Mervo's team effort clinches 4A-3A title Perry Hall is third

Knight, Vaughn are double winners from metro area

February 19, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Mervo didn't win a single event in yesterday's Class 4A-3A State Championships at the 5th Regiment Armory, but the Mustangs mustered enough points to win the school its first boys team championship.

The Mustangs' victory also ended the debate over who should be ranked No. 1 in the metro-area poll. Mervo and Perry Hall had shared the top spot most of the season but the Gators' third-place finish should give Mervo sole possession of the No. 1 ranking.

"I thought we would get a first place somewhere in there -- but I'm not complaining," said Mervo coach Freddie Hendricks after watching his team hold off runner-up High Point, 52-45 1/2 .

"We told the kids when we came here that every point counted, whether it was first or sixth, and they really showed their character today. This was a total team effort."

Tyree Byron, a junior at Mervo, led the Mustangs' charge, finishing second to High Point's Ato Modibo in both the 300- and 500-meter runs. Byron led the 500 for most of the race before Modibo leaned over the finish to collect his second gold medal of the day.

Garfield Thompson's third-place effort in the 500 gave the Mustangs a total of 14 points in the event and Antoine Collins' fifth-place finish in the 800 gave Mervo two more much-appreciated insurance points.

Omar Knight was one of only two metro-area athletes to win two individual events. The senior from Perry Hall won the boys 1,600 in 4 minutes, 30 seconds and then set a Baltimore County record in the 800. His time of 2: 00.0 improved the standard set in 1980 by Woodlawn's Paul Sewell -- now coach at Western Tech -- by a half-second.

The other double champion was Meade's Malcolm Vaughn, who won the boys 55 hurdles in 7.6 seconds and the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 6 inches. Knight took fourth in the high jump and finished a busy day by running the anchor leg of Perry Hall's sixth-place 1,600 relay.

Arundel's Jennifer Ng edged Dulaney's Meghan White by just under a second to capture a state title in the girls 1,600 run. White came back and captured her first individual state championship in the 3,200 and closed out the day by finishing third in the 800.

"Finally," said White, with a dramatic sigh of relief. "The 3,200 is usually my worst event, but today it was my surprise event. I've put in a lot of hard work and it's nice to finally get paid back."

Said Ng: "I'm thrilled to win because this is my senior year and this is the last chance I'll get to run in the Armory. It was a great way to go out."

After finishing third in the 300, North County senior Kiki Ellis came back and defended his state title in the 55 dash.

"I came here hoping to regain the title in the 55 dash and try and help my team win the 800 relay. I did one of two so I'm happy with my accomplishments today," said Ellis, who has gone undefeated in the dash indoors for two seasons.

Tiffany Jackson of Western picked up a silver medal for her runner-up finish in the 800 and a fifth-place ribbon in the 500.

Matt Lindeman, a senior at Glen Burnie, won a state title in the boys pole vault with a vault of 12-6. Perry Hall sophomore Lisa Pann finished second in the girls pole vault by clearing the bar at 8-0 and Jackie Allen of Old Mill finished third.

Pub Date: 2/19/97

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