Perry Hall's depth tough to match White and Sclafani will help Dulaney girls establish a fast pace

March 31, 1996|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

What do you do when all your best runners compete in the same events?

Perry Hall coach Jerry Martin hopes the answer is that you compete for a state title.

The longtime Gators coach has the pleasant problem of handling the largest and deepest contingent of middle-distance runners he's ever had. The group includes eight athletes who have each placed in either a county, region or state meet.

"I've had flexibility, but never to this degree," said Martin. "My biggest problem is finding spots for all of them."

Senior captain Ryan Alessi leads the way, followed by identical twin juniors Cody and Cory Green, indoor All-City/County junior Omar Knight (second in state indoor 800), junior Jason Harle, senior Chris Horodowicz, sophomore Kirk Boufford and junior Matt Hester.

Add to that lineup thrower Chaz DeGalleford -- a senior who placed third in the state shot put this past indoor season and you've got a team that should be a state contender.

If Perry Hall has a weakness, however, it comes in the sprints.

Parkville -- sixth at the Class 3A indoor meet -- also will have that problem, having lost some sprinters to other sports, but will again be tough.

All-Metro senior Joe Smith -- a winner of eight medals in three indoor championships -- will lead one of the area's strongest contingents of distance runners. Along with Smith, an indoor county champion in the 1,600 and 3,200, the Knights feature senior John Runner -- seventh in the state indoor 3,200.

Woodlawn has an inexperienced team, but is led by senior Craig Thompson, a county, region and state indoor hurdles champ and senior long sprinter Neville Hodge, the county indoor champ in the 500.

Dulaney also has a strong nucleus with sophomore Shawn Sullivan (fifth in state indoor 3,200), senior Alex Crujerias (1,600, 3,200), senior Wes Leong (fourth in state pole vault), sophomore Matt Insley (seventh in state pole vault) and senior Jeff Gavin (discus).

Owings Mills features the state indoor 55 champ, senior Sean Myles, who along with junior Ade Adedeji, junior Ken Harman and senior Marvin Noriega made up the state runner-up 4 x 400 relay team.

Senior Andre Blackwell from Milford Mill and Lansdowne junior pole vaulter Don Colvin (indoor county and region champ) are also ones to watch.

In the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association, McDonogh, second to Gilman at last year's postseason meet, has two returning standouts in seniors Anders Fristedt and Kevin Cummings. Fristedt won the MIAA 1,600 last year, and was All-Metro in cross-country last fall, while Cummings went unbeaten during the regular season in the 200 and 400.

Calvert Hall, last year's regular-season co-champion with Gilman, led by seniors Cory Smith and Andrew Lessner.

Smith (1,600, 3,200) is ranked fifth in the nation in the 3,200 and Lessner is the MIAA's defending 400 champ.

On the girls side, Dulaney, a perennial contender at the Class 4A state meet, is led by all-City/County indoor performers Meghan White, a junior, and Suzanne Sclafani, a senior.

White, the City/County Performer of the Year this past winter, placed second in the state in the 1,600 and 3,200, and fourth in the 800. Sclafani won the indoor 3,200 at the county and region meets, helping the Lions take first place in each.

Perry Hall will challenge with its strong corps of sprinters and multi-talented senior JoAnna Helm.

Helm, an all-City/County indoor performer, was the county indoor champ in the high jump but also excels in the 400 and inter mediate hurdles. The sprinters include two-time 100 and long jump county champion junior Alisha McClinton and All-City/County senior Dottie Hudson, who racked up 22 points at the county indoor meet.

Junior Natalie Gassman, second in the state discus last year, also will play an important role.

Woodlawn also should contend. Fifth at the recent Class 4A indoor state championships, the Warriors have a group of underclassmen who placed in the indoor postseason.

They include sophomores Catrice Jefferson (second in state 500), Crystal Cobb (second in county 300, third in county 500), Andela James (third in county 55) and freshman Amandi Williams (second in the regional 800).

Relays also are Woodlawn's forte, the school having placed second in the state in the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 indoors.

Parkville, an indoor regional champion, features county and region shot put champ sophomore Elisa Jones.

Towson may not be as strong all around as the others, but does have several standout performers, including junior Meg Holland (indoor region champ in the hurdles) and junior Collyn LeBerge, the school-record holder in the discus.

Catonsville, sixth in the final indoor track poll, loses some of its best athletes to lacrosse, but features junior Brigid O'Connell (third in state 3,200) and senior Tia Douglass (second in state shot put).

Among private schools, Mount de Sales again looks to be the team to beat.

The Sailors -- winners of last spring's Private Schools Invitational at McDonogh -- feature an exceptionally strong contingent of distance runners led by senior Bridget Quenzer, The Sun's All-City/County Cross Country Runner of the Year. Her times in the 800 (2: 22) and 1,600 (5: 06) are some of the fastest in the area.

Also leading the way are sophomore Rose O'Neill (distance), senior Jen Blair (shot put) and sophomore sprinters Kara Vogelpohl and Carrie Rowland.

Pub Date: 03/31/96

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