Annapolis, Glen Burnie sprint to championships

Panthers boys claim first title in nearly 30 years

Track and field

May 14, 1999|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

It was perfect night for the Annapolis boys team last night at the Anne Arundel County track and field championships.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Panthers claimed the title on its home track, outdistancing Old Mill and North County.

"This was a long time coming," said Annapolis coach Mike Ballard, a 1985 graduate. "We wanted to build a whole team, and we covered all the events tonight."

The Panthers won two events -- both by Rayvon Johnson, but placed in the top three in 13 events. Old Mill finished with 75 points, and North County had 67.

Glen Burnie (103 points) won the girls championship, edging past Old Mill and Arundel, both with 102. The Gophers placed in the top three in 12 events.

The Gophers dominated the field events behind the duo Del Rhea Godwin and Susan Sperduto. Sperduto claimed first in the shot put (34 feet, 1 3/4 feet) and discus (102-0).

Godwin was the most outstanding girl, winning the long (17-4 1/2), high (5-4), and triple (35-11) jumps. She also contributed a third-place finish in the 200.

"I really wanted to win the 200," said Godwin shortly before receiving the announcement of the team scores. "I was more relaxed for those field events, and kept my focus on the 200."

Johnson and K.O. Gray of Southern-Harwood claimed two medals each. They provided the event's most exciting moments.

Johnson (10.9) shaved two-tenths of a second off his previous best time to edge Gray (11.0) in the 100. Gray came back in the 200 to nip his Annapolis rival, who set county football rushing mark this past fall.

The outstanding male performer was Old Mill's Victor Thillet. The junior wrapped up three county titles in the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 runs.

"I'm kind of surprised," said Thillet, who recently got back on the track after an illness slowed him at the beginning of month. "I haven't really practice a lot, but it's good to bounce back."

Other multiple individual winners included Arundel's Markisha Bennett, who placed first in the 200 and 400. Jeremy Moore of Northeast won the discus and shot put event.

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