Crowd of strong teams set to battle for county titles

Annapolis boys, G. Burnie girls will be pressed to repeat

Track And Field

March 20, 2000|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

One of the verities of sports is that as difficult as it is to win a title it's about twice as tough to repeat.

Annapolis High School is going to learn all about it this season in track and field.

Coming off a terrific season which saw the boys pile up 120 points to 75 for runner-up Old Mill and win their first Anne Arundel County title in three decades, the Panthers suffered huge losses through graduation and will be hard-pressed to finish in the top three if the recent indoor season is any indication.

Of course, it helps that all-around athlete Rayvon Johnson is back competing in the dash, long jump and relays. Sonny Barnes (hurdles/relays) and pole-vaulter Atill Amos will help, too.

But Annapolis was able to finish just sixth in the indoor meet and Old Mill and North County are loaded with stars while Severna Park, Broadneck, Arundel and Meade are very competitive with their strengths spread out.

Old Mill, for instance, will rely on All-Metro standout Dan Liden. Mix in long sprinter Sachin Singh and hurdler Jason Krumins and its a formidable cast.

North County has its reliables also in hurdler/sprinter/high jumper Chris Scott, Chiwuzie Odunukwe (dashes) and 6-foot-8 high jumper Jerome Goodman. The Knights are solid in the relays.

Severna Park, as always, has distance runners (Erik Myhill, Justin Marvel, Shawn Strawbridge, Trent Slacum and Mike Hall), Broadneck is balanced with a sprintes (Grant Dever), middle distance runner (Matt Gray) and one of the best combination (shot put/discus) throwers around in Jeremy Moore.

Arundel will rely on runners Tyrone Steward, Jason Raforth and Craig Haas. Meade has distance runners Dave Thomas and David Pickett, who figure to be up near the front of any pack, and Yomi Savage, almost an assured six or eight-point scorer, in the shot put. Chesapeake's leader is high jumper Matt Waranius, who was a county and regional champ indoors.

The county girls competition is just as difficult to figure as last year when it was a three-team struggle.

Gone, via graduation, is the heart of Glen Burnie's lineup. While the Gophers were able to squeeze out a 107-103-102 victory over Old Mill and Arundel last spring, they fell to scoring just 10 points and finishing ninth indoors a month ago. Glen Burnie lost performers such as Del'Rhea Godwin, Katie Sloan and Susan Sperduto.

Old Mill, too, lost its share of athletes, Jackie Allen taking about 30 points with her. But Alicia Beard is back and she does a lot of things.

The early favorite has to be Arundel. The Wildcats had four All-County performers indoors -- Eva Tukarski, Roxanne Hall, Tishira Rawls and Abria Queen --- and they figure to be just as good outdoors, maybe even better, as they move to more events.

Tukarski, for instance, now has two hurdles races to run in addition to high jumping and running relays. Queen, regional high jump champion last month, does well in the same events.

Arundel won three relays in last season's meet and went 1-2-3 in the 300 indoors. With Rawls and Hall on board again, the team could repeat.

Indoors, Broadneck was the only threat to Arundel winning the team title and the Bruins did it with balance. Danielle Veilleux and Lauren Riesett are the best distance 1-2 in the county and Jen Bounelis won the county shot put indoors and was third in the states.

Similar to their male counterparts, Severna Park girls run distance (Jen Zinck, Kim Friday, Rebecca Funk, Cecile Currier, etc.), but they have their problems scoring big because the county's best runner, junior Erin Masterson, is in Annapolis. Give her the 800 and 1600 and forget about it. And as soon as Masterson's career is over, and maybe as soon as this season, there's a freshman at Northeast, Brittney Milliken, primed to take over.

Rachel Dalby lends a capable hand to Masterson as a 2-miler in Annapolis while Glen Burnie's leader is Denise Schultheis, county champion and fourth in the state high jump. South River had pole-vaulter Melanie Dawson and high-jumper Carolyn Schaffer score seconds in a Class 3A-2A regional. North County will rely on Rhandi James and others in the sprints and relays.

Anne Arundel County's representative in the private schools Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland conferences, Archbishop Spalding, figures to do what it has done consistently in the past: the girls being in the thick of things, the boys being back in the pack.

The mainstays for the Cavaliers are the distance runners, with Dusty Lieb being one of the top three in the mile and 2-mile in the MIAA while U'Tonna Sherrod, Grace Wetzel and a hopefully revived Kelly Zuknick should dominate the IAAM. In either case, it's nowhere near enough to challenge Calvert Hall and Mount St. Joseph among the boys and McDonogh in the girls division.

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