Annapolis boys bounce back, take crown

Long Reach girls capture 4th straight regional title

Class 3A East Region track and field

May 19, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Annapolis coach Mike Ballard's day didn't start out too well. Fortunately for him, it ended just fine.

After a rough start, his Panthers boys team racked up 120 1/2 points to win the Class 3A East Region boys track and field championship. The regional title is believed to be Annapolis' first in outdoor track.

Long Reach's girls, the defending state champions ranked No. 1 in the area, won their fourth consecutive region crown with 156 points.

"Our bus came 45 minutes late," Ballard said, "and we were loading up into cars when it arrived. Then, we got here and started slowly. I'm proud of the way we reacted, though. We proved we're not a one-dimensional team."

The No. 5 Panthers were led by individual titlists Mike Brown (110-yard hurdles, 14.40 seconds), Tim O'Brien (high jump, 6 feet, 2 inches), Demario Harris (triple jump, 41-9 1/4 ) and Kareen Reed (shot put, 51-5 1/2 ).

"We didn't win that many individual events, but those little points you get for fourth and fifth were big for us," Ballard said. "We don't have any studs, but our depth makes those little points add up."

Gwynn Park finished a distant second (93 points) followed by Mount Hebron (79.50). Wilde Lake (71) and River Hill (60) were next.

Long Reach's girls continued an impressive run despite losing many players from last year's team to graduation.

"We had some things that happened that we were pleasantly surprised with," said Long Reach coach Leslie Thomas. "I think overall we had a good meet."

The Lightning was led by double winners Angie Watkins (200-meter dash, 25.9 seconds; 400 in 58.10) and Timisha Gomez (300-meter hurdles, 45.30; triple jump, 34-7). Damara Parrish (100 dash, 12.0) and Janay Woolridge (long jump, 15-10) also won for Long Reach, which claimed three of the four relays.

Annapolis was runner-up with 87.5 points; Severna Park took third (71).

When asked if she thought her team could win a fourth straight state championship, Thomas thought about it for a minute.

"I don't know," she said. "I don't like to [make predictions], but anything's possible."

The only other girls multiple winner was Wilde Lake's Alana Black (800 meters, 2 minutes, 21.80 seconds; 1,600, 5:12.40).

Other boys doubles winners were River Hill's Shane Stroup (800, 1:59.40; 1,600, 4:26.20), Gwynn Park's Herbert Nichols (200, 21.50; 400, 48.30) and Long Reach's Phil Derosier (100, 10.10; long jump, 22-4).

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