Oakland Mills drops baton, 2A-1A regional boys title to Centennial

2nd place in final relay gives Eagles first crown

Glenelg girls repeat easily

Indoor track and field

February 05, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Not even Centennial coach Sam Yurko could have predicted the wild ending that took place last night at the Class 2A-1A Central regional indoor track and field championships.

A fumbled baton by the No. 9 Oakland Mills boys team in the 1,600-meter relay -- the meet's final event -- opened the door for the unheralded Eagles, who earned 65 points to capture their first regional crown at the 5th Regiment Armory.

The Glenelg girls had a much easier time repeating as regional titlists, winning by more than 50 points.

But the spotlight fell squarely on the boys 1,600 relay, where Glenelg, with 58 points, Centennial (57) and Oakland Mills (55) were jockeying for position.

As the third leg was about to end, Loch Raven was first, with Oakland Mills, Centennial and Glenelg trailing.

But Scorpions junior Tony Cole -- running the third leg -- and sophomore Karlton McCullough --the anchor -- fumbled the baton, which skipped out of the exchange zone and meant an automatic disqualification in the event for Oakland Mills.

Meanwhile, Centennial's relay squad of seniors Sam Howden and Peter Wei and sophomores Rob Schmid and David Simon finished second behind Loch Raven.

The subsequent eight points and Glenelg's fourth-place finish and ensuing four points gave the Eagles their first win of any kind in Yurko's five seasons as coach.

"It's exciting to come out on top for once," said Yurko, whose team accumulated 18 points from a 2-3-4 finish in the high jump and 10 more from a 3-4 finish in the shot put. "We put it together with our field events."

Senior Nate Klehamow was Centennial's lone titlist, winning the 800 in 2 minutes, 16.8 seconds.

The Gladiators were second with 62 points, thanks to wins from junior Drew Graybeal in the 500 (1:11.2) and senior Ben Adams in the 3,200 (10:58.6).

With Cole's victory in the 55 (6.5 seconds), senior Ricky McGinnis' in the 1,600 (5:02.8) and senior Jason Mead's in the pole vault (11 feet), the Scorpions placed third with 55 points.

"It's a tough way to go down, but that's the way it works out," said Oakland Mills coach Bob Yore. "You can't drop a baton in a championship meet."

The competition on the girls side was less crowded, as Glenelg walloped the field with 108 points.

The Gladiators went 1-2-3 in the 1,600 with sophomore Katie Pencek (5:53.4), junior Chelsea Kapp and sophomore Mallory Heinke, respectively.

Pencek also won the 500 in 1:26.6 and the 800 in 2:38.7. Heinke was first in the 3,200 in 12:48, and senior Robin Lancaster took the pole vault by clearing 6-6.

"I think the main motivation was to prove that we're not as bad of a team as we looked at counties," said Glenelg coach Mike Selmer, whose squad placed fifth last week at the Ivan Walker Howard County championships. "We're one of the smaller teams in the county, and going up against the likes of [No. 1] Mount Hebron and [No. 9] River Hill is a tough test."

Hereford finished second with 53 points on the strength of its relay teams. Senior Jessica Harris, junior Tallie Stettinius, sophomore Valentina Steen and freshman Sarah Randall took the 3,200 relay (10:58.2).

Harris then teamed with junior Saska Cielak and freshman Ashleigh Logan and Allison Dulin to win the 1,600 relay (4:35.9).

Other double winners were Atholton senior Lindsay Grigoriev in the shot put (42-11) and the 55 hurdles (9.5 seconds) and Edmondson sophomore Cierra Layne in the 55 (7.4 seconds) and the 300 (45.3 seconds).

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