Western dominates, Mervo back as champ; Doves win 10 of 11 events; 3,200 upset goes to Jerdan; Indoor track


If the girls from Western High School and the boys from Mervo are looking for a theme song to herald their exploits in indoor track, "Doing What Comes Naturally" would be, well, a natural.

All Western did, while piling up 195 points, was quadruple the score of its nearest competitor in the City Indoor Track Championships at the 5th Regiment Armory yesterday, winning all but one of the 11 events.

Western took the title for the seventh time, the same number of times the title has been up for grabs.

Mervo was nearly as impressive on the boys' side, gaining revenge for losing to City College last year, the only time it hasn't come out on top in the meet's history.

"Take these names down," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux when asked to name the key performers in his team's success: "Toni Jefferson, Tia Burley, Layla Acirfa, Lisa Henry and Melinda McLaughlin."

The five, who between them took part in 18 events, including relays, came out with six victories, five seconds, and a sweep of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter relays.

If the meet had been Western against the rest of the field combined, the Doves still would have prevailed with something to spare, 195-146.

The only event Western didn't capture was the shot put, which went to Lisa Owens, of Douglass, with a toss of 33 feet, 10 inches.

In the boys competition, Mervo flashed its depth with wins in the three relays, the 300, 500 and hurdles, 2-3 placement in the high jump, and 2-3-4 finishers in the 800.

Making things even more discouraging for the opposition was the fact Mervo used mostly underclassmen, including some freshmen.

Odell Taylor took his specialty (300) and anchored a couple relays. Sophomore Reggie Clark, junior Kevin Merrick and freshman Jabari Bush scored in individual events and helped comprise the winning relay quartets.

The race of the evening, easily, was the boys' 3,200 meters, in which Poly's Alex Scally was beaten for the first time this winter by a city competitor.

The runner who pulled off the upset was Northwestern's Marvin Jerdan, who had lots more to worry about than Scally during the race.

"Every time I went by the stands where the Northwestern kids were sitting, they kept hollering for me to move up," he said. "Finally, I had to signal them to cut it out. I knew what I was doing."

Jerdan, who had finished third in the 1,600 meters behind Scally's 4: 54.6 clocking about an hour before the 3,200, moved out of a pack with two laps of the 200-meter track remaining.

"I hung back about 15 feet, I guess. I wasn't even thinking about time, just running to win," he said. "I moved up a little and, at the top of the last straightaway, I moved even. Then it was a sprint."

The crowd was on its feet and stayed that way until a minute later when the times were given out: Jerdan, 10: 57.9; Scally, 10: 58.0.

Maybe it was even closer than that.

Pub Date: 2/05/99

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