Brown leads Annapolis boys to title

Four golds lift Milford Mill above Mount Hebron girls

Class 3A-2A indoor track

High Schools

February 19, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER - There are a lot of reasons why people will remember yesterday's Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association Class 3A-2A State Indoor Track Championships at the Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex.

First, Annapolis High claimed a rare state track title in the boys division that River Hill was expected to challenge for. The Panthers won because River Hill's Shane Stroup missed a triple-crown encore because of a pulled hamstring.

People will remember from the girls competition that Milford Mill, third in its region, won the title because the state dress code prevented Mount Hebron from entering its 1,600-meter relay team, considered one of Maryland's best.

The Vikings' relay team was disqualified in the regionals after one of the girls was discovered to have a white stripe on her black shorts.

Finally, the day-long extravaganza ended at 6:45 p.m. with the custodians cleaning up while Urbana senior Lauren Graff tried to clear 12 feet in the pole vault. Graff failed and had to settle for a state girls record in all classifications. Graff cleared 11-9 to break her own state mark of 11-1 set last year.

Annapolis' team of eight boys set county, region and state titles as their goals going into this season. It accomplished the last part of that mission yesterday as the Panthers scored 52 points to beat runner-up Gwynn Park (43).

"Somebody researching Annapolis High School athletics found out that an Annapolis boys team won a state outdoors title in 1910," said Panthers coach Mike Ballard, a 1985 Annapolis graduate. "We know of no other Annapolis team winning a state title in track, so you know how good this feels."

Ballard figured his guys could score in nine of the 13 events, and the coach was nearly right as his team got two gold medals as expected by Mike Brown (55 dash, 55 hurdles), two seconds, two thirds and a fourth.

Brown accounted for 20 points with his pair of gold medals, which he said are "mine, got them all by myself." The Panthers picked up 16 more points on silver medals by Kareem Reed (shot put) and Tim O'Brien (high jump).

John Chambers ran third in the 55 hurdles and the Panthers' 800 relay team was third for 12 points while Patrick Cook-Deegan's fourth-place finish in the 800 garnered the other four points.

River Hill came in as defending Class 3A-2A state champion with Stroup, who won the 500, 800 and 1,600 in 2001; he was back for a repeat, but it didn't happen.

After turning over the last leg of the 3,200 relay in 1:51.4 to catch Linganore and enable the Hawks to set a state record (8:11.7), Stroup pulled something. He still managed to win the 1,600 in 4:27.6. But that was his last race.

Junior Novia Brown was a double winner individually and a ran a leg of the winning 1,600 relay as Milford Mill rode four gold medals to 40 of their 43.5 points to win the girls event over Mount Hebron (38).

Mercedes Rogers earned the other Millers first in the shot put.

It was Milford Mill's first girls state indoors title in about 12 years, according to coach Mike Jones, whose boys won a state crown in 1997.

Brown, who won the 300 and 500, said the latter of the two races was the chore. "That 500 was so close. I didn't think I was going to take it for a minute, but I did," she said.

Mount Hebron needed to finish at least third in the final event, the pole vault, to surpass Milford Mill, but the Vikings could do no better than eighth.

Third-place Towson (32) was in the running for a while, but what cost the Generals was Wilde Lake's Alana Black (5:20) upsetting Cori Koch (5:26.6) in the 1,600. Black was also second in the 800.

Koch won the 3,200.

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