1996-97 All-Baltimore City/County Indoor Track Teams

February 28, 1997|By Steven Kivinski

Boys team

Coach of the Year

Freddie Hendricks, Mervo: The dean of city track coaches led the Mustangs to a sweep of the city, region and state championships. Despite the fact that his team didn't win a single event in the Class 3A-4A state championships, Mervo still managed to hold off runner-up High Point, 52-45 1/2 , and win its first state indoor title. Hendricks' charges were co-ranked No. 1 with Perry Hall most of the season but stood alone atop the poll following their victory at states. Mervo didn't face as much resistance in winning its third consecutive city title. The Mustangs won easily, topping runner-up City by 125-52.

Performer of the year

Omar Knight, Perry Hall, senior: No metro-area athlete dominated three events like Knight did during the 1996-97 indoor track campaign. In the high jump, Knight won the Pangaea meet and the region championship, was second in the county and fourth in the state with a personal best of 6 feet, 4 inches. He won the 1,500-meter run at Pangaea and won the 1,600 at the county, region and state meets. He turned an area-best time of 4: 29.04 in the 1,600 for a 10th-place finish at the Mobil Invitational. Competing in the 800, this honor student won the National Guard Meet, as well as county, region and state titles, and owned a metro-area best time of 2: 00.0. "It's the best season I've ever had for a middle-distance runner," said Jerry Martin, who has been in coaching for 24 years.

The team

Alex Taylor, McDonogh, senior: Taylor won the mile and the two-mile runs at the inaugural Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Indoor Championships at Essex Community College. Despite Essex's tiny track, Taylor still posted an area-best in the 3,200 (10: 00.1).

Marcus Lynch, Western Tech, senior: Lynch capped a brilliant indoor track season by winning gold medals in the 55-meter dash (6.6) and 300 dash (37.0) at the Class 1A-2A state championships. At regions, the Woodlawn resident won the 300 and 55 and ran the second leg of the Wolverines' winning 800 relay team. At the county meet, we won the 55-meter dash in 6.4 seconds and was second at 300.

Jeff McKelvin, Randallstown, junior: McKelvin, a transfer from North Carolina, swept the high jump and hurdles at the county, region and state meets. His time of 7.4 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles met a national qualifying standard and was a metro-area best. "He is a die-hard competitor," said Rams coach Mike Gelman.

Adam Siripoonsup, Curley, senior: At the MIAA Championships, Siripoonsup won the 55-meter hurdles and the 300 and ran a leg for the Friars' winning 1,056-meter relay. He was the Dickinson Invitational's Outstanding Athlete, winning the hurdles in a personal-best 7.6, placing second in the 200 and finishing third in the long jump. He won the hurdles at the Metro Invitational at Catonsville CC.

Tyree Byron, Mervo, junior: Byron posted metro-area best times in the 300-meter dash (36.9), 500 dash (1: 07.0) and the 800 run (1: 59.6). His second-place finishes in the 300 and 500 at states helped the Mustangs win the Class 3A-4A state title (1: 59.6). At the city championships, he won the 500, took second in the 300 and was a member of the champion 800 and 1,600 relays. Byron emerged as double champion at regions after winning the 300 and 500, but one of his most memorable races was in the Seton Hall Invitational; he caught a New York runner to win the 1,600-meter relay for the Mustangs.

Antoine Collins, Mervo, senior: Collins won the 1,600 and 3,200 at both the city and Class 3A-4A Central regional championships. With teammate Garfield Thompson sick, Collins ran the 800 at regions and qualified for states. A "slight hip pointer" slowed him at states, but he helped the Mustangs by running a leg of their runner-up 3,200 relay team and finishing fifth in the 800 and 3,200. Said Hendricks: "Whereever you need him to be, that's where he'll be."

Garfield Thompson, Mervo, senior: Thompson, who has wrestled and competed in indoor track in past seasons, devoted this winter to indoor track and field and was a big part of the Mustangs' city, region and state titles. If it hadn't been for teammate Byron, Thompson would have been The Man in the 500. "Tyree and Garfield were 1-2 and no room between them," lTC said Hendricks. He was city champ in the 800 and a member of the Mustangs' 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams that won city and region titles. He was sick at states but still finished third in the 500 and ran a leg of the runner-up 3,200 relay and the 1,600 relay team that took third.

Josh List, Perry Hall, senior: He emerged as Baltimore County champ in the pole vault and won a region title by clearing a personal best 12 feet, 3 inches at the 5th Regiment Armory. He helped the Gators win their region, as well as their fourth straight county title. Martin said: "He came out of the middle of the pack this season to become one of the better vaulters in the area."

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