Woodlawn boys aim to build on success Big indoor effort puts Warriors at head of pack

McDonogh girls are strong

Track and field preview

March 29, 1998|By STEVEN KIVINSKI | STEVEN KIVINSKI,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

With his team having captured county, region and state titles this past indoor season, Woodlawn coach Mike Sye knows his Warriors won't be able to hide this spring.

2 Here's a look at the leagues and who has what:

Baltimore City

After having the city indoor Championship taken away by City for the first time ever this winter Mervo is itching to prove it is the top boys team in Baltimore.

No one will argue the fact that Western has had the best girls team in the city the past decade and with the talent the Doves return this season, it's safe to say that won't change.

The Doves have a flock of talent this spring including All-Metro performer Toni Jefferson (400 and jumps) and Elizabeth Johnson (400 on up), in addition to AllCity/County selections Layla Acirfa (half-miler) and Tia Burley (sprints and middle distance).

"This is the best team I've ever had," said Doves coach Jerry Molyneaux. "If everything falls into place, I think we can give a good run at states."

Since losing to City at the 5th Regiment Armory, the Mustangs, according to their assistant coach Ron Neale, have had a severe case of cabin fever.

"They can't wait to get outdoors," said Neale. "That's where this team really shines."

The reason?

Mervo has the jumpers. And with three jumping events-high, long and triple-that gives the Mustangs a distinct advantage.

Hoping to help the Mustangs leap to a fourth consecutive state title are Erik Newby, Kevin Merrick and Norman Foster.

Mervo's bread-and-butter is its sprinting corps headed by Tyree Byron, Odell Taylor, Darius Tarver and Dax Johnson.

City will be led by sprinters Robert Williams and James Gee shot putters Ali Harding and Allen Couplin and distance runner Rooti Lewis.

Other city athletes to watch this spring are Arnold Henry of Poly, Yvonne Brown of Southwestern, and Lake Clifton's state champion sprinter Jade Johnson.

Baltimore County

Woodlawn not only has one of state's the top boys teams but also one of the most heavily recruited female track athletes in the area in senior Catrice Jefferson.

Jefferson, the All-City/County indoor track Performer of the Year, is the defending state champ in the intermediate hurdles and finished third in states last year in the 400.

Several colleges, including Tennessee, Temple and Mount St. Mary's, are waiting to see.

"Whatever college gets her is going to be happy it did," said Sye, who went on to star at Delaware after helping Wood lawn to a state title in 1988. "She's a true competitor."

In addition to the hurdles and the 400, Jefferson will also compete in the 800 - her best event - and run a leg of one of the Warriors' re-lays.

If you thought Woodlawn's indoor boys team was loaded, wait until you catch a glimpse of the Warriors spring squad.

In addition to Joel Brown, perhaps the top hurdler in the state, the Warriors also return Jonathan Streat (800 and 1,600), Tavon Mason (100 and 200), Artis Stokes (triple jump), Anthony Jenkins (400 and 800) and utility-man Marlon Lawrence.

Jefferson is joined on the girls team by All-City/County choice Ebony Henderson (hurdles), sophomore Ebony Smith (100 through 800), Elaina Johnson (high and triple jumps) and Angela James (sprints and long jump) .

For Dulaney's girls to repeat as Baltimore County champs the Lions are going to need their veterans to step up. Among those being called to duty are Stephanie Keuhne (jumps), Karen Chilemmi (middle distance) freshman Stephanie Wells (pole vault) and distance runners Marjorie Bollinger and Bianca Jay.

Harriers Shawn Sullivan and Greg Vincent will set the pace for John Britt's boys team at Dulaney and All-City/County pole-vaulter Matt Insley will try to build on his successful indoor campaign.

Milford Mill has a duo-senior Derek Anderson and junior Derrick Stanfield - capable of accruing many points and Randallstown has a potential multi-champ in Florida State-bound senior Jeff McKelvin.

McKelvin, the City/County indoor Runner of the Year, successfully defended his county, region and state highjump titles last winter and is looking to soar even higher outdoors.

Jen Geroux, a two-time AllMetro cross country runner who gave up her soccer career to help rejuvenate Parkville's running program, will close out a storybook high school career before exchanging her Knights' uniform for one with the Hurricanes of the University of Miami.

Elisa Jones, who helped Parkville win the indoor region title with her victory in the shot put, returns along with Sara White, an AllCity/County high jumper indoors.

The dynasty that was Perry Hall has been reduced to an also ran in the team standings, but the Gators have a number of individual stars on both of their teams including sprinters Kirk Bouffard and Kristen Redmond, distance runners Lacey Chanoski and Laura Brazil and state-level pole-vaulters Lisa Pann and McPherson.

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