Aberdeen's Rollins on winning track

C. Milton Wright trio shine at Woodlawn Invitational


High Schools

April 13, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

Aberdeen junior David Rollins peaked at the right time last season, winning a Class 2A state championships in the 300 intermediate hurdles with a time of 39.66 seconds.

All signs point to Rollins setting new highs and it doesn't look like it's going to take until the end of this season.

With the regional and state meets still over a month away, Rollins has either surpassed, matched or is close to matching most of his season-ending times from a year ago. He credited his participation in indoor track this past winter for his improvement.

"Last year, I didn't do indoor track, but since I did it this year, I feel like I had two months of a head start," he said. "I just have to work harder than I did last year and take it one step at a time, but I'm going to try to accomplish at much as I can."

Rollins is off to a good start. At Century High School's Carroll Invitational last weekend, Rollins won gold medals in the 110 high hurdles, the 300 intermediate hurdles and finished second in the 400. His time of 14.68 in the 110 high hurdles beat the winning times of the Class 1A, 2A and 3A state champions last spring.

"I really surprised myself," said Rollins. "It was cold and I looked around and thought all these guys were going to blow me away. But when I found out I ran a 14 [in the 110 hurdles], I was real happy about that because I tried to get there all last year."

Edgewood's relay teams in the 400 and the 800 also placed first at Century.

A trio of C. Milton Wright Mustangs had strong weekends at the Woodlawn Invitational. Senior Jesse Slowikowski won the 1,600, posting a 4:23.98, the fastest outdoor time in the state so far.

Sophomore Kelli Buck ran a 5:04 to win the 1,600 on the girls' side, setting a meet and Harford County record and also recording the fastest time in the state.

Senior Andrew Kost won the shot put at the meet with a 45-2.

Slowikowski, Buck and teammate Pat Bailey found out earlier this week that they were accepted into the prestigious Penn Relays, on April 24-26 at University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field. Slowikowski and Buck will both run the mile, while Bailey will compete in the 3,000.

Weathering the storm

It has been some year for county athletic directors, who have been forced to summon every ounce of scheduling ingenuity to offset cancellations and get in games. First, it was the sniper shootings in the fall, then one of the roughest winters on record and now the latest challenge has been the rain.

Many of the fields were already in recovery mode after the snow that fell during President's Day weekend, but a week of rain made matters worse. Approximately 80 baseball, softball or lacrosse games, track meets or tennis matches were canceled this week.

With some baseball and lacrosse teams already scheduled for the state-maximum four games a week until the season's end, it's inevitable that some of the games won't be made up at all.

"You can't control weather and if you don't have an open date, you have to cancel," said Harford Tech athletic director and varsity baseball coach Tony Belcastro, who has already been forced to cancel games. "I want these kids to get in these games, but my hands are tied."

To be eligible for the regional tournament, baseball and softball teams must play a minimum of 14 games, while lacrosse teams have to play a minimum of nine. The last available play days are May 7 and 8. To this point, teams have played anywhere from three to seven games.

"I think we'll make it," said Harford County supervisor of athletics Forest Wiest. "It may turn around where we have a couple of weeks of beautiful weather and we'll get eight games in two weeks."

Eagles find wings

The Aberdeen softball team is on a roll.

Last Friday, the Eagles upset then-No. 14 C. Milton Wright, 5-4.

After starting with consecutive losses to No. 3 Fallston and No. 15 North Harford, the Eagles have won three straight to improve to 3-2.

Still making a racket

Can anybody beat the C. Milton Wright tennis team?

The Mustangs, who have won two straight county titles and haven't lost a match in more than two seasons, are off to a 5-0 start, losing just one set in 55 matches.

Seniors Tammy Hoory, Brad Popiolek, Matt Hanley, Johnny Ahn have given the team leadership to go along with their undefeated records.

"They're probably the most talented group I've seen in the 18 years I've been here," Mustangs coach Peter Griffiths said.

Et cetera

The Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference, a proposed two-division, 14-team league created by the merger of Harford and Cecil County schools, was approved by the Harford County athletic legislative committee last month and will next go before the superintendent. ... Edgewood boys lacrosse player Matt Gaines is leading the metro area with 34 points (19 goals and 15 assists). Teammate Ben Zimmerman was also in the top five with 28 points (20 goals, eight assists) as is North Harford's Nick Mezzanotte (20 goals, 10 assists).

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