Southern, Old Mill tie

meet gets heat

Missing key performers, Annapolis' Ballard rips decision to postpone

Track and field

High Schools

May 11, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Southern and Old Mill finished with 97 points each to tie for the title in the boys division of the Anne Arundel County Track and Field Championships yesterday afternoon at Chesapeake, but the meet was steeped in controversy as a result of it being postponed a day.

The meet originally was supposed to take place Thursday, but it was postponed because of expected rain, which never fully materialized.

It was rescheduled for yesterday despite the fact that three schools - Annapolis, Northeast and Glen Burnie - were without some of their athletes, who were attending proms.

Annapolis, which placed third in the boys competition with 93 points, was without high jumpers Karl Acker and Tim O'Brien, whom coach Mike Ballard said regularly jump over six feet.

Since the second-place jumper went 5 feet, 8 inches, Ballard believed he lost at least 14 points, which would have been the difference between first and third place.

"I think they should have had the meet [Thursday] night," a visibly upset Ballard said. "I think it was a stupid decision. ... I think it was monetarily driven. They didn't want to pay buses, just in case.

"I don't think it had anything to do with the safety of the kids. They had tennis at the same facility yesterday. How could you say it's a safety issue when they had kids here?"

"You don't cancel a football game at 10 in the morning because there are thunderstorms in September. ... . If we had gotten here and it had rained, I wouldn't be crying about proms. It was just a foolish decision."

Going into the final event, the 1,600-meter relay, Annapolis and Old Mill were tied with 93 points, while Southern had 89. The Panthers did not enter the event; Southern took second to earn eight points and Old Mill placed fourth to get four points.

"Leave it with the kids," Southern coach Brian Brown countered. "It wasn't up to the coaches. It wasn't up to the kids when we ran. It was an administrative thing. I won't take anything from my kids, who ran hard today, because of, `If this happened, if this happened it may have been different.' It was out of our control."

Annapolis did have a bright spot in the girls competition, which Broadneck won by a 100-85 margin over second-place Meade.

Calynn Offer set a meet record in the pole vault with an effort of 9 feet 6 inches. The only other meet record came in the long jump, in which Southern junior Ashlynne Jones tied a 10-year-old mark at 17-11 1/2 .

Another standout was Meade's Anthony Lee, who won three events. Lee took the 100 in 10.9 seconds, the 200 in 22.2, and he ran a leg on Meade's winning 1,600 relay team that edged Southern by two-tenths of a second and gave Old Mill a share of the title.

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