Long Reach's Chris Smith already had clinched the Class 2A state championship in the long jump when his final turn came last night at UMBC Stadium. Smith figured he would try for the state record, which he had come close to on earlier jumps.
"I just relaxed and decided to go for it," he said.
Smith got his wish, easily setting a new state meet and overall state record with a jump of 24 feet, 4 inches. That was nearly 2 feet ahead of runner-up Jon Shields, of Randallstown, in the most memorable performance of the first day of competition for the Class 1A and 2A schools.
All four classes will finish the meet today at UMBC, starting at 10 a.m. Class 3A and Class 4A had their first day of competition on Thursday.
For Smith, this was his second straight state championship. He took the Class 1A title last year with a jump of 22-6 1/2 , but this year was a different story.
The overall state record for any meet was a jump of 24-1 1/2 set by John Parker, of Calvert High School, at the 1981 state track meet in Class 2A competition. Smith's jump beat the other three state meet records by at least 7 1/2 inches -- and it obliterated one record by an amazing 14 1/2 inches.
"That's the thing I've been shooting for all season," said Smith. "I thought I could do it."
Smith's performance left many shaking their heads, including Oakland Mills boys coach Sam Singleton, who saw the jump. "He was out there," said Singleton.
Singleton's Scorpions also were out there. The Oakland Mills boys scored 36 points for a three-point lead over Williamsport in Class 1A. Clear Spring was third and Hammond fourth.
Oakland Mills won three of the seven events held last night. The Scorpions began the day by winning the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 8: 29.89, edging Williamsport (8: 30.56).
The Scorpions then got victories from Andrew Long in the shot put (54-1.75) and Mike Fambro in the long jump (21-8). The Scorpions also took fourth in the 800 relay -- an event won by Howard County rival Hammond (1: 33.56).
"I'm optimistic after today," said Singleton. "If the horses hold up, go."
Oakland Mills also stood in first place on the girls side. The Scorpions' 24 points put them one point ahead of Smithsburg and five in front of Williamsport. Oakland Mills won the 3,200-meter relay (9: 54.76) and got a first-place finish from Jennifer Johnson in the triple jump (34-7 1/4 ).
Also in Class 1A girls, Lori Tvarkunas of Glenelg won the pole vault with an effort of 9-3. Francis Scott Key, the two-time defending Class 1A boys state champion, made its move to Class 2A and scored some points.
The Eagles are third with 18 points behind leader Middletown (28) and runner-up Fort Hill (22). For Key, a victory in the 3,200 relay was its biggest moment. David Higgs, Mike Pizza, Mike Replogle and Scott Glover combined for the win in a time of 8: 10.68, edging Potomac (8: 12.13) at the end.
The only other local winner last night was Lee McDuff of River Hill in the girls Class 2A 3,200 meters. McDuff, a freshman, pulled away from Randy Buzzell, of Middletown, to win the race in 10: 59.48.
Pub Date: 5/23/98