Oakland Mills' boys indoor track team has been consistent the past two seasons. It finished second in the county championship, then went on to capture Class 1A-2A region and state titles.
This season could be different. The Scorpions have an excellent shot at starting off with a victory in Tuesday's Ivan Walker county championships at the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore.
"If they run the way they're supposed to, we'll probably win the meet," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton. "We have more speed than anybody else. From the 500 down, we'll be pretty good."
Defending county champion River Hill, with its talented corps of distance runners, is expected the give the Scorpions a run for their money.
On the girls side, two-time defending county champion Long Reach will be hard to beat.
"We're certainly capable of repeating," said Long Reach coach Joe Thomas. "We have to maximize every opportunity to score in this meet because there are some tough teams out there."
Junior Kyle Farmer, who has earned the Iron Man award at the county championships two straight years, will lead Oakland Mills. He'll defend his 55 dash and 300 titles, and run in two relays.
Senior Nick Fambro is the returning champion in the 55 hurdles. Singleton expects to get points from a number of athletes, including senior Kori Scott and sophomore Jaovon Wright in the hurdles, senior Jeff Johnson and junior Nehemiah Spence in the 55 dash, senior Paul Phillips and junior Gavin Holcomb in the 300 and seniors Alex Bailey and Jean Brunache in the 500. Senior Carl Haymon hopes to score in distance events.
Long Reach's girls are led by seniors Teyarnte Carter and Cynthia Nicholls. Carter will defend her titles in the 55 dash and 300, and run relays. Nicholls won the 55 hurdles last season, and also will compete in the high hump and 55 dash.
"I think our team will do very well," said Nicholls, who has earned a scholarship to Hampton (Va.) University. "We have a lot of talented athletes and everybody is working really hard. And I'm hoping for some surprises from some new athletes."
Others performers expected to contribute for the Lightning will be junior Rolanda Howard in the 55 hurdles, 300 and relays, freshmen Dionne Lambert (55 dash, 300, relays) and Jessica Reitz (800, 1,600), junior Lindsay Bowen in the shot put, junior Shayla Moore in the high jump and relays, and sophomore Angie Watkins in the 500 and relays.
Singleton, who is running the county meet, said the only way it won't run Tuesday is if school is closed that day. He also said that he had offered the use of the Armory next Friday to Prince George's County for its' county meet if the Howard County event goes off on Tuesday as scheduled. The Prince George's County meet did not run last week in Hagerstown because of weather conditions, and it has no second date. Howard County does have second date in case of bad weather -- next Friday. The county relays were scheduled for that date, but most in the county consider it a meaningless event.
Basketball games that were postponed Jan. 21 will be made up on Monday afternoon.
Four wrestling matches postponed Jan. 20 have new dates. The showdown featuring Hammond at River Hill will go Monday night in what proves to be a busy day in the Hawks' gym. Boys' junior varsity and varsity basketball games are scheduled in the afternoon. The JV wrestling match begins at 7 p.m. with the varsity to follow.
The Oakland Mills at Long Reach match has been rescheduled for 10: 30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, and the Atholton at Howard match will also be on Feb. 5 at 12: 30 p.m. Centennial at Wilde Lake will go at 4: 30 p.m. on Feb. 10.
Drnec joins teammates
Mount Hebron's Brian Drnec, who was paralyzed from the chest down after an auto accident, will re-join his basketball teammates for the first time since the Dec. 9 accident when the Vikings play host to Long Reach tomorrow at 11: 30 a.m.
Drnec's father, Michael, said Brian is "in great spirits and is doing really well." Brian is expected to return to classes next week after the completion of mid-term exams.
Hall of Fame
Three people that made a difference in women's sports in the county will be inducted into the county Women's Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 5.
The Hall of Fame selection committee named Liz Brigham, a 1964 graduate of Glenelg, Toni Clarke, a 1975 Wilde Lake graduate and Cynthia Carson Odell, a former soccer coach at Oakland Mills and River Hill, for induction.
The ceremony will be part of an exciting evening at Mount Hebron. An alumnae game featuring county players of the past will begin at 5 p.m., and a county matchup between Centennial and Mount Hebron will start at 6: 30 p.m. The proceeds from the game will go to the Brian Drnec trust fund.