Western, Mervo run to titles

Doves' Wallace, Holiday of Mustangs win city meet

High Schools

Cross country

October 29, 2002|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Western girls and Mervo's boys repeated as team champions in yesterday's Baltimore City cross country meet at Herring Run Park. However, Mervo had a much tougher time running away with the championship than the Doves did.

Latosha Wallace won the individual title for Western, taking first place in a time of 22 minutes, 12 seconds, ahead of teammate Alicia Williams (22:27). The Doves placed all five of their scoring runners in the top nine and finished with 23 points, easily outdistancing City (81) and Mervo (83).

Wallace has alternated with Williams as the team's top runner this season, but pulled away in the final stages of the 3.1-mile race for her first city championship. Western took care of business early, as its girls set such a blistering pace in the first mile that the other runners couldn't keep up with them.

"That's the usual for us," Wallace said. "But we really ran that first mile fast. I believe that this is just the preparation for the regionals and states." Midchild Carter (fifth), Monica Halford (sixth) and Ayo Figueroa (ninth) rounded out Western's top five as the Doves prepared for the regionals set for later this week.

"They ran fast today," Western coach Jerry Molyneaux said. "We weren't pushed much."

The Mervo boys had a much different story. Quinton Holiday won the race for the Mustangs in 16:06, outsprinting teammate Brandon Lynch to the finish for a two-second victory. Mervo's Julius Coleman took third in 19:18, and teammate Jamal Colbert was eighth. But Walbrook then had Davon Singleton finish fifth and four more runners ninth through 12th.

When all five scoring runners finished, the teams were deadlocked at 47. However, the rules for team scoring in championship meets gave Mervo a huge break.

If a team doesn't have five runners finish, it's considered incomplete and doesn't get awarded a score. Runners from incomplete teams then are thrown out for team scores - but still keep their individual places - and anyone behind them moved up .

No runner ahead of any of the Walbrook competitors or the first four Mervo racers was tossed out in computing the team scores.

However, Justin Johnson of Mervo - the team's fifth runner - was moved from 33rd to 23rd in the team scoring because of the rule involving runners from an incomplete team. That was enough to give Mervo the title with 37 points, 10 ahead of Walbrook (47).

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