Oakland Mills puts number on field

At Knights Invitational, No. 1 boys team captures seven events, sets 2 marks

Track and field

April 11, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Don't tell the track and field participants of the 11th annual Knights Invitational to take it easy.

Even though the meet yesterday at North County in Glen Burnie does not record team points or hand out a team trophy, the eight teams that competed ran, threw and jumped just as hard as they would have at their conference championships.

Look at the top-ranked Oakland Mills boys team, which captured an invitational-best seven of 18 events.

Senior Chris Barksdale and junior Antoine Eleam each won three gold medals, while senior Izudin Mehmedovic won two as the Scorpions - winners of three state titles in the past four seasons - set two meet records and tied a third.

"We definitely take it seriously," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton. "For us, it's a chance to get outside and go against some good competition that we usually don't see."

Mehmedovic's time of 1:58.4 in the 800 meters just broke the 1999 mark of 1:58.5 established by Victor Thillet of Old Mill.

Barksdale tied the 1998 record of 21.9 seconds set by Eddie Mackell of North County in the 200. The 400 relay squad of freshman Michael Sweatt, junior Brandon LeDoux, senior Ishmael Josiah and Eleam established a new mark with a time of 43.1 seconds - 0.6 of a second faster than Bowie's 1993 mark.

Bowie of Prince George's County was the next best team, finishing first in five events.

No. 3 Mount St. Joseph, Meade and Old Mill each won golds in two events, but the Gaels received record-breaking efforts from seniors Chris Wright and Rob Ludwig.

Ludwig's pole vault of 14 feet, 1 inch was one inch higher than the 1995 mark established by David Russell of Perry Hall.

Wright's 3,000 run of 8:48.7 was 8.3 seconds faster than last year's record set by Dusty Lieb of Archbishop Spalding.

"I came in here to run a hard 3,000 and break the record," said Wright, who was named the invitational's Outstanding Male Athlete. "I always take every meet seriously."

Meade had first-place efforts from senior Rivers Johnson in the 110 high hurdles and its 1,600 relay squad.

Old Mill was paced by junior Demetrius Johnson in the long jump and senior Aaron Dixon-Proctor, whose discus throw of 150-6 broke the 1999 mark of 149-10 established by Leon Jones of Meade.

In the girls field, Meade boasted first-place performers in six events. Junior Jasmyne Avery and freshman Ciara Quinones each claimed two gold medals for the Mustangs.

"You want to do well as a team," said Meade coach Amy Krusinski. "We have a well-rounded team, and we want to look toward the future and the end of the season."

Other winners for the Mustangs were junior Judith Grant in the 800, and the 400 and 3,200 relay squads.

Bowie and Old Mill each captured four events. Sophomore Katie Hoffman and senior Rhonda Bowman won gold medals in the high jump and pole vault, respectively, and the Patriots also earned wins from their 800 and 1,600 relay squads.

The host Knights finished first in three events. Senior Brielle Jones won a gold medal in the 100 high hurdles, while sophomore Natalie Scurto placed first in the 1,500 and 3,000.

"I really didn't expect all this," said Scurto, who was named the invitational's Outstanding Female Athlete despite participating in her first season of outdoor track. "This gives me a lot of confidence, and I hope to do the same in other meets."

Junior Caren Howard (shot put) was the lone winner for Oakland Mills.

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