Down to the wire, Gilman wins it

'Hounds win last 2 events to break late tie with MSJ, become conference champ

MIAA track and field

May 19, 2002|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Gilman and Mount St. Joseph truly made yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association track and field championships a race to the finish.

The schools were tied with two events left. Gilman then got great performances from its 400- and 1,600-meter relays teams to win both events and knock off the defending champion Gaels on a cold and windy day at Calvert Hall.

Gilman and Mount St. Joseph were even atop the team standings at 109 heading into the last two races. The Greyhounds were in third place going into the last leg of the 400 relay before Ambrose Wooden pulled it out with a spectacular finish, passing runners from McDonogh and Mount St. Joseph for victory in 44.25 seconds.

That gave the Greyhounds a four-point lead with the final event left. Malcolm Russ delivered a strong anchor leg for the 1,600 relay team to seal the win as Gilman finally broke through after three years of third-place finishes. Gilman finished with 129 points, 13 ahead of Mount St. Joseph, which finished last in the final event.

"I'm happy because this has been a long time coming," Russ said. "We knew we had to get it done in those last two races and [we did]."

Gilman coach Johnnie Foreman Jr. was proud of how his team hung in to win in the final two events. The Greyhounds led much of the meet, but Mount St. Joseph took the lead and forced Gilman to rally.

"Those two relays ... they put it out there," Foreman said. "They dug down and did it."

Gilman got spectacular efforts from, among others, Wooden, Charles Sarbib-Brown and Victor Abiamiri. Wooden won the 100 meters (11.45 seconds), 200 (23.05) and ran the third leg for the victorious 800 relay team.

Sarbib-Brown took the long jump (20 feet, 10 inches), 110 hurdles (15.54) and finished second in the triple jump. Abiamiri won the shot put (48-10 1/2 ), the triple jump (41-3 1/2 ) and took second in the discus.

Mount St. Joseph got wins from Chris Wright in the 3,200 (9 minutes, 44.40), Rob Ludwig in the pole vault (meet-record 13-9) and Mike Blanchard in the discus (140-2). The Gaels also scored plenty of points in field events, but the MIAA A Conference regular-season champs didn't have enough.

"We're very disappointed because we expected to win," Mount St. Joseph coach Gene Constantine said. "But the better team won today."

Third-place McDonogh (100.33) got first-place finishes from Shomari Taylor in the 400 (50.66) and the 300 hurdles (38.91), plus Josh Perry (800, 1:55.90) and its 3,200 relay team (8:23.10).

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