Away from the track, Dulaney freshmen Ida Bernstein and Tenke Zoltani are best of friends. On the hardwood of the 5th Regiment Armory, however, the pair is fast becoming the competition's worst enemy.
At yesterday's Class 4A-3A West Region Indoor Track Championships at the Armory, Zoltani snared victories in the 1600 and 3200 races while Bernstein won the 300 and placed second in the 500, helping the Lions girls to a first-place finish.
Dulaney won with 83 points, followed by Quince Orchard (64) and Perry Hall (53.5), in a region consisting primarily of Montgomery County teams.
Gaithersburg won the boys meet with 72, followed by Watkins Mill (67.5) and Quince Orchard (51.5).
All told, Dulaney posted top-three finishes in seven events, including victories by high jumper Stephanie Kuehne and 800-meter runner Laurie Twardzik, and a second-place finish by pole vaulter Stephanie Wells.
The story of this meet, however, was the Lions' freshmen, who together amassed 38 points in individual events.
Bernstein is an honor-roll student and started about half the games at center striker last fall for Dulaney's varsity soccer team.
Zoltani carries a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and started at wing for the JV soccer team.
Csaba Zoltani said his daughter has running in her genes, her grandfather having once been a middle-distance champion in Hungary.
Bernstein got her start accompanying her father to a health club at age 6. John Bernstein said he couldn't get his overly-energetic daughter to stop running circles around the small track.
The two met while playing recreation-league soccer when they were 9. Now they have their coaches talking about the beginning of another Dulaney dynasty.
"With their mental toughness and the way they prepare in practice, it's no surprise that they're running as well as they are," said Dulaney assistant coach Chad Boyle, who has high praise for the Lions' young team, comprised only of underclassmen. "They all have no fear. They just go out there and run."
At last week's Baltimore County championships, Zoltani won both the mile and two-mile while Bernstein won the 300 and would have won the 500 if not for a disqualification. Together they helped the Lions to a 25-point win over Perry Hall, which had beaten them at the county relays.
In two weeks, both will be vying for state championships at the 4A-3A state meet, to be held Feb. 22 at the Armory.
Other top performances yesterday came from a pair of Perry Hall athletes, as Renard Wilson won the high hurdles and took second in the 55 and Lisa Pann won the pole vault.
Dulaney's boys team also won the 1600 relay and finished fourth overall.
Pub Date: 2/10/99