Demond Mullen had clear expectations when he stepped to the starting line for the Class 2A 400-meter dash in the state track and field championships yesterday at UMBC.
"I expected to win," said the Southern High School senior. "You have to be confident."
Mullen proved he had more than just confidence, sprinting to victory in 49.35 seconds to remain undefeated in his specialty for the season. His time was a new school record for the Bulldogs.
He returned later in the meet to win a second gold medal and set yet another school record by anchoring the Bulldogs to victory in the 1,600-meter relay. His teammates K.O. Gray, Ian Harvey and David Hull might have found reason to doubt Mullen's confidence as he sprinted into the final turn, however. The anchorman from Surrattsville had whittled away at the 10-meter lead Mullen's teammates had given him and had pulled even with Mullen with 150 meters to go.
Mullen shifted gears, however, and pulled away to a 20-meter victory.
"No one has beaten him," said Southern coach Brian Brown. "He is a leader, a captain, and a hard worker practice."
Mullen's anchor split of 49.2 seconds gave the Bulldogs a school record of 3: 23.16, their third such record of the meet. The 800 relay team of Mullen, Gray, Hull, and Randy Salisbury also set a record in Friday's session when it finished third in 1: 32.22.
His performances in four events -- the 400 relay team finished fourth in 43.69 -- helped the Bulldogs to second place in the 2A team standings, their best finish ever in the state meet.
Ian Harvey and Antwon Jones scored well in the jumps. In the long jump, Harvey placed third at 22 feet, 4 3/4 inches and Jones was fifth at 21-7 1/2 . In the triple jump, Harvey was second at 45-7 3/4 and Jones fourth in 43-5.
Mullen and the Bulldogs' 1,600 relay team earned two of four state titles from Anne Arundel County in the state meet. A pair of young distance runners, Victor Thillet of Old Mill and Katie Sloan of Glen Burnie, prevailed in the 3,200-meter run in the Thursday session.
Thillet, a sophomore, set a steady pace of 72 seconds per lap to win the 3,200 in a personal best, bettering his previous best by 12 seconds.
"He was training for a two-mile on a 9: 36 pace, and his winning time was 9: 36.9. So, how's that for a training regimen," said Old Mill coach Bill Hickey.
Yesterday, he came back in the 1,600 to take third in the 1,600 in 4: 28.41. He also ran a non-placing 2: 02.7 in the 800, but clearly prefers the longer distances and even pace.
Sloan, too, found somewhat tougher going in the shorter races yesterday. She won the 3,200 Thursday by a margin of 100 meters in 11: 32.6. In yesterday's 1,600 she remained in contention until the final turn but finished fourth, 5 seconds behind the winner in 5: 15.66.
Also in Class 3A boys, hurdler Joel Brown led the Woodlawn charge to 96 points by winning two events in record time. He set a Class 3A mark of 14.07 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles, then established a state record of 37.33 in the 300 intermediate hurdles.
Jonathan Streat also won. He prevailed in a stirring stretch duel with 1,600 champ Erik Necciai of Linganore to win the 800. Streat fought off a challenge from Necciai and C.M. Wright's Jeff Tolson to win by a half-second in 1: 57.83.
Woodlawn's Tavon Mason finished second in both the 100 (11.07) and the 200 (22.04). Marlon Lawrence was third in the 110 hurdles in 15.09, third in the triple jump at 44 feet, 7 1/4 inches and fifth in the pole vault at 11-6.
Jen Geroux collected her second victory of the meet in winning the 3A 1,600. The Parkville senior stormed out of fifth place in the last half-lap to win by less than a meter in 5: 06.73. It was her personal best by nine seconds.
"She ran an incredible last turn. She just flew in that last lap," said Parkville girls coach Don Wann. "I timed her last 400 at 70 seconds."
Geroux, who won the 3,200 on Thursday, was joined in victory by teammates Elisa Jones and Sarah White. Jones, a senior, threw 38-4 1/4 on her final toss to win the shot put by a quarter-inch. Sarah White, a junior, won the high jump with a personal best of 5-5.
White's victory was the fourth of the meet for the Knights, the most ever by Parkville girls in the state meet.
Pub Date: 5/24/98