Preseason Top 10

Boys

Track And Field

March 20, 2002

1. Oakland Mills

Last season: ranked No. 3

The defending state Class 1A champs have now won three state titles in four seasons, nine in the last 13, and have dead-aim on another thanks to strong distance running, sprinting and an improved competitiveness in field events.

2. Annapolis

Last season: unranked

The Panthers have the area's best hurdler in Anne Arundel Boys Indoor Performer of the Year Mike Brown. But they also have a well-rounded team with scoring ability in middle and long distance running, high jumping and shot put.

3. Mervo

Last season: ranked No. 4

The Mustangs have the area's best shot putter, best long and triple jumper and one of the best sprinters, a point-gathering combination that should carry them far throughout the season as they seek to improve upon last year's fifth-place state finish and win their 11th city title in 12 seasons.

4. Mount St. Joseph

Last season: ranked No. 1

The Gaels host Annapolis and Mervo in an early-season invitational that should provide them a chance to silence critics. They have the area's best pole-vaulter, one of its best distance runners and a point-scoring sprinter and hurdler.

5. Wilde Lake

Last season: ranked No. 7

The Howard County and regional champion finished third in state 3A competition and again features a team whose strength is its balance. The Wildecats nickle-and-dime other teams to death. They seek their fourth county title in five years.

6. C. Milton Wright

Last season: unranked

One word sums up the Mustangs. Distance. The Patrick Bailey-led squad has been running other Harford County teams into the ground for 15 years with 12 titles and nothing figures to change now.

7. River Hill

Last season: ranked No. 6

Only an injury can stop Shane Stroup, the area's best miler, from racking up enough points to put his team into state championship contention. He brings incredible excitement to every meet he runs.

8. Dulaney

Last season: ranked No. 8

A couple of fine distance runners lead the way for a team that can score in many ways, and that proved during indoor season that Woodlawn's automatic Baltimore County track supremacy may be a relic of the past.

9. Mount Hebron

Last season: unranked

Two outstanding distance runners have matured giving the Vikings a solid foundation upon which to build, and the team around them is enough to give county rivals pause for reflection.

10. McDonogh

Last season: unranked

The area's best 800-meter runner, plus another performer that is the school-record holder in the 300 intermediate hurdles and who also high jumps, long jumps and runs the 400, will combine to pack a wallop for the Eagles.

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