3 underclassmen shine at `Invite'

County's Thillet, Zuknick break two meet records

Track and field

April 09, 1999|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Three underclassmen with familiar names continued to literally run the table on records and gold medals at yesterday's eighth annual Knights Invite at North County High School in Ferndale.

Junior distance runners Victor Thillet of Old Mill and Archbishop Spalding's Kelly Zuknick each broke two meet records and earned honors as the most outstanding male and female athletes.

Had there been a separate award for most outstanding sprinter, it surely would have gone to Oakland Mills sophomore Kyle Farmer, who captured three individual dashes and anchored a winning relay.

Thillet, who has established himself as the metro area's premier distance runner with state titles in cross country and indoor track, set meet records in the 1,500- and 800-meter runs.

His time of 4: 05 flat in the 1,500 eclipsed the Knights Invite record of 4: 08.4 by Mount St. Joseph's Romero Wilson in 1992. Thillet's personal best in the 1,500 is 4: 03, which he ran in national competition last summer.

Thillet broke the previous 800 record of 1: 59 by North County's Sam Lomax in 1993 with a time of 1: 58.5. Just last week, Thillet ran a 1: 56 in a county meet at Severna Park.

"I didn't like the track here, because it has a couple pot holes in it, but overall, it was fine," said Thillet, a consensus All-Metro selection in both the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. "Even though I've been winning so much, it's still anybody's race when yoy go out there. They're out there for the same reason I'm out there -- to run."

Zuknick set new records in two of the three races she won yesterday and in so doing bested her top adversary, McDonogh sophomore Casey Remeto in two races at the same meet for the first time.

Also coming off medal-filled seasons in cross country and indoors, Zuknick shattered -- by nearly 20 seconds -- her own 3,000-meter run record, which she set as a sophomore at last year's Knights Invite. She covered the 3,000 in 10: 48.4 after doing it for a meet record of 11: 08.9 last spring.

The 1,500 record of 4: 55.1 by Westminster's Stephanie Morningstar in the Knights' inaugural in 1992 also fell to Zuknick, who did it in 4: 50.2 yesterday.

She was neck-and-neck with Remeto, who came in at 4: 50.5.

"It was especially thrilling to beat Casey in two races, because we have been battling back and forth all year," said Zuknick, who gave up soccer to pursue running, which she "loves" so much that she began coaching track at Arthur Slade Middle School in Glen Burnie.

"We just ran against each other in the Colonial Relays last week. I beat her here last year in the 1,500, and that was the only time I had ever beaten her, except for last Thursday in the Colonials. I beat her in the 3,000 there."

Zuknick also copped the gold in the 800 run with a time of 2: 21.2.

Oakland Mills' nine-year coach Sam Singleton, who discovered Farmer high jumping in middle school, said his standout 10th-grader is "the best we've ever had, and he will only get better."

Farmer went home with gold medals in the 100 meter run (10.8 vs. a 10.7 meet record), 200 meters (22.2) and the 400 run (49.7). In addition, Farmer anchored the winning 1,600 relay.

North County's Chris Scott and Old Mill's Jackie Allen were double winners, too.

Scott won the 110 high hurdles in 15.2 and the 300 hurdles in 40 seconds to pace host coach Ed Harte's Knights, who won six of 18 boys events, although team scores were not kept.

Allen won the 100 (12.4) and 200 meters (26.6) and was second in the triple jump and third in the long jump.

Pub Date: 4/09/99

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