Western repeats 3A title

No. 2 Doves capture crown by 57 points

New Town girls second to Williamsport in 1A

Track and field

May 28, 2006|By EDWARD LEE | EDWARD LEE,SUN REPORTER

Winning the Class 3A state crown last spring was a joyous moment for the Western girls track and field team. Duplicating that result was greeted by quiet satisfaction.

For the second straight year, the No. 2 Doves ruled the roost at the Class 3A state championships at Morgan State University yesterday, outpointing the rest of the field by 57 points.

Westlake captured the boys title for the first time since 2001.

Western's repeat performance perhaps wasn't the most shocking news to flow from the meet, but the Doves' road to gold was littered with potential detours.

Coach Jerry Molyneaux's father, Weymouth, died on May 6, and when the son returned to the British Virgin Islands to mourn with his family, Western's string of 16 consecutive Baltimore City crowns was ended by No. 3 Mervo.

Despite making amends and defeating the Mustangs to claim the North regional title, the Doves' bid to repeat didn't look good as the 800-meter relay squad was disqualified Friday for an illegal baton exchange.

Even though Western had zero points heading into yesterday's competition, the Doves rebounded nicely courtesy of two victories each from seniors Theresa Lewis and Shalaiyah Sommerville.

"We went through a lot of obstacles, but we sucked it up," Sommerville said. "We let that stuff go. We had to win points, and we did that."

Sommerville had a hand in those points as she took the 100 in 12.24, collected the 200 in 24.36 seconds, and placed second in the 400.

Lewis captured the 100 high hurdles in 14.04 seconds, picked up the 300 intermediate hurdles in 43.99 seconds, and finished third in the 100 and in the shot put.

Despite the Doves' reputation as the reigning state champion, Lewis said the team was wary of contenders like Mervo, No. 4 North Carroll, No. 5 Aberdeen and No. 6 Long Reach.

"You never know," she said. "Anybody can have a bad day, and anybody can win. We didn't think we had it in the bag. We had to run and do our best."

Molyneaux, who also earned a victory from the foursome of juniors Keiristin Harrison, Tashana Johnson, Brooke Wilson and Letecia Wright in the 400 relay in 49.04 seconds, said repeating demonstrated Western's perseverance.

"Winning again is just to prove that the first time we won wasn't a fluke and that we could come back and do it again," Molyneaux said. "I always believe that when the kids get on the track, they're going to run well. ... I'm boasting and bragging, but if I don't expect that, then we don't do well."

The Doves' 95 points were too much for runner-up Westlake (38 points) and third-place and No. 10 Franklin (36).

Mount Hebron junior Liz McCarter was the only local winner not associated with Western. She captured the 800 in 2:16.17 and the 1,600 in 5:01.17.

In both races, McCarter was content to stay behind leader and Northern of Calvert senior Keely Murphy until the final 400 meters when McCarter would eventually surge ahead and maintain her pace for the gold medals.

"It was windy today," McCarter said of her strategy. "I was trying to have them break it for me. I had a go-point and just went."

Wilde Lake, which finished second with 52 points, was paced by junior Zach Brown, who took the 100 in 10.67 seconds and the 200 in 21.52 seconds.

"I just can't believe it," Brown said of his medal haul. "Over the past two years, I could've been a state champ, but I came up short. But I knew that if I wasn't going to get it in football or wrestling, track was next."

Brown was joined by senior Travis Boccher, who claimed the 1,600 in 4:26.52.

Other state champions included Franklin junior Chris McIntosh in the 300 intermediate hurdles (38.92 seconds); Annapolis senior Damien Kinchen in the triple jump (47 feet, 2 1/2 inches); Long Reach senior Jay Washington in the discus (149 feet); Aberdeen junior Shannel Shivers in the shot put (37 feet, 8 1/4 inches); and the Mervo foursome of senior Joi Briscoe, juniors Nykeisha Sewell and Quantikia Stepney and sophomore Kitria Stewart in the 1,600 relay (3:55.85).

Class 1A

In just its third year, the New Town girls track and field program barely missed out on its first state championship.

The Titans amassed 75 points, finishing just four points shy of overtaking Williamsport for the top honors.

New Town captured just one event - the 800 relay Thursday - but impressed nearly everyone with its squad of seven athletes.

"We wanted to develop a winning culture," said Titans coach Tracee Cheek, who is stepping down after this season to pursue other opportunities. "You hate to come this close and lose, but at the same time, it's a blessing."

Digital Harbor, which finished fourth with 59 points, crowned junior Brittney Davidson in the long jump (16 feet, 9 1/2 inches) and the foursome of senior Brittney Griffin, junior Demia Franklin, sophomore Ashly McClure and freshman Vernesse Thomas in the 1,600 relay (4:05.35).

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