Cole's 4 wins lead Oak. Mills to title


LANDOVER -- Few indoor track and field teams are heartened by second-place finishes. Then again, Oakland Mills' boys have proved to be an extraordinary team.

After placing second to Howard County rival Glenelg at the county and Class 2A-1A East Region championships earlier this season, the No. 10 Scorpions buried those memories yesterday at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex, upending the No. 6 Gladiators at the state meet behind four wins and two state records from senior sprinter Tony Cole.

"Coach [Bryan Winfield] has been pushing us to think positive all year," said senior sprinter Karlton McCullough. "It was at regionals that everyone showed heart. Once everyone showed heart, we ran harder."

Oakland Mills, which captured its fifth boys state title in the past six years and its eighth since 1991, recorded 64 points. Glenelg, which battled until the final event of the meet, finished seven points behind the Scorpions.

Oakland Mills went scoreless in the field events and gained only two points in individual running events longer than 800 meters, but relied on the feet of Cole and its relay teams.

Cole's winning time of 6.35 seconds in the 55-meter dash was .03 of a second faster than former Scorpion Kyle Farmer's Class 1A record in 2001.

"It was forceful thinking," said Cole, who was not secretive about his desire to break Farmer's record. "There was no 'I wonder if' or 'Maybe I can.' There was only 'I am going to get that record.' "

Cole also set a Class 2A state record in the 300, registering a time of 34.87 seconds. The previous mark of 35.54 seconds was established by Bladensburg's Aaron Marshall last year.

The records also extended to the sprint relays, where the foursome of Cole, McCullough and juniors Nathan Michel and Michael Sweatt ruled.

Their time of 1 minute, 33.65 seconds in the 800 relay nipped Surrattsville's 1:34.17 in 2001, and their time of 3:31.84 in the 1,600 relay smashed Atholton's 3:33.6 in 1995.

Glenelg's Drew Graybeal set two state records. The senior clocked 1:05.65 in the 500, besting the Class 2A state record of 1:05.8 set by Central's John Robertson in 1986.

He also turned in a time of 1:59.49 in the 800, eclipsing Oakland Mills' Izudin Mehmedovic's Class 1A mark of 2:03.1 set in 2002.

"Last year, we had 11 points at states," Graybeal said. "We showed real improvement, and we set ourselves up for the outdoor season. We have new standards."

On the girls side, Poolesville collected its fourth straight crown with 83 points. No. 7 Glenelg and No. 10 Edmondson tied for fourth with 33 points each.

Edmondson freshman Diane Hunter claimed two first-place medals by winning the 300 (42.34 seconds) and joining juniors Sherie Brown and Cierra Layne and freshman Keona Savage to take the 800 relay (1:48.31).

Glenelg's 3,200-relay squad of seniors Chelsea Kapp and Mary Rollyson and juniors Katie Pencek and Jessica Hibbert won in 9:45.7, shattering the Class 2A mark of 9:55.3 set by Catonsville in 1997.

Reginald F. Lewis senior Phoenix Ruff registered her school's first state title by winning the 55 in 7.34 seconds. The time tied a Class 1A state record set by Long Reach's Teyarnte Carter in 1997.

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