Mervo seniors Frankie and Ronald Wright have the second-ranked Mustangs soaring toward their quest for regional and state boys Class 4A-3A indoor track crowns.
Last week, the cousins led the Mustangs to their fifth straight Baltimore City championship, winning three individual events between them and helping the 800-meter relay team to gold. The Mustangs have won every city title -- indoors and outdoors -- during their four years.
Last spring, they joined with Jabari Bush and Damon Watson to set a state record in the 800-meter relay, running in 1 minute, 26.90 seconds to break Dundalk's 1:27.0 mark that had stood for 15 years. Both were All-Metro runners after the 2002 outdoor season.
Veterans of the Ed Waters Track Club, Frankie and Ronald have been running since they were 9. Early in their careers, they were part of a national championship 400-meter relay team.
"They feed off each other," said Mervo coach Ronald Neal, "but they're not competitive with each other. I've never seen them argue. They like the relay teams; they like to be back-to-back as far as the handoff."
When they're on their own, Ronald is more of a pure sprinter, said Neal, while Frankie excels in the 200- to 400-meter range. In the city finals, Ronald won the 55 meters while Frankie took the 300 and the 500.
Frankie is also a top-notch jumper, but he is taking the indoor season off after suffering a twisted ankle in a pickup basketball game. He has reached 23.6 feet in the long jump and 46.9 in the triple jump. He has also been nationally ranked in the 500 meters, having run 1:05.5.
"They are just great kids. I've never had a problem with them," said Neal. "I wish we could get kids like that every year. I'm going to hate to see them graduate."
Three times the fun
St. Frances' Angel McCoughtry chalked up the third triple double of her career and her second of the season in Wednesday's 59-29 victory at St. John's-Prospect Hall.
The 6-foot-1 All-Metro center/forward had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals. McCoughtry is only the third player in St. Frances history to notch even one triple double. LaTonya Blue, the 2001 All-Metro Player of the Year now at Virginia, and Jakia Ervin, a 1996 graduate who went on to play at Syracuse, each had one.
With Wednesday's win, the No. 1 Panthers (19-2, 15-0 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) clinched a tie for the conference regular-season championship. The Panthers can wrap up first place and a top seed in the tournament with a victory against No. 7 Institute of Notre Dame tomorrow afternoon at 4 at St. Frances.
Woodlawn's football stadium will be equipped with lights, a press box and a concession stand by this fall, thanks to a project that will receive $150,000 from Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith, according to school athletic director Mike Sye.
Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled for tomorrow in the school's auxiliary gym. Information: 410-298-0724.
Mercy's Colette Hailey became the eighth player in school history to score 1,000 career points. The senior guard hit the milestone on Jan. 19 and has boosted her total to 1,042.
Hailey, a second-team All-City/County selection last year, has been the centerpiece of an overachieving No. 13 Magic team.
"She's definitely the reason why we've done better than some people might have expected we might," said coach Mary Ella Marion, whose team is 13-5.
Taking the reins
Tiffany Byrd, a former Morgan State volleyball standout, will take over as head coach of Poly in the fall. The Engineers finished second in the Baltimore City league last fall behind Western, which has won six straight titles.
Matthew Oakley (160 pounds) and Marte Bethea (112) have gone 17-1 and 16-3, respectively, on a Poly wrestling squad that won the school's first Baltimore City dual-meet title since 1995.
The Engineers went 7-0 against city competition (7-1 overall) for coach Wavie Gibson's first dual crown since 1993, when he was named City/County Coach of the Year with Walbrook.
After coming off the bench and averaging less than six points most of last season, Calvert Hall combo guard Jack McClinton leads the Cardinals (13-11) in scoring at 19.3 points.
McClinton is getting looks from Siena, Sacred Heart, West Chester, Hartford, UMBC, Radford and Lehigh.