WESTMINSTER -- Mattie Cymek was disappointed to learn that the state track and field championships wouldn't be held at Western Maryland College.
A senior at Chesapeake High in Anne Arundel County, Cymek won the Class 4A discus a year ago at the college, where competitors take aim at cars parked dangerously close to the throwing area. This year the meet was instead moved to nearby Westminster High, and instead of doing damage to autos, she knocked down a state record, reaching 151 feet, 6 inches.
"I wanted to whip a couple over the cars at the college," Cymek said. "This turned out to be a nice place to throw anyway."
Cymek is one of the nation's top prospects in the event, as evidenced by the national letter of intent she signed two weeks ago with LSU, which has won the last five NCAA team titles. She's 5 feet 10 and 172 pounds, and played JV softball as a Chesapeake freshman. She switched sports the following spring, finishing second in the state as a sophomore, and the arrangement worked out for both sides, as her former teammates go for their third straight softball title tonight.
Cymek received fresh incentive two weeks ago, when she was upset by rival Michelle Smith of Old Mill at the Anne Arundel championships. "That made me work," Cymek said. "Michelle made me go after something."
Cymek had an explosive series of throws, bettering the mark of 147-9 set by Westminster's Shirl Dorsey in 1986 on her second attempt, and then nearly bettering it with her third, which covered 150-8. No other girl in meet history has thrown beyond 139 feet.
Cymek's was one of five meet records set by the 4A girls alone on the first day of the three-day meet, which has 1A and 2A schools in today and all four classifications tomorrow.
Dulaney junior Amanda White got her first state outdoor record, covering the first 1,600 of the 3,200 in a rapid 5:06 and finishing in 10:29.1, a seasonal best. Her blond ponytail flopping with every lengthy stride, White lapped two runners with a lunge at the finish line. Three hours earlier, her anchor split of 2:14.8 caught Meade's Amy Bell in the 4x800 and got the Lions another first-place finish, as Dulaney was timed in 9:42.9 and the Mustangs in 9:44.5.
"I enjoyed both races, the relay because we won and the 3,200 because I got the record," White said. "The temperature was cooler for the 3,200, but it felt a lot hotter than when I was running the relay."
Two nationally ranked girls from Prince George's County joined in the record parade, as Eleanor Roosevelt dominated the sprint semifinals with times of 11.5 (stopwatch) in the 100 and 23.78 (fully automatic) in the 200, and Largo's Tyra Moore got out to 41-2 1/2 in the triple jump.
Old Mill, which has the No. 1 team in both the boys and girls' polls conducted by The Baltimore Sun, was off to what coach Ron Evans termed a rocky start before sophomore Raina Domneys followed Moore in the triple jump with an area record, 39 feet, 1/2 inch.
The Perry Hall boys, meanwhile, enjoyed a fulfilling Day One as the leader with 25 points, but the Gators probably don't have enough depth to challenge Bowie and Eleanor Roosevelt of Prince George's County, and Montgomery's Quince Orchard and Springbrook for team honors.
Senior Greg Sutton, who's bound for the Naval Academy, repeated in the high jump, clearing 6-6 on a concrete surface not conducive to high heights. He also snatched a fourth-place in the long jump, reaching 21-7 1/2 . Junior Charles Adams easily claimed the shot put, as his best of 50-6 1/2 was nearly two feet past Severna Park's Ted Jennings.
"We don't have many guys here, but the ones we have are pretty good," Sutton said of the Baltimore County champions.
Besides Jennings' mark in the shot put, Severna Park was also second in the 4x800 relay, in 7:58.2. With Jamie Jankowski and anchor Brian Kaupa turning in splits of 1:56.9 and 1:56.7, the Falcons nearly held off top-seeded Quince Orchard.
The girls from Catonsville and Howard were in the thick of the 3A chase. Howard has the first-day lead with 30 points. Comets freshman Ann Giardina won the 3,200 in 11:34.2 and anchored the third-place 4x800 relay. The Lions went 1-2-5 in the triple jump, junior Camille Powell going 35-2, one-quarter of an inch better than freshman Mona Jackson, and they were second in the 4x200 (1:46.5).
The C. Milton Wright boys got a surprise second-place finish from Brian Brewer in the long jump (22- 1/4 ).