Oakland Mills has won three of the last four boys indoor county championships. But this year, it's the girls team with sights on the county title.
"There's no reason why we shouldn't be at the top in the county as long as we work hard," said Oakland Mills girls coach Bryan Winfield. "We've got a good mixture of sprinters, middle distance and distance runners that should make us competitive throughout the season."
Leading the Scorpions will be sprinter Amber Day. "Amber helped herself by running cross country for the first time," Winfield said. "It's going to make her better and our team better."
Glenelg is the defending girls county champion, and coach Mike Selmer isn't ready to hand over the championship.
"We lost a lot of kids [to River Hill], but our goal still is to win county," Selmer said. "We've got to work hard, but we have a good chance. It's a matter of convincing the girls they can win."
Howard coach Tony Holland said Oakland Mills and Glenelg will have good teams, but not to forget the Lions. "I'm not ruling us out by any means," Holland said.
Wilde Lake also will be competitive, as should River Hill. The Hawks' first-time girls coach Norm Belden, whose team has leading distance runner Beth Santilli and is strong from the 800 up, said: "I think we have a chance of doing very well."
Coach Sam Singleton said his boys team at Oakland Mills "doesn't have the horses" this season to compete for the county title. "We're young and inexperienced," Singleton said.
Wilde Lake, Atholton and Centennial appear to have the strongest boys teams this season.
"I think we're right in it," said Wilde Lake coach Charlie Shoemaker. "I think we'll be deep and that we'll score all over."
Centennial coach Al Dodds said his team doesn't have "a lot of depth, but we have good people in every event. We'll be in there."
Chris Rohde is a first-year head coach, but has worked with the Raiders for five years. The Raiders have two excellent pole vaulters in Mike Eshoo, last year's outdoor Class 3A state champion, and Alex Buell, who finished fourth in the state. Buell won Monday night's scrimmage at the Fifth Regiment Armory with a vault of 11-6. Senior Cian Oates will compete in the 55- and 300-meter races. "He's probably one of the top sprinters in the state," Rohde said. Seniors Jason Green and Jeff Bailey will compete in the 500, 800 and relay events, and junior Mike Zaron should be strong in the half-mile and mile.
Eddie Ivory takes over the girls team. Sophomore Michelle Nelson and Amy Peters will run sprints, junior Lanna Grigoreiv will compete in the high jump and sprint relays and junior Tanisha Chester will run the 300, 500, relays and vie in the pole vault. Junior Wendy Sare will run the 800 and mile. Senior Janel Rosip will put the shot.
Cross country Runner of the Year Jeff Olenick leads Al Dodds' boys team. Olenick, a senior, will run the mile and 2-mile. Senior Eric Myers also will run the mile. Dave Johnson will compete in the pole vault and sprint relays, and Jon Thompson in the 55, 300 and sprint relays. Ben Cosgrove will go in the 55 hurdles and relays.
Two-time cross country All-County runner Sarah Ordaz, All-County cross country sophomore Neha Amin and senior Maggie Lassack lead Centennial's girls distance team. Cynthia Echevarria will run sprint events for coach Carrie Brunskill, a 1988 graduate of Centennial. Twins Kristry (shot put) and Kathy (sprints, shot put) Mitroka also will compete.
Boys coach Roger Volrath has two strong middle distance runners in seniors Chris Selmer and Luke Reinke. Selmer won the 800 in last year's state outdoor championship. Senior Dave Binck is doing well in the pole vault.
Heading the girls team is senior shot putter Katie Wise, who girls coach Mike Selmer said is "one of the top three in the state." Sophomore Christa Vent was third in the high jump last year and won last Monday's scrimmage. She'll also compete in the 500 and 4x4. Another good high jumper is sophomore Kristin Smith. Senior Carolyn Flowers will run the 2-mile.
Junior Matt Albritton and senior Kirk Henlon will run sprints for Rich Menendez's boys team. Juniors Jeff Jones and Richard Bright will compete in the hurdles, and juniors Byron Whysnant and Josh Kannara will run middle distance events. Senior John Wallace will run the mile and 2-mile.
Senior Tricia Guest and sophomore Brita Grothe will run sprint events for Pete DiMarco's girls team. Top distance runners include sophomore Meg Tilley, junior Amanda Harrison and senior Kim Loisel. Sophomore Stephanie Bumgarner will throw the shot put, and Rebecca Zingman will compete in the high jump.
Coach Rich Jenkins' three top distance runners are seniors Jeff Miner and Nik Walton and junior Eric Nawrocki. However, Miner has a stress fracture and might not be back until the county meet. Freshman Brian Carey may help in distance events. Senior Darryl Gross is the team's top sprinter.
