Mervo, Western run away with titles

Mustangs boys regain crown after '98 defeat

May 16, 1999|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A familiar theme played again at the decade's final Baltimore City track and field championship yesterday.

Mervo's boys and Western's girls outdistanced the field at Poly's Lumsden-Scott Stadium to claim team titles.

The Doves placed the top two finishers in four of the first six events on their way to 239 points and their 11th straight title. Mervo (70) and Northern (48), finished second and third, respectively.

After being dethroned by City last year, Mervo's boys (162 points) reclaimed the crown, followed by Poly (102) and Forest Park (76). The Knights finished fifth with 47 points.

City's triumph a year ago ended the Mustangs' five-year run and was Mervo's first defeat in a local postseason meet since the 1992 Maryland Scholastic Association Championships.

Despite losing senior Odell Taylor during the morning session, Mervo was able to regain its postseason form, thanks in part to junior Kevin Merrick, who claimed first place in the 110 hurdles and long jump.

Taylor, possibly Mervo's top performer, pulled his left quadriceps muscle in the 200 trials. Coach Freddie Hendricks hopes to have the senior back for next week's Class 4A North regionals.

The Mustangs won three of the four relays (400, 1,600 and 3,200) behind Corey Clark, Tavon Stewart, Dennis Wennington and Gabari Bush. David Goodman (shot put) and Norman Forrest (triple jump) won titles as Mervo claimed three of four field events.

"This was a total team effort," said Hendricks, whose team won seven events and placed in the top three in the remaining 10. "Some kids were thrown into roles that were unfamiliar and they responded well."

While the Mervo boys were efficient yesterday, Western was simply overwhelming in continuing its domination of the city public girls' track scene.

The Doves won 14 of 17 events, sweeping the relay events. Toni Jefferson won three individual events (100, 200 and long jump) and was on the winning 800 relay team.

"She did a good job, but we're still trying to get her into shape," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux. "She didn't run much this week. We didn't get the times we're capable of, but we did well under the circumstances."

Senior Tia Burley added four medals for Western with first-place finishes in the 110 and 300 hurdles and was a leg on the 800 and 1,600 relay squads.

Poly's Alex Scally was the outstanding individual for boys, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 competition. The 1,600 title victory was the junior's second straight.

"I was a little scared because each race is only 45 minutes apart, and I didn't have enough time to fully recover," said Scally. "I thought I had a good chance in the mile, but not the 2-mile."

Northern freshman Deborah Green was the other multiple-champ, winning the 1,600 and 3,200.

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