22 points at the county meet, after finishing second in the 1,600 and 3,200 and third in the 800. He was region champ in both the 1,600 and 3,200.

Brian Howard, Oakland Mills, Sr.: Howard and teammate Kevin Rondon were the county's most impressive 1-2 punch. Howard, the county's outdoor record-holder in the shot put, won the county title with a toss of 50-2 3/4 and finished second in the 55 dash. He was first in the shot put at regions, followed by Rondon (second) and teammate Andrew Long (fourth). At states, Howard had an off day and finished fifth in the shot put. Howard, who also played linebacker and fullback for the Lions while maintaining a 3.9 GPA, will attend Harvard. "He's a class act," said Sam Singleton, his coach. "He is the kind of kid you want to bring home with you."

Jared Howard, Atholton, Sr.: Howard, last year's county Performer of the Year, won the county title in the boys 500 run, finished second in the 300 and helped the Raiders win county titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. He set a county record in the 500 (1: 06.8) and he has set, or helped set, school records in four events, including the 500 dash, 800 run, 800 relay and 1,600 relay. At states, Howard appeared to be on his way to another title, but he was disqualified in the 500 for breaking in before the "break line."

Brendan Kelly, Oakland Mills, Sr.: At the county meet, Kelly won the 300 dash in 38.2 and was fifth in the 55 dash. At regionals, he was sixth in the 55, but qualified for states by meeting the qualifying standard. A key member of the Scorpions sprint relays, Kelly anchored the 1,600 relay team that was first in the region, second in the county and third at states. "He is one of the most dedicated kids we have," said Singleton. Kelly will attend Bentley College in Massachusetts.

Tom O'Connor, Centennial, Sr.: O'Connor peaked at the regionals, where he finished first after clearing a personal best, 6-5. He won the county high jumping title with a jump of 6-1 and he finished third at the states (6-0). He also collected gold medals in the high jump at the Pangaea Meet and the National Guard Meet. "He is very goal-oriented," said coach Al Dodds.

Steve Petro, Oakland Mills, Sr.: Petro, who owns the county indoor record in the 3,200 (10: 04.2), helped the Scorpions reclaim the boys county title by winning the 1,600 and 3,200 and he was second behind Wilde Lake's Faisal Hasan in both events at the regionals. At the state meet, he was second behind Hasan in the 3,200 and came in fifth in the 1,600.

Kevin Rondon, Oakland Mills, Sr.: The other half of Oakland Mills' impressive shot-putting duo, Rondon was second to Howard at both the county and region meets. Their order was reversed at states, with Rondon finishing second -- with a personal best toss of 51-7 -- and Howard settling for fifth. Singleton credits the Scorpions' shot put coach, Ian Lesikar, for Rondon's and Howard's success.

Zach Tropf, Atholton, Sr.: Tropf, who carries a 3.8 GPA, was champ in the 800 at the county meet where he also placed third in the 3,200, fourth in the 1,600 and ran a leg of the Raiders' winning 3,200 relay. He was crowned state champion in the 1,600 in a time of 4: 30.0 and he finished in the top 10 at the Mobile Invitational.

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