Meade, Howard boys pass title tests

Centrowitz sets 4A, state records in 1,600

Digital harbor girls capture 1A crown

Track and field state championships

May 27, 2007|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

The top-ranked Meade boys used balance to win their first outdoor track and field state championship in school history yesterday, capturing the Class 4A title at Morgan State.

The Mustangs won only one event, but accumulated 57 points to outlast Gaithersburg (49). Meade's Terry Marshall won the discus with a toss of 154 feet, 10 inches. His timing was good as the win came late in the meet and locked up the team title.

"We'll take it how we get it," said Meade coach Nigel Holder with a smile. "We're a small team, but [our] hearts are huge. This was a dogfight from start to finish."

Meade has only 12 boys on its team, and the state title wrapped up a perfect post-season in which the Mustangs won the Anne Arundel County and Class 4A East Region titles before taking the state crown.

Marshall also took second in the shot put on Friday, and Malik Zafar was the runner-up in the 1,600 meters yesterday, rallying from seventh to second in the final half-lap to give the Mustangs crucial points.

The 300 hurdles also symbolized how Meade won the title. The Mustangs totaled 12 points as Matthew Brinkley (third), Brady Payne (fourth) and Dahmar Smiles (fifth) all scored in the event.

The third-ranked Howard boys used similar balance to win their second consecutive Class 2A state title. Howard had extra motivation because it missed an indoor state title by just three points, and the Lions were ready to go in this meet, scoring 69 points to beat out No. 6 Poly, which won the indoor title.

Joey Thompson set a class record in winning the 3,200 Thursday, and he finished second in the 800 and 1,600. Howard's 400-meter relay team set a class record (42.18), getting strong efforts from Matt Harvey, Marcus Randolph, Chris Brewington and Anthony Elliott.

Matt Centrowitz of Broadneck gave what was probably the meet's best performance. A dominant runner throughout his high school career, he ended it by setting a Class 4A and state record with his victory in the 1,600.

Centrowitz captured the race in 4:04.09, easily beating Zafar (4:19.60). The Oregon-bound senior's best time coming in was 4:08, so he pointed toward beating the class record (4:08.60) and the state mark (4:07.11).

"Things have been going great," Centrowitz said. "I haven't had any injuries, so everything was lined up."

Centrowitz stretched his lead throughout the race and was at about 3:04 after three laps, so the record was well within reach. The Hughes Stadium scoreboard clock faced Centrowitz, giving him another bit of help. He drew a standing ovation as he finished.

"I saw the clock, and I just kept pumping my arms," Centrowitz said.

That was Centrowitz's lone individual race in this meet. He ran in the 3,200 relay that Broadneck won Friday night when the top two teams were disqualified.

Yesterday, Reservoir's Quentin James captured the 110 hurdles (14.69) and 300 hurdles (38.81). Andrew Revelle of Atholton beat defending champion Thompson of Howard in the 1,600. Revelle captured the race in a Class 2A record of 4:14.83, while Thompson took second in 4:21.09.

Girls

Digital Harbor also showed plenty of balance in winning its first outdoor state championship. The title came after the Rams won the Class 2A-1A indoor state crown this past winter.

Taryn Johnson and Alyssa McClure led the way for the Rams. Johnson took second in the triple and long jumps and was fourth in the high jump. She also ran on the second-place 800 relay team.

McClure also ran on that relay team and finished second in the 100 and 200 dashes. They helped the Rams total 75 points to beat out Poolesville (58) and Western Tech (51) for the Class 1A title.

"It's the balance," Digital Harbor coach Lutalo Bakari said. "That's the trick."

Katie Hursey of North Carroll rallied in the final half-lap to beat defending champion Liz McCarter of Mount Hebron in the Class 3A 1,600.

McCarter topped Hursey in Friday's 3,200 and led by about 10 yards in the 1,600, but the North Carroll senior made her move as they came off the final turn and won in 4:57.44. McCarter finished second in 4:59.27. She bounced back later to repeat as the 800 champion in 2:14.71.

Letecia Wright of No. 1 Western won the 100 hurdles (14.23) and later set a Class 3A record in the 200 (24.26). The Doves didn't have enough this week, finishing third behind Largo (79) and No. 4 Mount Hebron (54).

Alison Smith of Atholton also won two events in Class 2A, repeating as the 800 champion (2:16.06) and also taking the 1,600 (4:58.84). Eastern Tech's Michelle Newman won her second event of the meet, taking the Class 2A long jump (18 feet) for the second straight year.

Catonsville's Kellie Christian (54.95) beat Aberdeen's Paris Williams (56.22) in the Class 3A 400. Williams was a two-time state indoor champion this past winter.

Jessica Tongue of Annapolis (11.82) nipped Long Reach's Funmi Alabi (11.83) in the Class 3A 100, setting a record.

Wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden of Atholton competed in the 400 as an exhibition. The McFadden family took the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association to court this spring, asking that she be allowed to score points for Atholton, but the decision went against her.

McFadden completed her one-lap race in 56.45 seconds and received an ovation, which delighted the Atholton junior.

"It was a lot of fun," she said. "The crowd was reinforcing [to me]. It was just great."

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