Mervo and Western finish in third place among boys, girls

Broadneck girls sixth

Mervo's F. Wright wins two golds among boys

Class 4A-3A indoor track and field

February 26, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

LANDOVER - The frustration was palpable and universal.

A lack of training precipitated by last weekend's snowstorm spelled disappointment for area teams, which fared poorly at last night's Class 4A-3A state indoor track and field championships at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.

Tradition ruled as Eleanor Roosevelt registered 62 points and extended Prince George's County's reign for girls titles with the county's 13th state crown in the past 14 seasons.

On the boys side, Suitland compiled 72 points to grab its first championship since 1982 and give Prince George's County seven state titles in the past nine years.

No. 2 Mervo was the area's highest finisher in the boys division, placing third with 39 points. No. 1 Western paced the girls teams with 37 points and a third-place finish.

For many of those involved, the snowstorm that forced the championships to be postponed a week played a significant role in last night's performances.

"That break killed us," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux, whose squad was shut out of a state crown despite winning nine straight Baltimore City championships. "We didn't train for eight days. ... Eight days can kill anyone with no training."

Mervo co-coach Ronald Neal was equally disappointed in the layoff.

"This week off really hurt," said Neal, who coaches alongside Freddie Hendricks. "We did OK. We could've done a lot better."

Mervo, which had entertained hopes of claiming its first state title since 1997, was the reigning Class 4A-3A Central region champion. No. 5 Woodlawn, the West region titlist, suffered a more dubious fate by tying for 28th with a single point.

Perry Hall tied High Point and Walter Johnson for seventh place with 17 points; C. Milton Wright and South River tied Patuxent for 10th with 16; and Dulaney was 17th with seven.

In the girls division, Broadneck finished sixth with 24 points, No. 10 C. Milton Wright seventh with 18.5, and Lake Clifton tied Gaithersburg, Oxon Hill and Thomas Stone for 11th with 10 points.

The area did, however, produce several individual and relay champions.

Mervo senior Frankie Wright collected two gold medals. First, he won the 500 in 1 minute, 6.43 seconds. Then he teamed with seniors Damon Watson and Ronald Wright and sophomore Orlando Brown to capture the 800 relay in 1:31.19.

"I was expecting to come home with four [gold medals] like last year [during the outdoor season]," Frankie Wright said. "That's a big disappointment."

Perry Hall senior Mike Bukosky rebounded from a third-place finish at the West region championships to collect a state crown in the high jump.

His mark of 6 feet, 2 inches tied his first-place showing at the Baltimore County championships.

South River senior pole vaulter Martin Dougherty avenged a loss to Severna Park senior Brian Grubel at the Anne Arundel County championships by winning the state title.

Dougherty cleared 13 feet, which was six inches higher than his gold-medal mark at the Central region championships.

On the girls side, the second time proved to be a charm for C. Milton Wright sophomore Kelli Buck, who recorded a winning time of 11:36.58 in the 3,200 in just her second time participating in the event.

"Going into it, I didn't know if I could do it," said Buck, who placed third in the event at the Class 4A-3A Central region championships. "I didn't like it at all at first, but people kept telling me, `You can do it.' "

Broadneck junior Lauren Centrowitz successfully defended her win in last season's 1,600 by crossing the finish line first in 5:02.54.

But Centrowitz said she was less than pleased with her whole evening, which included a second-place finish in the 800.

"I'm not satisfied," she said despite missing the first half of the regular season due to exhaustion from a rigorous cross country campaign. "I'm not going to hang my head, but there's still a lot of work."

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