Short-handed Oakland Mills takes 1A title


Even without its big gun, Oakland Mills again hit the bull's-eye at the state track and field championships yesterday.

The Scorpions, competing without All-Metro sprinter Kyle Farmer, out since late April with a pulled right hamstring, outdistanced Boonsboro, 108-57, to take the Class 1A boys state title at UMBC.

The victory gave the perennial Howard County power its third title in four years and ninth in the past 13.

"The kids stepped up and did a great job," Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton said. "We've always had some depth, but everybody says 'Farmer, Farmer, Farmer.' Those other kids had to step up and do the job."

In other classes, Middletown clinched its third straight 2A title, though the driving rain forced meet officials to postpone the 2A pole vault, which will be made up Tuesday starting at 3:30. Westlake won 3A (57), followed by River Hill (48) and Wilde Lake (44), and Suitland won 4A with 63, followed by Gaithersburg (59) and Eleanor Roosevelt (55).

The Scorpions were led by junior Izzy Mehmedovic, who won the 800 meters (2 minutes, 26 seconds) after finishing second to Glenelg's Jon Goldsmith in the 1,600, as well as Christopher Barksdale (third 100, third 200), Stefan Pastor (second 200, second 400), Riley Jennifer (third 800), Tyrone Hines (fifth 400), Antoine Eleam (third 300-meter hurdles) and their winning 400 (44.1 and 1,600-meter (3:28.32) relay teams.

Individually, several area boys standouts had days to remember.

River Hill's Shane Stroup had entered the day intending to shoot for Jim Peterson's 27-year-old state record in the 1,600. Upon arriving at UMBC, and seeing a track riddled with puddles, however, the junior instead set his sights lower, and merely settled for a Class 3A record.

After going out slow the first two laps, Stroup picked up the pace during the third lap to pull away, then ran a 60.5-second final lap to win in a personal-best 4:12.03, though he had run the 1,600 slightly faster as part of a mile.

"Yesterday, I was talking to my coach about the race, and he told me that the Kenyans usually run the third lap the hardest and put everyone away on the backstretch," said Stroup, who went on to win the 800 in 1:52.3. "I decided to do that, and it kind of worked."

It was one of two class records in the event for Howard County athletes, as Goldsmith won Class 1A in 4:22.17, holding off Oakland Mill's Mehmedovic by nearly a second. The two rivals, who on Friday finished one-two in the 3,200, each crossed the finish line under the class record of 4:23.90.

For sprinter Adam Grossman of Pikesville, a quick start helped translate into two Class 1A state titles.

In the 100, the Panthers junior grabbed the early lead and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 11.41 seconds, or .17 of a second ahead of Brunswick's Brandon Dykes. In the 200, he held off Oakland Mills' Pastor by two-hundredths of a second, as Pastor fell headfirst across the line.

"I knew that if I just got a clean start I had it," Grossman said of the 100. "I've been working on that with my coach a lot. After the start, I knew I had it."

Mervo took fifth in Class 4A, in part, by scoring 18 points in the triple jump, with sophomore Frankie Wright (44 feet, 7 1/2 inches) and junior Andrew Hackett (44-5.75) finishing one-two.

The Mustangs later got another win by Jabari Bush. Other area winners included Eastern Tech's Broderick Maybank, who won the Class 3A triple jump (45-4), besting Annapolis' Demario Harris by 2 feet, Overlea's Courtney Pointer (Class 2A 200, 22.43) and Isa George (2A triple jump 42-10.5), Long Reach's Mike Zyvoloski (3A discus, 163-6), Chesapeake's Quacey Jacobs (1A 110, 15.77) and Wilde Lake's Mario Merrills (3A 100, 11.27).

Frederick's Vikas Gowda became the first person ever to throw over 200 feet in the discus in winning the event in Class 4A (200-2). He bested the previous state record by more than 14 feet.

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