The buzz among coaches: Old Mill's vulnerable Indoor track: But after six straight titles, Patriots' coach says pride, tradition will help the team again this season.


Old Mill is looking vulnerable. That's the consensus among Anne Arundel County indoor track and field coaches, and Patriots coach Mike Marcus is no exception.

"Last year, we took table scraps and made a meal out of it, but if anyone in the county is going to get us, it's going to be this year," said Marcus, whose team has swept the county team titles the last six years. "The kids all look at it as a responsibility to keep this thing going. Hopefully, pride and tradition will carry us through it."

Old Mill's boys team is in position to claim its seventh straight county crown, but standing in the way is North County, which nipped the Patriots in last year's state meet, and Meade, which boasts Malcolm Vaughn, one of the area's most promising and versatile athletes.

Old Mill's girls are seeking their 12th consecutive county title, but to do so, they will have to hold off Arundel, which includes several members of the county-champion Wildcats cross country team.

"Old Mill is going to run on tradition, but we're going to be running on pride and try and turn the tables on them," said Arundel first-year coach Ira Queen. "Old Mill is still the team to beat, but we've been getting closer and closer each year -- and this year, we'll try [to] kick the door in."

Here's a team-by-team look:

Old Mill: The boys team returns All-County shot putters Adam Trzybinski and Balvin Brown, as well as Jon Mikeska, an All-County cross-country selection last fall. Beyond those those three, the Patriots boys team is loaded with raw, albeit unproven, talent.

Plenty of talented girls return, including sprinters Tynishia Armstead, Nakia Johnson and Courtney Potter.

Renita Collins, understudy a year ago to the graduated All-Metro shot putter, Cathy Porter (now at Maryland), will throw the shot for Old Mill, along with first-year thrower Jamie Smith.

Sarah Ouslander, Sarah Meehan and Natalie Phelps will handle the middle and long distances for the defending champs, and Helenia Forte is expected to represent Old Mill in the high jump and hurdles.

Meade: The Mustangs may not have enough depth to end Old Mill's reign, but in Vaughn and Michelle June, they have two of the county's most gifted athletes. Both made All-County last year, and both should clean up in the high jump, come counties, regions and states.

The Mustangs also have John Thomas, the boys county cross country Runner of the Year, and Dana Crawford, another talented high jumper and hurdler.

"I don't think any team is the team to beat because any team can be beaten on an particular day," said Meade coach Hayes Henderson. "My team will be there in the end."

Arundel: As always, the Wild cats will rely on their distance people, who pulled off an unlikely sweep at the county's cross country championship meet. Among those winning harriers are Jennifer Ng, who was the county's Female Runner of the Year, and Heather Bartsch, Ben Baxter and Ryan Morse.

North County: Kiki Ellis, the defending county, region and state champ in the 55-meter dash, will try to help the Knights upend Old Mill. Ellis will be pushed in the sprints by teammates Tyrone Powers and Dave Soaper, and Brad Wisniewski will set the pace for North County's distance crew.

Severna Park: Known for their distance runners, the Falcons return Chris Robey, last year's runner-up at 1600 meters, and hTC harriers Kim and Becky Chwan and Bonnie Sowa. All-Metro soccer player Jimmy Traylor returns to the county and region champion 3,200-meter relay team, and Kristin Crawford, an All-County field hockey player will run middle distances.

Broadneck: Coach Jerry Kiple is relying on some of the Bruins football players, among them Martel Threadgill, to bail him out in the sprints. Once again, Broadneck's strength is with its middle-distance people, including Carolyn Kosicki, Amanda Schmidt, Erin Smith, Tim Dugan, Mike Rolland and Brant Carnwath.

Annapolis: First-year coach Mike Ballard will turn to distance runner Misha Bilyeu to lead his girls team and seniors Albert Creek, Toure Nelson and Mike Parker to supply leadership for his boys. Glen Burnie: Coach Aaron Walker describes his Gophers as "slim on speed and depth." He looks for some individual success from Matt Lindeman (pole vault), Jamie Falcone (sprints) and Kristy Klima (distance).

South River: Graduation hurt, but Seahawks coach Keith Bigalo expects big things from All-County distance runners Jeremy Schropp and Zandi Marinzel and high jumpers Sarah Wood, Angie Groves and Heather Keeting.

Northeast: The school's largest team ever -- 39 girls and 30 boys -- is led by Robbie Evans and Erin Zcako (shot put), Laura Sigman and Julie Scanlon (middle distances) and Paul Kelm (distance).

Chesapeake: Things aren't as promising, and Cougars coach Bill Hickey said the team is undergoing "mass reconstruction," adding: "Right now, I have no idea what I have."

Pub Date: 12/08/96

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