3-way battle for track title looms Oakland Mills to defend crown; Hammond, Glenelg also strong


Oakland Mills, Hammond and Glenelg will battle it out for the county boys track championship Wednesday and Thursday at Oakland Mills.

The Scorpions, who last year won their first state title since 1983, are the defending county champions.

New Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton has the most balanced of the top three squads with strength in shot, pole vault, distance running and relay events.

"We could finish among the top three in all four relay events," Singleton said.

His top shot-putters are Leonard Boyd and Justin Wethington -- both have broken the 41-foot mark. As of Wednesday, Wethington's 42 feet, 9 1/2 inches was tops in the county this season.

Todd Colby has hit 12-6 in the pole vault this year, the best in the county.

And the 1,600-meter relay team also has the best county mark at 3 minutes, 37 seconds. That team features Damon Ferguson, Josh Tripp, Eric Larson and Shandar Marinor. Marinor has a shot at winning the 400 open. He has run 51.0 seconds so far.

Tim Brenza is the team's top distance runner and figures to run the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

Hammond, county champion two years ago and runner-up last year, is extremely strong in hurdles and jumping events.

Andrew Tetteh, defending county and state champ in the triple jump, is also a strong 400-meter threat and high jumper. Robert Sharps is defending county champ in the 300 and 110 hurdles.

Kris Jefferson has a long jump of 21-6 this year -- third best in the Metro area. He was third in the state last year.

Andre Boone finished second in the county in the 110 hurdles.

"We could take the first three places in the long jump, triple jump and hurdles," Hammond coach Pete Hughes said.

Glenelg has strong pole vaulters and distance runners, and Jeff Slack has high-jumped 6-3 this year, a height that would have won a county title last year.

The Gladiators are led by the Hogan brothers, Gerard and Edward, in the 1,600 and 3,200 and also by Joe Rankin in the 3,200.

Gerard Hogan finished second in the 3,200 and 1,600 last year.

Aaron Browning won the county pole vault last season at 11-6, but already has jumped 12 feet this year. Jason Botterill and Andrew Melick are pushing him.

Travis Turner could place in four events including both hurdles and the long and triple jumps. But hip soreness may hamper his efforts.

Mike Goldberg will compete in the 300 hurdles, 400 run and two distance relays.

"The championship will be more of a toss-up this year than the last couple of years," Gladiator coach Roger Volrath said.

Wilde Lake and Howard each has an outside chance of winning the title, but everything would have to go just right.

The Wildecats have the three best sprinters in the county, Andre Martin, Craig Butler and Reggie Alston, but don't figure to score in the field events.

The Lions have James Morrow in the 200, defending county champ John Abron in the high jump, and Chris O'Gwin in the 800 and 1,600. They also have a strong 3,200 relay team.

Centennial is led by Bill Woodford in the shot and discus.

Mount Hebron's Jesse Barnes has a shot to win the 1,600, and Masai Demus has run an 11.3 in the 100 --.

Atholton's top performers are sprinter Tony Dedmond, distance runner Bryan Townsend and pole-vaulter Rob Reese.

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