Pikesville High senior shows versatility as decathlete

Whenever Pikesville track and field coach Gerard Filosa told college recruiters about Andre Pollard, he promoted the senior as a decathlete. No wonder, given Pollard's participation in the pole vault, long jump and triple jump while running a leg on the Panthers' 400-meter Class 1A state championship relay team this spring.

Pollard owns three state titles in the pole vault — including May 25, by beating Boonsboro senior Nick Seabright at Morgan State University in his final vault — and holds the state Class 1A indoor record of 13 feet, 6 inches.

"He actually had to go to a jump off to win," Filosa said. "Normally, I like Andre to take six jumps. He ended up 10 jumps by the time he won. It was the equivalent of going to quadruple overtime."

"We have had guys who are great in one or two events, but we never had a guy who was that good in many different events like Andre," said Filosa, who is in his 12th season at Pikesville. "He is an incredible athlete. He was a big part of our relay team. He was a 20-foot long jumper, a 40-foot triple jumper. he could high jump 5 feet, 8 inches."

The 5-foot-10, 163-pound Pollard will pole vault and compete in the 10-event decathlon, which combines running, jumping, throwing and hurdling at Iowa Western Community College next season. He also garnered interest from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

"In Baltimore County, there are only two of us that can do everything like a decathlete can," Pollard said. "(Hereford's) Kevin Payne was the other.

"I like it because of versatility," he added. "A lot of people do one thing. I just want to do everything and try everything. I think I can be a good decathlete in college."

At the state meet, Pollard also ran a leg on the winning 400 relay team (44:30) with Christopher Henderson, Quadir Rhoe and John Jones and the second-place 1,600 group (3:33.08) of Chris Tolliver, Rhoe and Jamal Crenshaw.

"For the 400, we threw Andre on there at the last minute," Filosa said. "He hadn't run with the 4x100 all year. But he worked on the handoffs with those guys and they were able to win by a really slim margin."

Pikesville 800 relay team (1:32.61) of Rhoe, Tolliver and Henderson also won a state title.

The Pikesville 3,200 relay team (8:21.20) of Harrison Kovelman, Tolliver, Noaamane Kohail and Crenhaw placed second.

Daniel Lewis chipped in by claiming second in both the 300 hurdles (41.33) and 110 hurdles (15.52) and fourth in the triple jump (41-07).

Other standout performances came from Jamal Crenshaw (3rd, 400, 52.11) and John Jones (6th, long jump, 20-00.5).

For Franklin, Reggie Ellis had a memorable meet, taking third in the 110 hurdles (15.23), fourth in the 300 (41.14) and running a leg on the all-senior second-place 400 relay team (43.40) with Sterlyn Elder, Cedric Amadi and Marquis Ellis.

Rasheed Gridedi (3rd, 800, 2:02.20) and Lamarr Poole (6th, shot put, 45-6) led New Town and Owings Mills, respectively.

For the Franklin girls, Christine Agoris (4th, discus, 105-11, 6th, shot put, 33-10.5).

Senait Weaver (6th, 400, 1:01.35) paced the Pikesville girls.

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