C. Milton Wright's Slowikowski hopes to step out at states

With Bailey sidelined, he'll lead team at track finals

High Schools


February 16, 2003|By Edward Lee and Jeff Zrebiec | Edward Lee and Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Jesse Slowikowski's prowess is nearly matched by his patience.

For the past two indoor track and field seasons, the C. Milton Wright senior has labored in the shadow of teammate Pat Bailey.

But with Bailey sitting out the Class 4A-3A state championships Tuesday, Slowikowski has emerged as the No. 10 Mustangs' leader.

"I know Pat's not here," said Slowikowski, a two-time All-Metro selection in cross country. "I guess it's my time to step up and lead the team."

Slowikowski did just that at last Tuesday's Class 4A-3A Central Region championships, where he captured the 1,600- and 3,200-meter events with relative ease.

Last season, Slowikowski teamed with Bailey and graduates Will Murdoch and Aaron Smith to set a state record in the 3,200 relay with a time of 8 minutes, 4.5 seconds.

Yet he is often overlooked as a key component to C. Milton Wright's success in distance events.

"It's kind of a shame because a lot of people don't know who he is," Mustangs coach Donnie Mickey said. "On any other team he's a superstar."

Slowikowski said he has no complaints about complementing Bailey.

"We back each other up," Slowikowski said. "I'm content being No. 2 in cross country. When it comes to the [3,200] relay and the mile [run], I fight a little bit more."

Mickey said Bailey decided to refrain from the rest of the indoor season after a nagging bout with Achilles tendinitis.

"We thought it's not worth risking it and being out for the entire outdoor season," Mickey said.

Merger moves forward

Plans for the formation of the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference, a proposed two-division, 14-team league created by the merger of Harford County and Cecil County schools, continue to move forward.

At a meeting of Harford County and Cecil County athletic directors and supervisors last week, pilot scheduling for the league was finalized for next winter's boys and girls basketball seasons. The scheduling will serve as a test run for the league, which is hoped to be in place by the 2004-05 school year.

Pilot scheduling for the baseball and softball season next spring will likely be finished by April.

"We tweaked things a little and tried to eliminate any possible logistical problems," said Harford County supervisor of athletics Forest Wiest.

Among the alterations was pushing most girls basketball games from 5 to 7 p.m. Some feared that the distance between some schools - North Harford and Bo Manor are about an hour, 20 minutes apart - would necessitate traveling teams to get an early dismissal to play in the 5 p.m. games.

There is another meeting scheduled for Tuesday with the ad-hoc committee, which developed the league's constitution. Bel Air athletic director Phyllis Hemmes, a committee member, said an amendment might be added to the constitution stating that scheduling for each sport will be done by separate committees.

It was originally hoped that the league would hire a commissioner to do all scheduling, but budgetary concerns have forced officials to reconsider.

Field of dreams

Wiest also said an agreement has been reached to play county baseball games on two Saturdays this spring at Ripken Stadium, home of the Aberdeen IronBirds, an Orioles affiliate that plays in the Single-A New York-Penn League.

On March 22 at the stadium, Aberdeen and Joppatowne will play at 11 a.m., followed by Bel Air and North Harford at 2.

There will be a triple-header on April 26, featuring Havre de Grace vs. Harford Tech (10 a.m.), Fallston vs. Bel Air (12:30 p.m.) and Edgewood vs. C. Milton Wright (3 p.m.).

County championships

No. 6 Harford Tech is the favorite to win this week's county wrestling championships.

If they win, it would be the fourth team title in the last five years for the Cobras. Since 1998, the only team other than Harford Tech to capture the title is Bel Air, which won in 2000. Fallston is seen as the Cobras' biggest obstacle this year.

In the lower weights, Mike Long (103), Eric King (112), Mike Taylor (120), Ben Sills (125), Brad Dreyer (135) and Josh Taylor (140) all have title aspirations.

Fallston's Chris Baum (130) and Nathan Bachmann (145) are considered strong favorites, as is Edgewood's Javance Payne (275).

Navarre's big upset

Joppatowne's Jeremy Navarre, ranked fifth at 215 pounds, bumped up a class and scored a come-from-behind 8-7 victory in the final bout of the night over Payne, Edgewood's fifth-ranked heavyweight, clinching a 35-34 league victory for the Mariners (9-3) over the Rams (8-3) on Thursday.

Navarre (20-2) trailed 6-2 against Payne (21-3) before pulling off the win.

Last undefeated falls

Bel Air's 53-47 upset of Fallston, which entered Thursday's girls basketball game unbeaten in county play, means the county champion will likely not be known until the last day of the regular season.

Feb. 25 is the day the Cougars (10-1) and C. Milton Wright, who are tied for first place, meet for the second time. Fallston won the first game at home, 62-56.

Et cetera

The Aberdeen girls basketball team forfeited its game against C. Milton Wright on Friday because it didn't having enough players. C. Milton Wright athletic director Matt Roberts said he doesn't foresee the situation jeopardizing Thursday's game against rival Edgewood or the rest of the season. ... Thanks to Fallston's 52-51 victory over No. 19 Joppatowne on Tuesday, the Aberdeen boys are alone again in first place in basketball. ... Havre de Grace swimming coach Aaron Thompson arrived at Thursday's girls county swimming championships with a new look. He promised his boys team they could shave his head if they won the school's first swimming title - which they did.

Sun staff writer Lem Satterfield contributed to this story

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