Howard County produced the top two boys teams and the most dominant female performer at yesterday's Class 2A-1A state championships.
Atholton captured the boys team title by holding off runner-up and county rival Glenelg, 53-46, and River Hill junior Beth Santilli left the 5th Regiment Armory with four gold medals.
"We knew it would be an uphill battle the whole way with Glenelg and Walkersville, and it was," said Atholton coach Chris Rohde, a 1988 Glenelg graduate. "This was our goal the whole season and we just took it one race and one meet at a time."
Santilli, who attended Glenelg before moving into River Hill, took first in the girls 800-meter run, 1,600 and 3,200 and ran the anchor leg of her team's the state champion 3,200-meter relay. In addition, she set a Class 2A-1A state record in the 1,600, surpassing the old mark set last season by Linganore's Kristen Ritter, and helped her team to a second-place finish behind Central of Prince George's County in the girls team competition.
"This is really exciting, because I just wanted to come out, do my best and try to win the [1,600]," said Santilli, who joined with Jen Pla, Stephanie Willet and Kelly Bloch to win the 3,200-meter relay. "I'm surprised I did as well as I did, because there were a lot of great runners out there today. I just told myself, 'As long as I do my best, I won.' "
"I wouldn't tell Beth this, but I thought she would do what she did today," said Santilli's coach, Norm Belden. "One of her best attributes is, she plans her race and then sticks with the plan. She also backs it up with her great ability."
Marcus Lynch of Western Tech won the boys 300 dash in 37-flat and then came back and won the 55 dash in 6.6 seconds.
"I was confident I would win the 55 dash, but I didn't know what to expect in the 300, because the second-seeded guy ran 37.9 and I ran 37.5," said Lynch, a Woodlawn resident. "I just figured if I opened it up, maybe I could hold him off."
Hereford senior Kate Macfarlane cleared 9-6 to win the girls pole vault and Tenisha Chester of Atholton was second (9 feet).
Mike Eshoo helped Atholton's cause by winning the boys pole vault, and teammate Ryan Moore cleared a personal best 6-0 to claim third in the high jump.
Chris Selmer, a senior at Glenelg, won state titles in the 500 dash and 800 run and teammate Luke Reinke won the 1,600.
Katie Wise helped the Gladiators girls team by winning the shot put. Long Reach freshman Teyarte Carter won the 55 dash.
Pub Date: 2/20/97