Snowstorm leaves area runners bound for N.Y. in the dust

Stroup, Mehmedovic, 46 others are grounded from making trip north

Notebook

High School

January 22, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

The area's fastest miler hoped to make his mark on a national stage last Saturday, but a fast-moving snowstorm grounded River Hill's Shane Stroup - as well as 47 other county indoor track athletes.

Stroup had his sights set on New York's 7th New Balance Games at the Armory Track & Field Center and a probable victory, but county officials prohibited county teams from participating because of the weather.

"I'm really disappointed," he said. "It would have been my biggest meet. I was ready for the race and wanted to run a 4:10. They say it's the fastest track in the nation."

He was more disappointed when he learned that the winning time was 4:17.

"That's not really that good," he said.

The decision to cancel the trip was made late Friday night, but only Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton got the message before Saturday morning. Twenty athletes apiece from Mount Hebron and River Hill climbed aboard a bus at 6:30 a.m. at River Hill before learning about the decision 15 minutes later.

"I couldn't really disagree wih the decision because we had made no hotel plans to stay overnight and it might have been ugly driving back," said Singleton, who planned to take eight athletes, including distance runner Izudin Mehmedovic and sprinter Chris Barksdale.

"Izzy [Mehmedovic] was hoping to run a 4:15, so Stroup and he could have run first and second." Singleton said. "Two of my relay teams also had a shot at doing something."

Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County did make it to the meet and produced several outstanding relay performances.

Lauer surrenders state post

River Hill's Earl Lauer announced at a state cross country committee meeting last Wednesday that he's stepping down from that committee for which he was the chairman for the past five years. He's been a member of the committee for 11 years.

Three other committee members also announced they are leaving. The committee is composed of one representative from each of nine state districts.

"You need to provide a chance for upward mobility and access for younger coaches with fresh ideas," Lauer said. Otherwise the sport gets stale. I sat on the outside as a young, enthusiastic coach waiting to get on the committee for many years, and I don't want that happening to someone else. I achieved most of my agenda."

Under Lauer's chairmanship, the committee instituted the recording of meeting minutes, the certification of officials, the creation of Internet accessibility to a list of sanctioned meets and it fought for consistency between National Federation rules and state rules.

Exam week

This is exam week for Howard County public schools, and athletic teams are not allowed to play or practice today, tomorrow or Thursday because of exams.

There also was no practice or games on Martin Luther King's birthday yesterday, a situation that left teams with no activity from 11 a.m. Saturday, when the last practice had to end, until this Friday afternoon - essentially a six-day break.

Boys basketball

Centennial and Howard are the two hottest teams during the month of January - each with victories in four of their five games. The defending county co-champion Eagles (7-7 overall, 6-4 league) remain a game behind co-leaders Long Reach (11-3, 7-3) and River Hill (10-4, 7-3).

"We've played better defense lately," said Eagles coach Jim Hill, who was pleased to see Billy Brudis score 19 points in Friday's 66-53 win over Atholton. Brudis missed three games with an injury this season, but has a 10.6 scoring average. Brad Loveless is averaging 14 points for Centennial.

Centennial held River Hill to 37 points and Oakland Mills to 39 points during its recent hot streak.

Howard (7-7, 5-5) went to the foul line 41 times in Friday's 73-62 win over Mount Hebron (7-7, 4-6), and made 28 of 28 free throws. Mount Hebron was 11-for-15 from the line.

"The game was even through three quarters," Howard coach Greg Smith said. "We put a lot of pressure on them in the fourth quarter and forced them into turnovers, and there was a big disparity at the foul line."

Smith called Mount Hebron "a well-coached team that can match up with anybody in the county. We were a little quicker, but not much. And two of their starters fouled out."

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