1998-99 Baltimore City/County indoor track previews

December 13, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Though graduation has taken its toll on many teams throughout the metro area, this year's indoor track season shapes up as another battle between the area's traditional powers.

On the boys' side, Woodlawn appears to be in prime position to repeat in Baltimore County.

Defending champion City and Mervo will battle it out in Baltimore City, and two-time defending champion Mount St. Joseph will have its hands full with outdoor champion Calvert Hall in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Western appears once again to be the class of Baltimore City girls teams.

Two-time defending champion Catholic and challengers Mount de Sales and McDonogh will battle in the Catholic League.

Woodlawn, defending champion Dulaney, Perry Hall and Parkville will have at it in Baltimore County.

Here's a look at area teams:

Boys

Baltimore County public

A year after winning the Baltimore County, region and Class 2A-3A state titles, Woodlawn again appears the team to beat. Despite losing a number of talented seniors, coach Michael Sye's team returns a strong nucleus of sprinters and middle-distance performers.

Leading is senior Joel Brown, an All-Metro performer last spring and All-City/County pick last winter who was both the indoor and outdoor state champion in the 55-meter hurdles.

Also returning is junior Anthony Jenkins, sixth in the 500 at last year's state meet; junior Clevon Johnson, a threat in both the 800 and 1,600; and senior Mike Donaldson, a top sprinter who sat out last season after transferring from Catonsville.

"We're young, but success breeds success," said Sye, who graduated his top pole vaulter and high jumper. "These kids are very coachable."

Milford Mill, sixth in last year's Class 2A-3A state meet, looks to be the Warriors' chief competition. The Millers feature a corps of middle-distance standouts, seniors Derrick Stanfield (300-500), Marcus Lollar (500) and Bernardo Tubaya (800), as well as senior hurdler William Birkhead.

Tyrone Gholston, a transfer from Franklin and second-team All-City/County running back, will add a presence in the 55.

Dulaney, fifth in the Class 3A-4A state meet last winter, could challenge for the county title with its roster of distance and middle-distance standouts.

Senior Greg Vincent, an All-Metro talent who was the county champion in the 3,200 before taking second in the state in that event, losing by under a second, heads the list. He also ran a critical leg on the Lions' county champion 3,200 relay team.

Seniors Andy Gell and Stephen Wheatley will join Vincent in the distance events, and juniors Brett Harvey, Tim Makowske and Jeff Dyke in the 300-800-meter events. Junior pole vaulters Jason Bryant and Steven Staniewski, both in the county's top five, and senior shot putter Mike Saffron will be factors.

Perry Hall has just three seniors, but the perennially powerful Gators always make their presence known.

They have two standout distance performers, senior Jon Kappes and junior Andy Hart, as well as senior sprinters Renard Wilson and Brian Walker. Coach Brian Lee said that his field performers are green but have potential.

Parkville, maybe not as strong as in recent seasons, still could surprise with its mix of experienced veterans and talented newcomers. Leading the Knights will be seniors Oscar Torres (mile and half-mile), Dave Profili (2-mile), Sean McLaughlin (300, 500) and Pat O'Hara (high jump, 300).

Randallstown, among the county's top three for half a decade, will essentially start from scratch.

The Rams, fifth this spring in the Class 2A-3A state meet, lost every county, region and state champion on the roster and are extremely young. Senior Femi Somide is one of the county's top middle-distance threats and sophomore Artie Lewis is an improving miler.

Others to watch include Towson distance specialists Jason Mitchell -- a senior who was third in the state 3,200 both indoors and outdoors -- and sophomore John Winternitz; Franklin sophomore Mike Lisby, a distance standout; Hereford and Lansdowne pole vaulters Mike Labarre and Don Hull, both juniors; and senior shot putter Drew Marion of Lansdowne.

Baltimore City public

Top teams City and Mervo both lost quite a bit to graduation, but as City coach William Redmon said, this year's champion "will depend on who's rebuilt the best."

City College, the defending city indoor and outdoor champion, lost a half-dozen of its best sprinters and quarter-milers but seems to have improved in other areas. Returning is top miler James Giza, a senior, as well as standout two-miler Jason Lampkin, a junior.

The Knights boast three top sprinters, seniors Kevin Johnson and Donte Allen and sophomore Shawn Anderson, as well as half-miler Mahdi Nur, a senior, and quarter-miler Chris Brown, a junior.

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