Senior Coleen Parker, an All-County selection last season, heads Tony Holland's girls squad. Parker will compete in the 300, 500 and 800. She won the county last year in the 500 (1: 26.2) and was third in the 300. Senior sprinter Susan Mancho has a foot injury but Holland expects her back in competition in January. Sophomore Jevne Reid (300, 500, 800) and junior Jana Grant (55, relays) will bolster Howard.
Boys coach Leslie Thomas said her team "has a lot of potential. I think we'll do pretty good." Leading the way are five former Howard students -- junior Willie Bhatia (300, 500, 800), sophomore Keith Loudermill (300, 500), junior Trevor Randall (55, 4x2), junior James Stewart (55, 4x2) and sophomore Kenny Nightengale (55 hurdles).
Former Hammond students Thema Napier, an All-County selection last year, and Cindy Maxfield head Pete Hughes' girls team. Napier, who holds the county record in the 500 (1: 19), is an excellent middle distance performer. Maxfield will complete in the 55 hurdles. Junior Cristina Sasso will compete in the shot put, and freshman Teyarnte Carter in the 55 dash and hurdle. Said Hughes of Carter: "She's going to be a sprinter to be reckoned with."
Boys coach Mark Agnew calls senior Paul Kwon "the most versatile runner we have." Kwon will also compete in the pole vault. Senior Robby Graham will run the 400 and 4x2. Leading the group of sprinters will be seniors Todd Merkle and Eric Mason and junior Dave Clickner. Top distance runner Gauti Johannesson is injured and won't be back until midseason.
Bill Winder's girls team will be bolstered by the cross county team that finished second in the county. Top distance runners include sophomore Sheri Hyson and freshman Kate Frande. Senior Liz Skorny (300, high jump, relays), sophomore Shanti Powers (pole vault, 55 hurdle, relays) and junior Lauren Abicht (shot put) also will provide the young Vikings points.
"We're young and inexperienced," said Singleton of his boys team. "We don't have the sprinters like we've had in the past." But the Scorpions do have junior shot-putter Andrew Long, who won Monday's scrimmage with a toss of 46 feet. "He's got a shot at the states as long as he stays consistent," Singleton said. Seniors Chris Oxford (mile) and Nathan Hornburg (2-mile) are two top runners.
Junior Amber Day is "going to be tough to beat" this year, according to girls coach Bryan Winfield. "She's working really hard and ready to step into the limelight this year." Day won the 55-meter Monday night in 7.2 seconds and the 300-meter in 43.9. She'll also compete in the 500 and relay events. Elyse Sams will run sprints, hurdles and relays. The Scorpions have strong distance runners, led by junior Kristin Sunderdick (All-County cross country), sophomore Sarah Condon, senior Lauren Drake and freshman Molly Sunderdick.
Santilli, an All-County indoor track selection last season at Glenelg and The Sun's cross country girls Runner of the Year this fall, leads the girls team. A junior, Santilli was a three-time winner in last Monday's scrimmage. She easily won the mile (5: 23), 2-mile (12: 07) and anchored the 2-mile relay. Joining Santilli on the 2-mile relay team were sophomore Kelli Bloch (All-County cross country), junior Stephanie Willet and junior Anju Sidhu. Junior Gena Courpas will compete in the 300, 500 and mile relay. The Hawks have a lot of young talent, including freshmen Jennifer Pla (500, 800), Megan Deiter (500, mile relay) and Kathryn Deegan (300, 500, mile relay).
The Wildecats get a boost from their state champion cross country team, led by All-County selections, sophomore Ben Coffman and junior Aaron Blum. Coffman had the second-fastest time among county runners at the state cross country meet. Junior Quentin Collins will provide points in the high jump and sprints as will senior Nick Shavatt in the high jump. Boys coach Charlie Shoemaker looks for junior shot-putter Tyler Fisher to finish among the top three in the county. Junior Jerris Hooker (500, 800), and seniors Saah Solee (sprints, relays) and Tony Jackson (sprints) are expected to contribute.
Nyjla Littlejohn, an All-County selection last year who won the 55 hurdles at the county meet and was fourth in the 300, leads Errick Henlon's girls team. She will compete in the 55 sprint and hurdles, the 300 and a relay race. The Wildecats are hoping for good things from a number of athletes, including: seniors Kendrah Johnson (high jump) and Laura Cometa (200 to 800), juniors Michelle Smith (4x8) and Leilani Ho (sprints, relays), sophomores Lauren Secco (500, 4x4) and Tolika Wilson (shot put), and freshmen Ashley Etue (distance, All-County cross country), Marissa Schwartz (800, 4x4), Katie Shea (300, relays), Julie Bergin (300, 500, relays) and Shayna Brause (relays).
Pub Date: 12/08/96