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Mervo runs away with MSA track title


Mervo track coach Freddie Hendricks stood amid several of his cheering runners in the stands of Poly's football stadium, raised their championship trophy and exclaimed, "The cup has come home."

Behind double-winners Ben Braswell (100 meters, long jump), Antwon Nelson (110 and 300 hurdles) and Anthony Stuckey (200 and 400), the Mustangs (138 points) won 10 of 18 events to nearly double the score of Poly (70 points), a runner-up after winning three straight Maryland Scholastic Association track titles.

McDonogh (61 points) was third among the boys, winning the 3,200 relay.

No points were kept in the co-featured girls District 9 public schools meet, but Western dominated for the third straight year, winning 12 of 17 events.

"We're very pleased with the way we ran today," said Teresa Harris, Western's assistant to Jerry Molyneaux. "Our long-range goal is to win states."

Both Braswell -- chosen the meet's Outstanding Performer -- and Stuckey were members of the Mustangs' winning relay teams, with Braswell anchoring the 400, and Stuckey the 1,600.

"Once we win the 400, even though it's back-to-back, we're ready for the four-by-four," said Braswell.

Dante Palmer and Rodney Cabean were the other members of the

400. The Mustangs were disqualified for dropping the baton in the 800 relay, giving runner-up Poly that title.

"We made a few mistakes today, and we hope to get rid of them before states," Stuckey said.

Mervo's Sheldon Downing and Roger Morning went 1-2 in the high jump, with Downing -- a runner-up

last year -- leaping his height (6-4). The Mustangs placed in the top five in the first four events, including Morning (third in triple jump), Palmer (third in long jump) and Tramane Neal (second in shot put).

Western took five of the first six running events, including the 3,200 relay with Somaree Taru, Tamika Blanks, Christina Alemu and 800

champ Tamara Clark.

The Doves' sophomore Tamara Laing captured the 400 and 200 and ran the first and second legs, respectively, of the winning 400 and 1,600 relays. She dethroned second-team All-Metro teammate Dionne Smith in the 200, but Smith repeated as champ in the 100.

Western went 1-2 in the 100 hurdles with Gabriel Butler (17.1) and Crystal Johnson, and 1-2 in the 1,600 with Michelle Burrell (5:56.2) and Crystal Richburg. Butler (48.5) and Steeley Spencer took first and third, respectively, in the 300 hurdles, and Burrell won the 3,200 with teammate Eva Zajaczkouska taking third.

Laing teamed with Crystal Smith, Dionne Smith and Lenaya DeShields in the 400, and Spencer, Clark and Butler in the 1,600.

Crystal Johnson, a long jump runner-up to Lake Clifton's Lethia Boyd, led teammates Emily Hunter and Kelly Johnson in a 1-2-3 sweep of the high jump. Crystal's leap (5-4) tied the city record.

The Doves' Charay Jennings was third in the triple jump, won by Poly's Christina Cissin (32-7). Poly's Gina Rozier, a runner-up in the discus, took the shot put with 37-10.

Mount St. Joseph's Anthony Lee won the triple jump with 43-11 3/4 . His teammate, David Cole (46-6) won the shot put and was third in the discus behind Calvert Hall's Rick Desi and teammate Mike Bianco.

Loyola's Matt Beliveau won the boys' 1,600 in 4:30.4 and placed third in the 3,200.

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