Digital Harbor boys, Mervo girls win Baltimore City indoor track and field championship meet

For The Baltimore Sun

The Digital Harbor boys have relied heavily on strong performances in distance events and relay races to be a dominant team in Baltimore City in recent years. That formula helped the Rams once more Wednesday night.

Distance runner Ablel Gebreselase won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, leading Digital Harbor to a team victory for the second straight season in the Baltimore City indoor title meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory. The Rams piled up the points in the longer races and beat out Poly (111.5-89).

On the girls side, Mervo won despite having only eight athletes at the meet. The Mustangs finished with 106.5 points and beat out late-charging City by four.

As for Gebreselase, he first won the 1,600 (4 minutes, 57.81 seconds) and 3,200 (10:58.00) for Digital Harbor, taking both races for the second consecutive year. He also won in the 800 (2:14.54) later on — after taking second last year — and helped with the 1,600-meter relay team that won in the night’s final race, running the anchor leg there.

Gebreselase came to the United States in 2009 from Eritrea, which borders with Ethiopia, among other countries. He’s grown into the city’s top distance runner over the past few years and is trying to do more at the state level.

He was bothered by aches and pains during cross country season, a big reason coach Lutalo Bakari held him out of the state title meet at Hereford in the fall.

Bakari also said he’s been careful with the senior this winter, focusing more on the spring season.

“I held him back this winter a bit,” Bakari said. “I wanted to get him ready for outdoor to do something special.”

Gebreselase said he’s at about 80 percent physically but said he’ll just keep pushing, and that these victories help.

“It feels good,” he said. “It’s all about hard work. If you put in the hard work, everything will come for you.”

Also for the Rams, Jordan Carrington won the 500 in 1:12.84 and came in a close second in the 800.

For the girls, Mervo used victories from Kaelyn Woodrum in the 300 (43.99), Tenae Minor in the 55 (7.38) — the second consecutive year she’s won that race — and Jada Williams (shot put, 28-10). Minor also took third in the 300 as Mervo came up with some key finishes in the top three that gave it just enough to beat out City.

Many of the Mustangs competed in multiple events to help them score points. Williams, for example, did the shot put, high jump and 800 relay.

“Most of the girls on the team did everything we had to to win,” Mervo coach Vaughn DeVaughn said. “They did whatever we needed.”

Marisa Gaines of City turned in a big performance as the Knights tried to repeat as team champions, but they came up short. She won the 1,600 in 5:56.64 and the 3,200 (13:06.72).

In addition, the freshman finished second in the 800 and anchored the second-place 3,200 relay team early in the meet.

“I ran strategically in all the races,” Gaines said. “I just wanted to stay close to sprint at the end.”

In that 800, Gaines ended up barely behind Digital Harbor’s Thalia Summerville (2:41.86-2:41.97). Earlier in the meet, Summerville won the 55 hurdles in 8.68 seconds. She was the only other individual to win twice.

BOYS

Team scores (top 5): 1. Digital Harbor, 111.5; 2. Poly, 89; 3. Dunbar, 66.5; 4. Mervo, 57.5; 5. City, 54.5.

Individual events

3,200-meter relay: 1. Poly, 9:01.53; 2. Digital Harbor, 9:11.62; 3. Dunbar, 9:19.25.

300: 1. Harris (FP), 37.13; 2. Grant (MER), 38.14; 3. Ewan (MER), 38.75.

1,600: 1. Gebreselase (DH), 4:57.81; 2. Austin (DH), 5:02.08; 3. Roberts (POL), 5:02.46.

500: 1. Carrington (DH), 1:12.84; 2. Cypruss (MER), 1:13.82; 3. Curtis (CIT), 1:14.13.

55 hurdles: 1. Wiley (POL), 8.13; 2. Williamson (DUN), 8.14; 3. Miango (DH), 8:38.

3,200: 1. Gebreselase (DH), 10:58.00; 2. Austin (DH), 11:09.14; 3. Vicuna (POL), 11:32.25.

55: 1. Webb (DOU), 6.63; 2. Harris (FP), 6.63; 3. Grahahm (DUN), 6.66.

800 relay: 1. Dunbar, 1:38.00; 2. Mervo, 1:39.06; 3. Patterson, 1:40.29.

800: 1. Gebreselase (DH), 2:14.54; 2. Carrington (DH), 2:14.59; 3. Gordon (POL), 2:15.66.

1,600 relay: 1. Digital Harbor, 3:48.60; 2. Poly, 3:49.78; 3. Mervo, 3:53.71.

Shot put: 1. B. Jones (POL), 42-10; 2. Barnes (POL), 41-6; 3. Brown (MER), 41-2.

High jump: 1. Egbire-Molen (CIT), 5-6; 2. Williamson (DUN), 5-4; 3. Mbangi (DH), 5-2.

GIRLS

Team scores (top 5): 1. Mervo, 106.5; 2. City, 102.5; 3. Poly, 94; 4. Western, 48; 5. Digital Harbor, 46.

Individual events

3,200-meter relay: 1. Western, 10:55.99; 2. City, 11:00.03; 3. Poly, 11:23.00.

300: 1. Woodrum (MER), 43.99; 2. McLeod (ED), 44.33; 3. Minor (MER), 44.74.

1,600: 1. Gaines (CIT), 5:56.64; 2. Brody (POL), 6:14.39; 3. Polansky (POL), 6:20.06.

500: 1. Harcm (DH), 1:25.17; 2. S. Jones (POL), 1:27.53; 3. DeVaughn (MER), 1:28.22.

55 hurdles: 1. Summerville (DH), 8.68; 2. Armstrong (CIT), 8.98; 3. Crowner (POL), 9.61.

3,200: 1. Gaines (CIT), 13:06.72; 2. Warren (WES), 13.25.50; 3. Brody (POL), 13:55.68.

55: 1. Minor (MER), 7.38; 2. Lane (POL), 7.50; 3. Hillard (MER), 7.69.

800 relay: 1. City, 1:54.55; 2. Mervo, 1:54.78; 3. Poly, 1:56.30.

800: 1. Summerville (DH), 2:41.86; 2. Gaines (CIT), 2:41.97; 3. Carter (CIT), 2:46.36.

1,600 relay: 1. City, 4:23.50; 2. Mervo, 4:33.60; 3. Western, 4:44.89.

Shot put: 1. Williams (MER), 28-10; 2. Anderson (WES), 28-6; 3. Davies (MER), 28-2.

High jump: 1. Hackett (WES), 4-10; 2. Armstrong (CIT), 4-8; 3. DeVaughn (MER), 4-6.

jseid1234@aol.com

twitter.com/JeffSeid62

Copyright © 2018, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
41°