Perry Hall's girls and Woodlawn's boys let it be known in no uncertain terms that they will be the teams to beat when Baltimore County gets around to conducting its indoor track championships at the 5th Regiment Armory at the end of the month.
Remember former Orioles' manager Earl Weaver's description of his squad as possessing "deep depth?" That was the key to Perry Hall's success in the dress-rehearsal County Relays at the Armory last evening.
The Gators had three firsts, three seconds and a pair of thirds on the nine-event program, failing to score in just the high jump. They amassed 67 points, outgunning runner-up Dulaney (37), Woodlawn (35) and Parkville (30) with a bunch to spare.
Meanwhile, on the boys' side, it didn't matter if they were handing off the baton over short distance or long, Woodlawn was there at the finish line, taking the hurdle, sprint and 3,200-meter relays and finishing third in the 800 and fourth in the distance medley.
The Warriors rolled up 61 points to Randallstown's 38 and Perry Hall's 34. Sixteen of the 21 boys teams competing scored points and 11 girls teams got on the board.
"The big thing in preparing a team for a relay event as opposed to a regular meet with its individual races is to get the girls to realize they're all working for a greater good," said Perry Hall's coach Shannon Purcell, a senior at Towson University.
"They have to depend on each other to make up for a bad leg, jump, or throw or they have to do something with what they've been given, either improve upon it or hold even."
One of the Gators' four-event standouts, Lacy Chanoski, who anchored the sprint and 3,200-meter victories, said: "Competing strictly as a team is not as stressful because there are people there to pick you up. If you have a bad day in an individual event you hurt the team even if you do your part in a relay.
"Something I've always enjoyed about taking part in a lot of events is it not only makes it easier but you can compete more relaxed because you're not the only one running."
Teammate Shannon Gill added: "There's good support all around in relay events because so many are taking part in multiple events. Everyone realizes how much each of us is putting into it."
"The only time it gets scary is when you're in the anchor position," said Chanoski. "You stand there and watch everyone else. Then, suddenly, the spotlight is on you. Everyone is relying on you. The motivation then, I think, is wanting to get the thing over with as quickly as possible."
And that's just what Perry Hall did, move away from the pack quickly with three victories and two third-place finishes in the first five events.
Pub Date: 1/13/99