Revived City gets ready for another run at Mervo Redmon: 'We are the team to beat in Baltimore City'

Indoor track

January 28, 1998|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Rev. William Redmon wasn't offended when asked recently if defending state champion Mervo was at full strength when his City boys indoor track team defeated the Mustangs in an early-season meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

In fact, Redmon welcomed the query and appeared to enjoy answering it.

"Oh, yes! They were all there," he said, his voice rising in the same manner it does when he's delivering a rousing sermon to his congregation at Baltimore's St. Katherine of Alexandria Episcopal Church. "Mervo could have taken its team picture that day."

Mervo coach Freddie Hendricks laughed when he heard of his team's supposed missed photo opportunity, but quickly added: "City is good."

Hendricks' Mustangs were picture-perfect last season, winning their third straight city and region titles and first state indoor crown, but Redmon believes City's early-season victory signaled a decisive shift in the balance of power in the city boys track scene.

"We are the team to beat in Baltimore City," said Redmon, whose team won all four regular-season city meets. "We have the depth. We have the distance people and we have all our sprinters back from last year.

"Mervo keeps saying, 'Wait until the city championships,' but I think they know in their heart that we have the class of Baltimore City."

The wait ends today when 16 city public schools gather at the armory for the fourth annual Baltimore City Indoor Track Championships.

Mervo's boys and Western's girls walked off with the team titles the first three years and barring a huge upset, the third-ranked Doves will fly away with their fourth straight city crown.

The fifth-ranked Mustangs return two of the area's top sprinters in Tyree Byron and Erik Newby, but unless their supporting cast grows or improves, fourth-ranked City will be celebrating its first indoor track championship.

"Unless they come up with some secret weapons, we'll win because the numbers are there," said Redmon, who is relying heavily on distance ace Rooti Lewis, sprinters Robert Williams and James Gee, and shot putters Ali Harding and Allen Couplin. "I see the distance events carrying us."

Pub Date: 1/28/98

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