Gilman wants to move up a notch Bryn Mawr, Mervo boys neared titles last year

Baltimore City cross country

September 08, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Gilman, Bryn Mawr and the Mervo boys want to make this a breakthrough season -- but it won't be an easy task.

For Gilman, coach Jack Thompson is trying to help the Greyhounds win their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (or MSA) title since 1980. The Greyhounds have been second each of the past four years to rival and four-time defending champion Calvert Hall.

Some thought last year was to be the Greyhounds' time, but Calvert Hall rallied from a mid-season slump to again win the MIAA championship meet.

But Thompson hopes this year will be different.

"We've got a pretty tough schedule towards the end," said Thompson. "I think this is going to be our best opportunity to win it."

Gilman's biggest strength will be its top two runners, senior Dave Chalmers (third in MIAA) and junior Seamus Whelton. Chalmers may be the top runner in the MIAA with Whelton not that far behind. Junior Will Spencer, senior Tom Hale and junior Alex Iliff also will help.

Chalmers, Whelton, Spencer and Hale all finished in the top 20 at the MIAA meet -- with Iliff taking sixth in the JV race after missing much of the season with an injury.

Archbishop Curley also hopes to fight for the MIAA's top spot. Coach Gene Hoffman hopes that seniors Tony Diem and Dan Scheuerman will lead the way with seniors Ed Ronspies and Adam Siripoonsup and junior Matt Mulqueen going for the next three spots.

The Friars lost four of their top five from last year, but Hoffman said they've worked hard and improved greatly since then.

Bryn Mawr's biography reads the same. The Mawrtians could very well sneak up on long-time Association of Independent Schools powers Notre Dame Prep and Mount de Sales and give them a scare.

The Mawrtians took third in the AIS last year, but have a strong top three. Senior Chris Houle, junior Brianne Jenkins and freshman Tess Deanehan will be strong all season. Deanehan is very promising and could even make it to No. 1 later this season.

To fight for the top spot, however, the Mawrtians also need help from freshman Jennifer Trusty, junior Liz Miller and freshman Allison Barker. The Mawrtians have plenty of talent, but lack depth, something that concerns coach Ariella Sontag.

"I think we have a shot," said Sontag. "But we don't have the depth that Mount de Sales and Notre Dame Prep do. I think if everyone stays healthy we can contend for the championship."

Mercy, despite being in only its second year, also should make some noise. Coach Michele Kurtzman's team finished fifth in the AIS in its opening season, and should keep improving with help from senior Jessica McGowan.

McGowan finished fourth in the AIS championship meet last year and should battle for the top spot this year. Senior Kelly Bennett, junior Casey Thomas and freshmen Melissa Rocks and Jessica Interior also will help Mercy.

For the public schools, Mervo is in a bit of a rebuilding mode. The RTC Mustangs lost some to graduation, but seniors Antoine Collins and Garfield Thompson will help the team try to improve on its eighth-place finish at the Class 4A state meet.

Mervo also finished second, behind Perry Hall, in the region meet after capturing the city title. Coach Ron Neal, however, has his eyes on the state prize.

"I think we can make it back to the state," said Neal. "But our region is tough and we need everyone."

Collins and Thompson took 24th and 26th, respectively, in the Class 4A state meet and both had good summers of training. Mervo also expects help from juniors Tyree Byron, Rodney Williamson and Vaughn DeVaughn.

Mervo, which has won the last two state championships in track and field, also has toughened up its schedule. Neal added meets in Washington, Virginia and Pennsylvania to help get ready for the postseason. Poly and Carver could be two other teams that push the Mustangs in the city.

Southwestern and Western should be the top two teams again on the girls' side. Last year, Southwestern took the city crown away from the Doves and they should have a shot at keeping it.

Junior Yvonne Brown and senior Tenille Johnson, both of whom ran very well last year, head up a strong cast of returnees for Southwestern. The Sabers have about 10 on the team, which gives them more depth than Western.

The Doves have had an early problem with numbers -- like last year when they fielded five runners but still took second in the city.

Coach Jerry Molyneaux is working on bringing some more runners out, but starts with a strong top three. Senior Kimya McCoy (second in city) and juniors Elizabeth Johnson (first in city) and Tiffany Johnson will lead the way.

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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