Stroup takes show on the road

River Hill's star junior is invited to run mile at elite Millrose Games

High Schools

Notebook

January 24, 2001|By Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg | Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Shane Stroup sees himself as an entertainer.

"That's how I figure it," said the River Hill junior. "I give them a show and give everything I've got."

Stroup has had a number of show-stopping performances this indoor track season, and it hasn't gone unnoticed. His reward? Stroup is taking his act to the Big Apple.

Stroup learned last Sunday that he had been invited to run in the boys high school mile at the prestigious 2001 Millrose Games, Feb. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

"This is essentially the Super Bowl of the indoor high school mile," said River Hill coach Norm Belden. "It's that big."

Stroup is the first athlete from Howard County to run in the event - named the "Boys Jumbo Elliott Mile" - and the sixth boy from Maryland. Jama Bile of Georgetown Prep was the last boy participant from Maryland in 1991. Six Maryland athletes have run the girls mile, the last being Meghan White of Dulaney in 1997.

A field of nine, including runners from Minnesota and Montana, will run at 9:40 p.m. in front of a crowd that could reach 18,000. Stroup is one of two juniors in the field. The others are seniors.

"I'm really excited," said Stroup. "We talked about it when the season began and estimated what times I needed to quality. It was my goal to be invited."

In naming Stroup, the committe listed some of his qualifying accomplishments: last season's 4:22.70 in the 1,600 at the Class 3A state outdoor meet, a 4:01.53 in this season's 1,500 at Pangea (that converts to a 4:20.83 mile), and a 4:21.6 in the 1,600 at the Howard County/Anne Arundel County Challenge meet (4:23.1 mile).

Last Saturday, Stroup broke the 1,500 mark at the National Guard Scholastic Games with a time of 4:01.1 (4:20.4 mile).

Stroup realized last spring that the mile was his best event, and went on to victories at the county, regional and state meets.

This indoor season, Stroup has set county records in the 800 and 1,600. He set a school record in the 500 and helped the 1,600 relay team do the same.

"He's willing to listen and do the work that is suggested to him," Belden said. "He's got a lot of heart. He doesn't know the word quit."

Belden first noticed Stroup when Belden was teaching physical education at Clarksville Middle.

"He wanted to go out for the football team [at River Hill] and be the kicker," Belden said. "I told him he should consider cross country and track. He just had that natural ability."

For years Stroup was his recreation team's kicker and punter. He was thinking about doing that at River Hill before Belden convinced him otherwise.

"I ran once for the Howard Country Striders when I was 10 and I really didn't like it that much," said Stroup, an All-County cross country pick. "Mr. Belden started talking to me about running and I decided I'd give it another shot. A lot of my friends were doing it and I decided I liked it."

Stroup will run three events this weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational. He will compete for county titles next Wednesday in the Ivan Walker Championships at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

Feller named state's best

Centennial junior Lindsay Feller has been named the Gatorade High School Volleyball Player of the Year in Maryland

"Usually a senior wins. I really wasn't expecting anything," said Feller, a first-team All-County and All-Metro performer for the Class 3A state champion Eagles. "I was really surprised because there are so many good volleyball players in the state."

The 6-foot Feller had a team-high 177 kills.

Boys basketball

Glenelg sophomore Kevin Ganascioli showed a long time ago, when the game is on the line, he knows how to find his go-to guy, senior Chris Bowen. During football season, with Ganascioli playing quarterback and Bowen tight end, the pair hooked up for five touchdowns, leading the Gladiators to the state 1-A semifinals, their best season in school history. Friday night was no different, except the sport was basketball.

Glenelg, without the ball or any timeouts, was trailing Oakland Mills by 59-58 with seven seconds left, and looked like it might suffer its sixth fourth-quarter slip-up in the last seven games. But at the free-throw line, Oakland Mills missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Ganascioli grabbed the rebound, turned and fired the ball the length of the court.

"When Kevin threw the ball, I was like, `Oh my gosh, who are you throwing it to?' " said Glenelg coach Jeremy Snyder. "But then I saw Chris streaking up the court, running down the ball just like in their football days."

Bowen calmly outjumped a defender, turned and laid the ball in the basket as time ran out to give the Gladiators the 60-59 win.

Wrestling

The Mount Hebron wrestling squad rebounded from a tough loss to Atholton last week to win the Springbrook Tournament on Saturday, finishing ahead of Montgomery Blair. Eleven of its 13 wrestlers placed, including Zach Wendell (119) and Mike Mengal (152), who won their weight classes.

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