S. Carroll's Chittchang steals day

Senior takes long jump, triple jump, 200, 1,600 relay

Westminster wins boys title

Track and field

May 14, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

South Carroll's Pun Chittchang said she had an off day.

To those who competed against her at yesterday's Carroll County Track and Field Championships at Western Maryland College, that's probably a scary notion.

The Maryland-bound senior turned in one of the most dominating performances in meet history, winning the long jump, triple jump and 200 -- the first two in meet-record times -- and running the leadoff leg on the winning 4 x 400 team, as the Cavaliers nearly upset perennial champion Westminster.

In one of the closest finishes in recent years, the Owls won their fifth straight team title and ninth in 10 years, holding off the Cavaliers, 126.5-121. North Carroll was third (48) Francis Scott Key fourth (39.5) and Liberty fifth (39).

On the boys' side, Westminster (116) claimed its 18th straight crown, beating out South Carroll (94), Francis Scott Key (72), Liberty (53) and North Carroll (39).

Though they came up a bit short, it was still a day of celebration for the Cavaliers.

"They ran out of their minds today. I really didn't expect it," said South Carroll coach Rob Pennington, whose team lost the meet in the field, getting outscored by Westminster, 55-7, in the high jump, pole vault, shot put and discus. "With our lack of field events, I'm ecstatic. This is a great, great showing for our kids on the track.

Chittchang led the way, lending a hand in over a quarter of her team's points. She first won the long jump (19 feet, 4 inches), breaking her own mark by 1 foot, 8 inches, and triple jump (39-9.5), breaking Jean Glover's 13-year-old mark by 2 feet, 8.5 inches.

To the surprise of many, however, Chittchang -- in only her first season of competitive sprinting -- then came back to win the 200, missing another meet record by five-tenths of a second, before leading South Carroll to victory in the 4 x 400 with a dominating opening leg.

"I kind of had an off day," said Chittchang, lamenting the fact that she scratched on her first two attempts at the triple jump. "I wasn't really thinking about [breaking the records]. I just wanted a personal best, but it didn't happen today."

She missed her personal bests by approximately a half foot in the long jump and a foot in the triple.

Winners for Westminster included Mandy Komar (800), Becky Kuchera (high jump), Alyssa Huver (pole vault), Kiara Adams (shot put), Jessica Hester (discus) and the 4 x 100 and 4 x 800 relay teams. North Carroll's Colleen Lawson (1,600, 3,200) and South Carroll's Jody Sharpe (high hurdles, 300 hurdles) won two events each.

In the boys' competition, Westminster posted winners in 10 of 18 events, including two each by Jared Craig (high hurdles and 300 hurdles) and Ifeanyi Ani (long and triple jump). Teammate Jason Santucci also struck gold, winning the 3200 in a meet-record 9: 38.2.

"That was my goal," said Santucci, who broke Mark Gilmore's 13-year-old record by 5.4 seconds.

The senior, who had written the split times he was hoping to achieve on his left forearm, said he went out faster than normal.

"I definitely wanted to make it so even if I did die, I'd still break the record," said Santucci, The Sun's Carroll Indoor Track Boys Performer of the Year last winter. "Toward the middle I was off a little bit, so I had to pick it up at the end."

South Carroll's Mike Muller (100, 200) and North Carroll's Josh Schwartz (shot, discus) also had days to remember, each winning two events.

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