Anne Arundel County track teams at a glance Possible Meade dilemma: title shot, or diplomas?

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March 28, 1997|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Meade High's commencement falls on the same day as this year's state track meet, so some Mustangs will have to choose between walking across the stage with the rest of their classmates and trying to help teammates win a state championship.

This dilemma is not new to Meade, or, for that matter, other schools. The difference is, the Mustang boys have a shot at the Class 4A state title.

"There's nothing I can do about it," Meade coach Hayes Henderson said. "I'm not going to tell them what to do, either way. It's their decision."

Meade's graduation won't spare the other county boys teams from the heavily-favored Mustangs at this year's county championships, where Old Mill's girls will be seeking their 17th consecutive crown.

Here is a look at who has what:

Meade Mustangs

Senior Malcolm Vaughan, the county's indoor track Performer of the Year, will represent the Mustangs in the high jump, 110 hurdles and either the 100 or 200 dashes. Junior Malwan Johnson will compete in the long jump, high jump and run a relay leg, and sophomore Anthony Wise will handle the longer sprints.

The Mustangs' speedy lineup is bolstered by the addition of Tornardo Sharps, an All-Metro running back who led the county in rushing last fall with 1,765 yards and 19 touchdowns. Sharps will run the dashes.

Meade's girls are led by All-Metro high jumper Michelle June, whocleared 5-8 this and has her sights on 6 feet. Shamika Eldridge is the county's top hurdler, and teammates Dana Crawford (high jump, triple jump, 300 hurdles) and Mia Diggs (relays and 400) add balance.

"The boys will hold their own, and our girls will move up a notch in the county," said Henderson, whose team will host the Meade Stampede on April 18.

Old Mill Patriots

No head coach caused the Patriots' numbers to decline. After attracting 130 athletes for the indoor team, Old Mill's "committee of coaches" saw only 60 show up for the outdoor season.

Nevertheless, veteran assistant coach Leon Walters, who will work with the middle- and long-distance runners, believes the girls' team should win its 17th straight county and region championships.

"The kids are responding very well," said Walters, who will run the team along with fellow assistants Mike Marcus (throwers, high jumpers), Matt Byrnes (pole vault, long and triple jump), Mary Matthews (sprinters) and Janet Liimatta (hurdlers). "The boys team is down a little, but people will know we're around."

Nakia Johnson, an All-Metro selection last spring, will do the long jump and sprints and Renita Collins, who finished second in the metro last year in shot put and discus behind teammate Cathy Porter, will handle the throws.

Junior Jamie Smith gives the Patriots a 1-2 threat in the discus and shot put, and Tynisha Armstead is the defending region champ in the 400.

Sophomore Jackie Allen, won a county championship in the 55 dash indoors and third place at states in the pole vault.

Old Mill's boys will be hard-pressed to defend the school's eighth straight county and region titles. Shot putters Adam Trzybinski and Balvin Brown, distance runners Jon Mikeska and Ian Turmelle and pole vaulter Phil Beall lead the team.

North County Knights

Once again, North County boasts the county's top sprinting corps. All-Metro Kiki Ellis, undefeated the last two years indoors in the 55-meter dash, leads the Knights. Complementing her are veteran speedsters Tyrone Powers and David Soaper and newcomers Corey Wright and Antwan Chambers.

"We will go as far as our speed will take us," says North County coach Ed Harte, "and that usually takes us far."

Brad Wisniewski and Jason Pardoe will carry North County in the distance events, and Sachin Singh and Mardy Mahoney will represent the Knights in the hurdles and pole vault.

Ellis' sister, Tinishia, and Nayvette Fowlkes should set the pace in the sprints for North County's girls team. Some other Knights to watch: Jessica Pratt (400 dash, 300 hurdles) Tracy Harriott (pole vault), Sarah Zaruba (400 and 800 dashes) and Amy Jacobs (hurdles, sprints and pole vault).

Broadneck Bruins

Broadneck's girls lost some of indoor team members to the "glamor sports," softball and lacrosse, but Bruins coach Jerry Kiple believes his boys have enough talent back to make another run at the state title.

The Bruins, Class 3A state champs in 1995, are led by sophomore Mike Rolland, region champ indoors in the 800. John Williams and Tim Dugan are triple threats in the sprints, high jump and triple jump, and Keith Anderson and Martel Threadgill will help the Bruins in the sprints and relays.

Back for Broadneck's female contingent are Amanda Schmidt (distance) and sprinters Sarah Holt, Melissa Bragg and Amy Zanderhei.

"We pretty much have all the events covered on the boys side, so I see no reason why we can't be right there," said Kiple. "I expect our girls to be competitive. We're not as deep as I like to be."

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