Oakland Mills sweeps away field

Boys, girls win titles

Stoddart takes 3 events

2A-1A track and field

February 24, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Oakland Mills won the boys and girls Class 2A-1A state indoor track championships last night at the 5th Regiment Armory, the first time the storied Columbia school program has swept a state meet.

Sam Singleton's boys team earned its second straight indoor title and fifth overall, and Bryan Winfield's girls squad earned its second title in three seasons.

"This is great for the program, great for the kids," said Singleton, an 11-year coaching veteran whose boys teams have earned six outdoor state championships. "This is what we worked for."

The Scorpions' boys, Howard County and West regional champions, finished with 57 points. Surrattsville was second with 54 and Middletown third with 40.

Oakland Mills' girls won the first event, the 3,200 relay, and never gave up the lead. Sparked by three gold medals from senior Danielle Stoddart, the Scorpions ran away from the field and finished with 88 1/2 points. Middleton was second with 57 3/4.

"From Day 1 I told them they could be state champs," Winfield said. "They've done everything I've asked of them, and I couldn't be more proud. Lucky for us they run their best in the big meets when it matters the most."

Stoddart anchored the 1,600 relay, then came from behind to capture the 500 and 800. She won the 500 in 1: 20.8, a state Class 1A record, and the 800 in 2: 26.2.

"Danielle was sensational," Winfield said. "She's been sensational all year, but tonight she really showed why she's a state champion."

Oakland Mills' boys led most of the meet, but fell behind, 44-41, after Surrattsville earned 10 points for its first-place finish in the 800 relay, the 10th event. Oakland Mills, which has not lost in the 800 relay this season, did not compete because it was disqualified at the regional.

Gordon Rusinko's third-place finish in the 800 run and Nick Fambro's first-place toss in the shot put gave the Scorpions a 57-44 lead into the final event, the 1,600 relay. Surrattsville won the 1,600 relay ahead of Oakland Mills, but the Scorpions were disqualified because of a uniform violation against anchor Kyle Farmer.

That was Farmer's only blemish of the meet. A junior, Farmer ran a personal best and set a Class 1A state record in the 300 with a time of 36.2. And although he felt he could have had a better start, Farmer tied the state Class 1A record in the 55, winning in 6.61.

"I just wanted to come in and get some good times for the nationals, go up there and place in the top six and get my national ranking," said Farmer, who will compete in the 200 and 400 at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in New York City March 10-12.

Singleton said Rusinko's third-place finish in the 800 and Carldrickiss Haymon's third- and fourth-place finishes in the 3,200 and 1,600, respectively, were vital to the team's success. Mehmedovic Izudin added two points for the Scorpions with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600.

Stoddart, who will not compete in track when she attends Oakwood College, a Seventh Day Adventist college in Huntsville, Ala., next fall, said her third-place finish in the 300 helped motivated her in the 500 and 800.

"I was kind of upset about the 300," said Stoddart. "I'm a senior, and I really can't do anything outdoors [in the states because she can't run on Saturdays]. I didn't want to leave anything on the floor."

Oakland Mills' Rachel Clinton, who didn't qualify for the 55 hurdles final a year ago, won it this time with a time of 9.0.

"It feels really good," Clinton said. "This is my first gold medal."

Oakland Mills freshman Shade Smith contributed with second-place finishes in the 300 and 55 dash. Kierney Hiteshew took third for the Scorpions in the pole vault.

Atholton's Ashley Wall had third-place finishes in the high jump and 55 hurdles. Hammond's Joe Blasi was third in the 500, and Glenelg's Sabrina Putro was third in the shot put.

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