Reservoir boys, Mount Hebron girls win Howard County track titles

May 10, 2012|By Andrew Conrad | Howard County Times

On a blustery afternoon at Reservoir High on Thursday, unpredictable gusts of wind effected runners' times, and several high profile disqualifications altered the landscape of the meet.

In the end, though, the strongest competitors, and teams, won. The Mount Hebron girls carried over their success from the indoor season, led by Michaela Wilkins' four victories. The Reservoir boys, led by Timmy Usher's wins in the 400 meters and 800 meters, took the title on their home track.

Usher almost ended the meet with an exclamation point, anchoring the 4x400 relay that at first appeared to break a school record with its first place finish. But officials eventually ruled that Usher weaved into an opponent's path down the final stretch, resulting in a disqualification.

Even without those points, the Gators scored 128, enough to hold off a strong effort from Wilde Lake (114), whose distance corps — led by Tim Virostek — pressured the Gators all through the meet.

Virostek won both the 1,600 and 3,200, and his teammate Duncan Enerson was never far behind.

"That's what happens at practice, you push each other, and it was a really fun race," Virostek said of his duel with Enerson in the 1,600. "The last 200 was back and forth between the two of us, it was great."

Despite their efforts, Reservoir's depth came through. The Gators had six scorers in the throws — led by Devin Davis' win in the discus and D.J. Pickens' victory in the shot put — adding more than 30 points onto their total.

"We graduated a lot of guys [last year], so this year we've had the opportunity to do a lot of things that we weren't expecting to do, and the fact that we were even in the hunt is really surprising to us," Reservoir coach Phil Rogers said. "But we do have a deep squad. We're talented across the board and that's the same way we won states two years ago."

Mount Hebron's Jackson Porter also had a strong showing, outsprinting a strong field to sweep the 100 and 200.

A pair of Long Reach hurdlers — Purcell Freeman in the 110 and Robert Carter in the 300 — gave the Lightning a sweep in those events.

While Mount Hebron was the talk of the day in the girls meet, finishing 34 points ahead of its closest competition, the meet was also a showcase for up-and-coming young talent. Glenelg freshman Julia Nardone and Centennial freshman Kathleen Amstad each came through with a pair of wins.

Nardone, who had already burst onto the scene with a fifth place finish at the Class 2A state cross country meet this fall, won both the 1,600 and 3,200.

He was helped by the fact that the meet was started on Monday and finished on Thursday because of rain on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"That worked out for me because I would have had to run the two-mile and the one-mile [one day] after, and I was afraid I was going to be tired,” Nardone said. “But this worked out because I got a nice little rest in between.”

Amstad had some prior success, advancing to the indoor state meet in the 55, but nothing like she experienced on Thursday, when she won both the 100 and 200.

Multiple wins were nothing new to Wilkins, who won both the 400 and 800, as well as a pair of relays.

"[The wind] was really tough in the backstretch," she said. "It felt like someone was pushing against you."

Howard's Christine London nearly swept the hurdles events, but her dominant win in the 100 hurdles was disqualified when it was ruled that she clipped the last obstacle, displacing it into a neighboring lane.

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