Around The Area

Boys

Track And Field

March 20, 2002

Anne Arundel County

Dominate in the indoor season, the Annapolis boys are ready for an encore outdoors.

The Panthers boys captured the county, region and state titles, and the nucleus from that team is ready to unseat Old Mill as county outdoors champion.

Mike Brown, who was indoor Boys Performer of the Year, won the state outdoor 110-meter hurdles as a sophomore, but was injured last spring. Meade's Rivers Johnson is expected to challenge Brown in there.

Old Mill's Doug Spatafore is defending county 1,600 champion, and is a threat in the 800 along with Anthony Littlejohn.

Other returning outdoor county titlists are Severna pole-vaulter Brian Grubel and Arundel high-jumper Brian DeVaul.

Baltimore City

Public teams will be again chasing for second as Mervo remains the dominant team. The Mustangs have won 10 of the past 11 city championships for coach Fred Hendricks, but they are hoping to crack the upper half of the state standings.

The East Baltimore power placed fifth at last year's Class 4A final, and was sixth at the 4A-3A state indoor championships. They are loaded in the sprint events with returning All-Metro senior Jabari Bush at the fore.

What should make the difference for Mervo is its field squad, led by defending triple jump and high jump champion Andrew Hackett.

Dunbar hopes Brandon Ross, an All-City/County first-team indoor pick, can build on his state 2A-1A indoor title performance in the 500.

Baltimore County

Woodlawn coach Mark Pryor said the gap that separated his boys squad from the rest of the county no longer exists.

Dulaney ended Woodlawn's five-year reign during the indoor season and will try to do the same in outdoors. The Lions will rely on their distance duo of Billy Duffy and Will Knox.

Woodlawn's title defense will rest on the legs of returning All-Metro performer Mark McKenzie.

Pikesville will have Class 1A state 100- and 200-meter champion Adam Grossman.

Randallstown will have county shot put runner-up Randy Vince back, as well as defending regional long jump champion Michael Watson. Eastern Tech has state 3A triple jump champion Broderick Maybank.

Carroll County

Losing nearly half of its performers from the previous year, Westminster should again lead the way in Carroll County anyway.

In addition to returning five indoor All-County choices, including county Top Performer Andy Hayes, a standout in the 800 and 1,600 meters, the Owls should also get help from a pair of newcomers in Fred Page (long jump, triple jump) and Tony Brown (hurdles).

Bowling Brook, which finished no worse than second from its second meet forward, could have its strongest team ever. The Thoroughbreds feature a standout hurdler in Jeraurd Crosby, as well as top sprinters Ky Hayes, Duane Motley and Travis Butler.

Francis Scott Key and South Carroll could surprise.

Harford County

C. Milton Wright coach Al Baker is impressed by what he has seen in his team's early season workouts: "This is the most athletic group we've had in years. We'll be solid at every position. It's all thumbs-up."

C. M. Wright track teams - some with less-optimistic assessments - have won 12 county titles in the past 15 years. With their depth and distance-running strength, the Mustangs are not likely to be dethroned this spring.

Fallston leads the rest of the pack, but neither the Cougars nor other Harford County teams have the depth to challenge Wright. Except for the Mustangs, with two returning county champions, there is only one team, Joppatowne, with a reigning champion on the roster.

Howard County

Wilde Lake won last season's boys county track and field title with lots of depth. The Wildecats, also first at regionals and third at states, feature county champion pole-vaulter Andrew Heath, a multitalented performer in the jumping events and hurdles. They also have middle-distance runner Jason Moore and distance runner Mehdi Bensorghen.

Oakland Mills has developed more depth, and the Class 1A state champion has a shot at dethroning the Wildecats. Izudin Mehmedovic returns for his final season after winning the state 800 meters and finishing second in the 1,600 and 3,200.

River Hill has a one-man scoring machine in Shane Stroup, a threat to break a record every time he runs.

Private schools

Mount St. Joseph has one of the most balanced teams in the area and is the elite Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association team, with excellence in distance running, pole-vaulting and sprints.

McDonogh has a solid one-two punch in Josh Perry and Shomari Taylor. Perry is the top 800-meter runner in the area and should also contribute points in either the 400 or 1,600 and two relays. Taylor is a Yale-bound senior hurdler and MIAA champion long jumper who can also score in the 400.

Loyola has a well-rounded team that should score points in the high jump, shot put, sprints and distance events. Gilman should also be competitive with its depth.

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