Deep Woodlawn boys sprint to easy victory

Team takes 5 of 12 events, laps field with 108.5 points

4A-3A West indoor track

February 11, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Woodlawn coach Gerald Russell told his boys not to worry about winning a bunch of events at last night's Class 4A-3A region meet. Russell explained to them the story of his 1998 outdoor track team that won the state title with just one victory.

That team used the old formula of deep depth, piling up points in as many places as possible. This Woodlawn team did it both ways - winning five of the 12 events and getting points from many places and rolling to a blowout victory in the meet at the 5th Regiment Armory.

Woodlawn, which won the Baltimore County meet in late January, battled a number of talented Montgomery County schools that simply couldn't match the Warriors' depth last night. Ronald Bias, Jordan Davis, Michael Dobbins, Samuel Henry, Kenneth Merritt and Joey Young all helped Woodlawn jump to a huge early lead that no one could erase.

"I worked on getting two and three people to go in the same event," Russell said. "That's where we got points."

Woodlawn finished with 108.5 points, knocking off defending champion Gaithersburg, which took second place with only 34.

The Warriors got plenty of points from their talented sprinters. Young and Davis took the top two spots in the 300 meters (38.5 and 38.8). Justin Cheeks also helped with a sixth-place finish in that race. Davis then bounced back to win the 500 (1:11.0) and ran on the victorious 800- and 1,600-meter relay teams. Young also ran on the 1,600-meter relay.

"It's been good tonight," Davis said. "After we lost the regionals last year [finishing seventh], we wanted to get back. I knew we had it in us."

Dobbins is a senior like Davis, but this was his first year running indoors. He came up with a big victory in the 55-meter dash - edging teammate Merritt, as both clocked 6.6 seconds - that helped the Warriors pull away midway through the meet. Dobbins and Merritt also ran on the 800 relay team.

"I knew we could do well, but this was unexpected," Dobbins said. "Everyone just focused on whatever races they had to run."

Bias took second in the 55 hurdles and the high jump and ran on the 800 relay. Henry finished second in the 500 and 800 and pitched in on the 1,600 relay team, finishing an impressive effort for the Woodlawn boys, who are hoping for more of the same in next week's state meet.

Local teams and athletes struggled the rest of the night. The Dulaney boys won the 3,200-meter relay, edging Walter Johnson in a close race. The Lions won in 8:31.0, just ahead of their Montgomery County rivals (8:31.6).

Perry Hall's Jarrett Smith won the high jump (6-1), just ahead of Bias (also 6-1). Smith's teammate, Mike Bukosky, took third, also with a leap of 6-1.

The Woodlawn girls won the 800 relay in 1:50.9, edging Gaithersburg (1:51.7). That was the only winner for area girls teams. Walter Johnson won the team title with 80 points. Woodlawn was the highest local finisher (23 points, seventh place).

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