The teachings of Old Mill track coach Ron Evans have stood the test of time. Just ask one of his pupils, Rocky McMillan, and he'll tell you that the writing is on thewall.
It's right there lining a hallway outside the school's athletic office -- along with the various pictures, banners and other state championship memorabilia -- reminding some track athletes how far they have come and how much farther they still have to go.
"If you look on the wall in the hallway, you see where they have pictures of past state champions with big Afros and in uniforms that would be way out of style today," said McMillan, a three-event countyand regional champion.
"But you also see Coach Evans right there with them. I think he's the best coach in the county."
This year'sstate 4A title, which the Patriots shared with defending champion Eleanor Roosevelt, was the 15th overall for the 47-year-old Evans and the sixth boys' title in 16 seasons at Old Mill. His girls squads -- 10th in the states this season -- also have won six state titles. The boys and girls squads captured their 11th county and regional titles this year.
Despite his success, Evans, the Anne Arundel County Sun's 1991 Track Coach of the Year, still is more concerned about leaving a pupil with valuable life skills than with heavy gold medals and weighty championships.
"My job is ego control. It's just the littlethings -- like getting a kid to show up for practice on time and getting the so-called stars on the team to care about their teammates' improvements," said Evans.
"The (growth) process is more important than winning and losing a race. Personal progress in training is moreimportant than the outcome against the clock. I want the kids to come closer to an understanding of who they are and who they can be."
When Evans discusses his personal accomplishments, the excitement isnoticeably absent from his voice. Yet when talking abouthis pupils, Evans' love for the sport is readily apparent.
"You can't polish the stars too much. When there's a big meet, of course, you've got to put your attention where the points are, but we try not to single outone athlete as being the best," he said. "Track severely tests an athlete's limits, and they don't get as much publicity as some other sports."
This year's Patriots squad had few seniors. And a midseasonoutbreak of mononucleosis forced several veterans to miss action. Still, 38 of the team's 79 athletes were honor roll students. Six maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and 45 had a 3.25 or better.
Evans, his assistant coaches, Leon Walters, Pete Rogers, Mike Marcus and Bob Halsey, and the Patriots overcame such adversaries as 10-time Carroll County champion Westminster, Prince George's County's Eleanor Roosevelt and neighborhood rival Meade to go unbeaten during the regularseason.
The Roosevelt win was especially impressive since Roosevelt was the defending outdoor state champion as well as the indoor state champion this past winter.
McMillan, a junior, wasn't even bornwhen Evans' career began 25 years ago at Arundel High. Buttheir relationship is proof that although society has changed since Evans begancoaching, the mentor's personal approach has remained constant, successful and highly influential.
"I never knew hurdles until I came to Old Mill and met Coach Evans. He's the one who convinced me to run," said McMillan, who has sacrificed football, basketball and baseball to concentrate on track.
Evans nearly stepped down from his coaching position after last year, and McMillan is one of many who is glad he stayed. Like several students who long sincehave graduated and often return to see their old coach, McMillan said he always will remember what Evans has taught him.
"Personally, when I heard he mightretire, I didn't want him to -- not while I'm here at Old Mill," said McMillan. "I just look up to him. I want him to come to my track meets in college. I'd pay to fly him out there -- wherever I go."
1991 COUNTY TRACK MEET WINNERS
3,200-mtr relay Broadneck (DerekAnderson, Joe Dugan, Dave Wall, Ken Lennox), 8:13.6
1,600 relay Glen Burnie (Kyle Hackett, Jim Gillis, DeWayne Medley, Sheridan Snedden), 3:29.8
800 relay Broadneck (Joe Brown, Dave Taylor, Mike Schaeffer, Derek Blockton), 1:31.5
400 relay Old Mill (Rocky McMillan, Rufus Beard, Corey Dorsey, Derric Johnson), 43.0
110 hurdles RockyMcMillan, Old Mill, 14.5
100 -- Alphonso Genrette, Glen Burnie, 10.9
1,600 run Ray Burleson, Meade, 4:25.5
400 run Duane Davis, Old Mill, 50.8
3,200 run Dave Wall, Broadneck, 9:55
300 hurdlesRocky McMillan, Old Mill, 39.9
200 -- Alphonso Genrette, Glen Burnie, 22.0
800 run Sam Lomax, North County, 1:57
Discus Brian Evans, Old Mill, 144-5
Shot put Brian Evans, Old Mill, 48-9
Long jump Corey Dorsey, Old Mill, 22-2 1/2
High jump Gerald Cager, Severna Park, 42-5 1/2
Triple jump Gerald Cager, Severna Park, 6-4
Pole vault Jeff Miller, Meade, 13-3
3,200-mtr relay Chesap. (Chiana Paschall, Hope Everhart, Christine Bridgman, Monica Gibson), 10.09
1,600 relay Meade (Debbie Moffit, Dawn Rogers, Amanda Simmons, Amy Bell), 4:22.6
800 relay Glen Bur. (Kathy Biamby, TamickaStringfellow, Sonia Martin, Tamicka Maynard), 1:45.1
400 relay Glen Bur. (Kathy Biamby, Tamicka Stringfellow, Sonia Martin, Tamicka Maynard), 49.8
100 -- Tamicka Maynard, Glen Burnie, 12.2
100 hurdles Kim Fullmer, South River, 14.7
1,600 run Fran Mackney, SevernaPark, 5:21
400 -- Adrienne McCray, North County, 59.2
3,200 run Fran Mackney, Severna Park, 12:14
300 hurdles Adrienne McCray, North County, 44.3
200 -- Tamicka Maynard, Glen Burnie, 25.1
800run Amy Bell, Meade, 2:27
Discus Mattie Cymek, Chesapeake, 142-10
Shot put Mattie Cymek, Chesapeake, 37-9 1/2
High jump Kim Fullmer, South River, 5-0
Triple jump Raina Domneys, Old Mill, 35-2
Long jump Adrienne McCray, North County, 17-10