Severna Park girls win their first indoor track title

Old Mill boys repeat as county champions

January 31, 2012|By Jeff Seidel, Special to The Baltimore Sun

LANDOVER — Alexis Franklin tried to carry Old Mill to an Anne Arundel County championship by herself, but she couldn't quite do it.

The Ohio State-bound senior won four events — setting meet records in three — but Ashley Hayes and Michelle Nelson helped the No. 8 Severna Park girls capture their first team title Tuesday night at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

Still, Old Mill had a good night as the girls finished fourth, and its boys easily repeated as county champions.

Franklin won the 55-meter dash, 55 hurdles, the 300 and 500 in her final county championship meet.

The senior set meet records in the hurdles (8.19 seconds), 300 (40.24) and 500 (1:17.66) and won the 55 even though she had never run that race at the county meet before.

“Coming into this meet, I knew I was going to have to work very hard,” Franklin said. “I definitely wanted to leave here with four gold medals.”

Franklin's most impressive run came in the 55 hurdles, which usually is a close race, but her time of 8.19 gave the senior the victory over Meade's Deona Diggs (8.96).

Severna Park got in front early but needed a third-place tie from Gina Dannessa in the night's final event (pole vault) to edge out Meade (95.5-91). Coach Ed Purpura has now won 30 county titles at Severna Park, but this was his first indoors.

The Falcons, usually very strong in distance events, took first and second in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, and getting the points from different places proved crucial.

“We've been trying to make our team more and more balanced,” Purpura said. “That's what put us over the top.”

Hayes led the way with two first-place finishes, which included setting a meet record in the 800 with a time of 2:18.42. She also won the 1,600 (5:27.67) and took second in the 500.

Nelson helped the Falcons with her win in the 3,200 (11:50.21) plus a second-place finish in the 1,600.

The Old Mill boys had little trouble winning the team title. They finished with 113 points to beat out Chesapeake (93.5). The Patriots got wins from Torie Wagner (55, 6.60 seconds) Edgar Propst (500, 1:08.50) and the 3,200 relay.

In addition, the Patriots got top three finishes in eight different events.

“They showed up ready to compete,” Old Mill coach Janet Liimatta said. “I told them, ‘It's your meet to lose. If you do what you normally do, we'll win.'”

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