Zoltani, Styczynski show finishing style

Two-milers fight off challenges to claim titles

State track and field

High Schools


Tenke Zoltani of Dulaney and Mike Styczynski of River Hill, who aren't strangers to winning races, faced situations they don't run into often at the opening day of the state 4A/3A championships at UMBC yesterday.

Competing in the two-mile run, both found themselves with company late in the race, a rarity this season.

Zoltani's adversary was Karen Pulliam of Quince Orchard, who kept spurting into the lead, then slowing down. "I remember her doing that in cross country. It didn't bother me," Zoltani said. It did cause her to change her usual tactics, however.

"Before we started the next to last lap, I spurted," she said. "Then, instead of going to my usual pace, I pushed in for another 100 meters."

End of race, as the Dulaney sophomore breezed in at 11 minutes, 12 seconds.

Styczynski, an up-tempo runner, began to pull away from the field with a little more than a half-mile to go. All but Bobby Mead of South Carroll were left behind.

"I knew he was there," said the River Hill senior. "And I wasn't worried until he passed me. I thought to myself, `I have two options. I can settle for the silver medal or give it everything I've got.' "

And it was done, Styczynski's strength prevailing over Mead's diminishing turnover speed.

The afternoon was full of terrific performances, none better than that turned in by Jesse O'Connell of Westminster. When he took the baton on the anchor leg of the 800 relay, he trailed by about 50 meters.

O'Connell made up the 50 and passed Cleon Johnson of Woodlawn at the top of the stretch to bring his team the victory..

Other top-flight efforts were turned in by Allen Simms of Eleanor Roosevelt (Prince George's), who long jumped 23 feet, 9 inches; Jerome Goodman of North County, who high-jumped 6-6; and Vikas Gowda of Frederick, who heaved the shot put 59 feet.

Also, Westminster's trio of Katie Selby and sisters Emily and Jessica Hester going 1-2-3 in the 4A shot put; Rolanda Howard and Shayla Moore of Long Reach going 1-2 in the 3A triple jump and Jared Benoit of Thomas Johnson taking the 3A pole vault in 14-6.

Randallstown's boys, third in the 800 relay, had a couple of second-place finishers, Gary Bates doing 6-4 in the high jump and Deon Henry 21-11 in the long jump.

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