The Montgomery Journal
Track teams get going
Originally Published in The Montgomery Journal on Monday, February 12, 1996
By: David Hammel
Photographer: None

Republished with permission granted by The Washington Newspaper Publishing Co. LLC d/b/a MediaDC. Back to Montgomery Journal articles

Track teams get going

Journal staff writer

Indoor track teams are permitted to compete in seven meets prior to the regional and state meets, but none of the county teams competing in the 3A West Region Championships Saturday at Hagerstown Junior College had been in more than four this season.

Damascus and Magruder had their full teams competing for the first time since Dec. 26, while Richard Montgomery, save for a meet two weeks ago, had been idle since December. In addition, several coaches said their teams lost athletes to academic ineligibility midway through the season.

"I think the blizzard and report cards and the bad weather [have] screwed up a lot of teams this season," Einstein coach Elaine Chang said.

In addition to canceling meets, Magruder coach Ron McGaw and Damascus coach Tom Nawrocki said the snow forced their teams to find alternative space for practices.

"We practiced in the parking lot quite a bit. Sometimes you use the school halls," McGaw said. "We were pretty fortunate the snow got off the track quickly."

The snow has had a particularly bad effect on the Richard Montgomery boys team, coach Ben Opipari said. The Rocket boys performed below Opipari's expectations Saturday and finished a distant second to Atholton, of Howard County, 108-79. "The kid who got third in the 500 for me [Jed Fonner] said he forgot how to run it," Opipari said.

Walter Johnson was the top county girls team finisher, placing third with 49 points, Damascus was fourth with 38, and Richard Montgomery took fifth with 32 points. Frederick, of Frederick County, won the girls meet with 92 points. Howard, of Howard County, took second with 59 points.

Despite their distance behind Atholton, Opipari believes the Rocket boys still have a legitimate chance to claim the 3A State Championship, Feb. 20 at the Fifth Regiment Armory, in Baltimore.

The Rockets 3200 relay team of Michael Taye, Roger Pine, Fonner and Jason Joubert took first in 8:21.5, but that was their only first place of the day. Taye and Pine finished second and third, respectively, in the 1600-meter run and second and fifth, respectively, in the 3200-meter run. Joubert and Fonner took second and third, respectively, in the 500-meter run, and Matt McGuire finished second to Damascus' Jon Snelson in the 55-meter hurdles.

Snelson also finished fifth in the 55-meter run in 6.6 seconds for the Hornet boys, who finished in eighth place with 18 points.

Thirty of the 49 points accumulated by the Walter Johnson girls team came directly from Sally Glynn, who has won a combined 19 state titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. Glynn won the 3200-meter run (12:02.7), the 1600-meter run (5:04.1), and the 800-meter run (2:21.7). Damascus girls got first places from senior Kacey Childs in the high jump (5-foot-4) and shot put 33 feet, three and three-quarter inches. Hannah Benjamin finished fourth in the 3200-meter run (12:52.8) and fifth in the 1600-meter run (5:52.9) for the Hornets.

"I was very pleased with how our girls did," Nawrocki said. "We scored a lot of points early and not too many late, but it's roughly what we expected.

"Kacey won the high jump and the shot put and that's an unusual combination," he added.

Richard Montgomery's girls also won the 3200 relay. Kate Bellenger, Cecily Garber, Liz Starin and Amy Cassidy's 10:10.4 was nearly 30 seconds ahead of second-place Walter Johnson (10:39.1).

Starin also finished fourth in the 1600 (5:47.4) and sixth in the 800 (2:36.5), while Cassidy placed second to Glynn in the 800 (2:31.2) and sixth in the 500 (1:26.2). Garber took fifth in the 3200 (12:55.3).

Einstein's Ilana Finley qualified for the state meet in three events, winning the 55-meter hurdles (7.5) and taking fifth in the 55-meter run (7.5). She did not place in the top five in the 300-meter run, but earned the necessary qualifying time. Einstein's girls finished ninth with 15 points.

"I think some kids did a good job," Chang said. "I think we could have done better."

Kennedy's boys, paced by second place finishes from Cortez Fletcher in the 300-meter run and 55-meter run, finished fifth in the meet with 24 points.

Hammel, David. "Track teams get going." Montgomery Journal, 12 Feb. 1996, p. B1.
Transcribed by: Kevin Milsted 02/11/2020

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