Mervo's boys sweep way to 3rd straight city title

Mustangs win 11 events

Western girls left waiting

Track and field

High Schools

January 30, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The longer yesterday afternoon's Baltimore City Indoor Track and Field championships took, the more it looked like a training session for the Mervo boys team.

The Mustangs won 11 events to lead Mervo to a rout at the 5th Regiment Armory. With one event remaining, Mervo has 178 points, far ahead of second-place Carver (36 points) and third-place Northwestern (24 points).

The only event Mervo did not win was the 55-meter hurdles. That event was postponed until 4 p.m. today because the hurdles were behind a locked door and no one could find the key.

The delay for the final event almost caused a stressful situation on the girls' side, but Western managed to all but clinch. Going into the final event, the Doves lead Mervo, 120-111, and the only way they cannot win their seventh straight City title is if a Mustangs runner wins the event and no Western runner does better than seventh. Northern is a distant third with 20 points.

"The hurdle race is one of our better events," Western coach Jerry Molyneaux said. "Ashaley Davis is one of the best hurdlers in the state. I would like to guarantee a first place in that event, but I don't like to talk about winning and losing. I like to talk about times, athletes' attitudes and the improvement they make."

The big story yesterday was the complete dominance of Mervo's boys, who won their third straight City title and their sixth in seven years. The Mustangs won all three relays, took first, second and third place in the 500-, 800- and 1,600-meter runs, and took 16 of 24 medals in the individual events.

Sophomore Frankie Wright led the Mustangs with three gold medals -- in the 800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay and 300-meter dash -- and a bronze. Juniors Jabari Bush, Andrew Hackett and Steven Robinson, and seniors Silas Berry and Tavone Stewart all won two gold medals. Seven others won one gold.

"When you build a program, it tends to perpetuate itself," Mervo coach Freddie Hendricks said. "Kids like to come to Mervo to run. There always seems to be good athletes and runners in the school. I don't know if we do anything much different from other schools. What our secret is, I can't tell you. All we do is just work."

Added Hackett: "I kind of knew we were going to win them all. Today was just a pump-day for us. The adrenaline was flowing. We're going to keep doing our thing. Hopefully, we'll be state champions this year. That's our goal."

Western's girls did not have it quite as easy, but were dominant nonetheless. Three runners -- junior Maria Gondo and sophomores Ashley West-Nesbitt and Alicia Williams -- won three gold medals. West-Nesbitt added a silver medal in the 55-meter dash and Gondo notched silver in the 300.

"This is just the first step," West-Nesbitt said. "We just came here to show them what was up. We're going to do it in regionals and states. They better watch out."

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