Parkville girls take road less traveled to Mixer title

Pole vault nets key points

Old Mill boys win crown

Indoor track and field

High Schools

December 20, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Parkville coach Tim Gavin's pole vault-for-points strategy worked to perfection in last night's Baltimore County/Anne Arundel County Mixer at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

Gavin is pushing for girls to learn how to pole vault because it's a way to score points without too much trouble. Parkville came away with 18 points in the vault to stay in contention, and then its 1,600-meter relay team clinched the Mixer's girls championship by winning the night's final event.

Old Mill used its longtime formula of points from many places - sprints, distance races and field events - to have an easier time in winning the boys title.

For Parkville, though, the pole-vaulting points proved crucial. Lindsey Morrell - who also finished second in the 1,600 meters - took second in the vault at 8 feet. The Knights also got a third-place finish from Rebecca Fox (6-6).

"We're getting more people in the field events [and pole vaulting]," Gavin said. "We can get points there."

Morrell, Fox and Kala Milazzo will be playing major roles in the pole vault. But the Knights still needed a big performance from the 1,600 relay team to win the team title.

Parkville held a one-point lead over Franklin heading into the final event. The teams traded the lead early in the relay before the Knights pulled away and beat the Indians without too much trouble in a time of 4 minutes, 51.2 seconds. Parkville ended with 65 points; Franklin (4:53.8 in the relay)had 62.

Shannon McFadden, Milazzo, Ngozi Ofoche and Victoria McCall combined to win the relay.

"We knew we had to beat Franklin," Gavin said. "That was fantastic."

Michelle Donadio helped keep Franklin close, scoring 26 points by herself. The sophomore won the 1,600 meters (5:48.1) and took second in the 3,200 and 800.

Old Mill didn't have much trouble winning on the boys' side. Larry Contrella won the 1,600 in 4:56.2, and the No. 2 Patriots captured the 1,600 relay (3:57.8) for the team's only two victories.

But Old Mill took second or third in six other events to total 80 1/3 points, easily outdistancing eighth-ranked Parkville (62 1/2 ) and Randallstown (59) for the title. Contrella also finished second in the 800. Justin McDowell (second in the 500) and Nick Perry (second in shot put) were among the others who helped score points.

"We're pretty balanced right now," said Old Mill assistant coach Keith Liimatta, filling in for his sister and head coach Janet Liimatta, who was out of town. "[The balance] is how we've always tried to do it."

Stephen Pinkett Jr. of Randallstown nearly did it all himself. The senior captain won the 300 (38.7) and the 55 dash (6.7) and was the only athlete to win two individual events.

Randallstown's Tony Adebusola won the shot put (42 1/2 feet) and Justin Dailey captured the 55 hurdles (8.1), but Pinkett's wins proved crucial.

"I plan on winning everything this [winter]," Pinkett said. "This is going to be a real competitive year for us, and I hope to be the one that leads the way."

The Franklin boys got some points from a new source. Junior Jeff Schaefer scored his first varsity victory with a leap of 5-6 in the high jump.

Schaefer won the Baltimore County junior varsity high jump title last year but the flu sidelined him for the last several days, and he missed two meets. The lanky 6-foot-3 senior has practiced little recently, working on his jumping Thursday in the school's cafeteria.

But he was ready for this, matching his best jump from last year.

"It's all about adrenaline," Schaefer said. "I was very confident, but I had been out a while."

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