Baltimore metro-area track athletes went away from yesterday's Class 3A-4A state championships with eight gold medals, 17 silvers, 17 bronzes, and 48 ribbons.
Unfortunately for the locals, the big hardware -- the boys and girls team trophies -- went south from the 5th Regiment Armory on Prince George's County school buses.
High Point, led by Clemson-bound Ato Modibo, blazed by the boys field, putting up 66 points to runner-up Richard Montgomery's 40.
Amber Robinson led Eleanor Roosevelt (56) to its fourth straight girls state title and set a state record in the 300-meter dash (41.0). Montgomery County power Quince Orchard led for a time, but finished second with 44 points.
Western's girls team, which closed out the meet with Layla Acirfa, Toni Jefferson, Elizabeth Johnson and Tia Burley winning the 1,600-meter relay, had the area's best team finish, coming in fourth with 34 1/2 points.
Glen Burnie junior Katie Sloan was the only area runner to win two gold medals. The junior won the girls 1,600 in 5: 21.6 and the two-mile run in 11: 54.8.
"Judging from the times, I knew Katie had a good shot in both events," said Glen Burnie coach Aaron Walker, whose girls finished tied for sixth with Oxon Hill, two spots ahead of Annapolis and five in front of Anne Arundel County champ Old Mill (11th). "She's got a lot of heart, and she showed it today."
Said Sloan: "It really hasn't sunk in yet. I'll probably wake up tomorrow morning and realize I won two state championships and feel great."
Jade Johnson, a Lake Clifton sophomore, was sporting her gold medal proudly after winning the girls 55 hurdles in 8.76.
"I was scared, because I didn't knew any of the competition," said Johnson. "But once I cleared that last hurdle, I knew I had it."
Dulaney and Mervo finished in a fifth-place deadlock in the boys competition with 26 points apiece. The Mustangs, without coach Freddie Hendricks, who missed the meet because of the death of his father, Otis, got excellent performances from Tyree Byron and Odell Taylor.
But this day belonged to Modibo.
The High Point senior started by breaking a record in the 300 that Mervo's James Carter set two years ago. Byron and Taylor tied for second in that race, 1.2 seconds behind Modibo (35.5).
Byron and Taylor finished second and fourth, respectively, behind Modibo in the 500, and Byron's time of 1: 07.0 was one of the three that met the national qualifying standard.
"The kids wanted to win this for Coach Hendricks, but I knew it was going to be tough with Modibo out there," said Mervo assistant coach Ron Neal. "The Prince George's County schools are strong, but we'll have something for them outdoors."
Shawn Sullivan (1,600 run), Greg Vincent (3,200 run) and Matt Insley (pole vault) helped Dulaney's cause with runner-up finishes in each of their events.
Mardy Mahoney finished third for North County in the 55 hurdles and teammate Tyrone Powers took home a bronze in the 55 dash. Sarah Zaruba claimed third for the Knights in the 500.
Pub Date: 2/26/98