Talk of the demise of Old Mill's indoor track power surfaced before the first starter's pistol was fired this season and reached a deafening crescendo this winter when the Patriots' boys team fell to Meade in both of Anne Arundel County's scoring meets.
Even veteran Old Mill assistant coach Leon Walters wasn't his optimistic self entering yesterday's Anne Arundel County championships at the 5th Regiment Armory.
"I feel confident that our girls will win their 12th [straight county title]," he said. "But whether or not our boys can win their seventh straight is kind of iffy."
Walters' words proved prophetic as Old Mill's string of county sweeps was snapped at six by a Meade boys team that simply would not be denied.
"This year, we didn't even think about Old Mill," said Meade senior Malcolm Vaughn, who led the charge for the Mustangs with first-place finishes in the high jump (6-4) and 55-meter hurdles (7.5). "We just did our thing and our hard work paid off."
Meade racked up 84 points, more than enough to hold off runner-up North County (67) and Old Mill (60).
The Patriots girls won their 12th county crown in decisive fashion, tallying 93 points to runner-up Annapolis' 57 and third-place Arundel's 50.
John Thomas, the county's cross country Runner of the Year last fall, helped Meade's cause by winning the 3200 run and finishing second behind Severna Park's Chris Robey in the 1600. Robey earned his second gold medal of the day in the 800 run, where he outlasted Old Mill's Jon Mikeska by a second in posting a winning time of 2: 07.2
"Every once in a while someone else has to win, so I guess this is our turn," said Meade coach Hayes Henderson. "These kids worked hard, they helped each other and they really blossomed this year."
Old Mill's Renita Collins, who recorded the area's second best throw last season while competing in the shadow of teammate Cathy Porter (Maryland), helped the Patriots to a 1-2 finish in the girls shot put. Collins won the event with a toss of 37-8 1/2 and teammate Jamie Smith was runner-up.
Old Mill sophomore Jackie Allen, who vaulted 8-0 earlier this season, had to settle for second place in the pole vault but picked up a gold medal in winning the 55 dash in 7.5 seconds.
The Patriots boys team picked up 20 points in the shot put, courtesy of a 1-3-4 finish by Balvin Brown, Adam Tryzbinski and Anthony Snukis, respectively.
Kiki Ellis of North County tied a county meet record set in 1982 by Meade's Jim Jackson in winning the boys 55 dash in 6.3 seconds and he won the 300 dash (37.5).
Michelle June and Dana Crawford teamed up to give Meade a a 1-2 finish in both the 55 hurdles and high jump. June took home gold medals in each of the events, winning the hurdles in 8.7 and the high jump with a leap of 5-4.
Arundel's Jennifer Ng, the county's cross country Runner of the Year, was the meet's only triple champ after winning the 800, 1600 and 3200 runs.
South River's Angelo Groves became the first county indoor champion in the pole vault as she set the standard by clearing 8 feet.
Southern's Ashley Wermine captured first in the girls 500 dash and was second to Ayana Shannon of Annapolis in the 500.
"We tried a couple of things to try and win and they backfired, but we were going for it," said Old Mill coach Mike Marcus. "We could have been conservative and been a solid second with no chance of winning, but that's not our style.
"Meade has a lot of great kids. They a have a smattering of everything and Hayes [Henderson] did a great job. They have points that are definitely going to hold up at the state meet, and we don't."
Pub Date: 1/14/97