Centrowitz sets high school mile mark

The Baltimore Sun

PHILADELPHIA -- It took 35 years for the Penn Relays high school mile record - by Gordon Oliver of Bethesda-Chevy Chase - to be erased and it took another Marylander to do it.

Broadneck senior Matthew Centrowitz took the Penn mile best down to 4 minutes, 8.38 seconds with a stirring 60-second final lap that separated him from a tough, talented field.

Oilver had run 4:08.7 in 1972.

"There was a lot of pushing, bumping up front," said the University of Oregon-bound Centrowitz, a two-time All-Metro Runner of the Year in cross country and last spring's All-Metro Performer of the Year in track and field. "I just waited for an opening and then I took off."

And when he did, there was no catching him.

"I was like 2:05-ish at the half, then 63-ish for the third lap," he said. "And then I just brought it in."

It was his second straight win at Penn - he'd taken the 3,000-meter title in 2006.

He was congratulated after the race by his father, Matt Centrowitz, the American University coach and a past American 5,000-meter record holder.

"To beat a record that had lasted that long, wow, what you did is amazing," the elder Centrowitz, who was a 1976 and 1980 Olympian, told his son.

"To win at 3,000 meters last year and the mile this time, that's incredible strength and versatility," Broadneck coach Dave Dobbs said. "He's going to have a great college career."

The meet ended long after dark thanks to a rainstorm and lightning flashes that forced Penn officials to empty Franklin Field for two hours. Nevertheless, official attendance was announced as 39,166.

Eleanor Roosevelt High of Greenbelt further proved itself one of the premier girls high school teams in the nation, running off with the Championship of America titles in the 3,200 and 1,600 relays.

The Raiders took the 3,200 in 8:51.19, edging defending champion Holmwood Tech of Jamaica by four one-hundredths of a second) on Tasha Stanley's stirring anchor carry. They followed with a win in the 1,600 in 3:39.44, with Takecia Jameson handling the anchor role.

Roosevelt's time in the 3,200 was the second fastest in American scholastic history and the first victory for a U.S. team in five years.

Holmwood had won it in 2005 and 2006, and Edwin Allen of Jamaica in 2003 and 2004.

Former UMBC star Negasi Gerima anchored Shore AC to the men's Olympic Development 440-meter shuttle hurdles title in 58.90.

Maryland's Dominic Berger cruised into today's final of the college men's 110-meter hurdles final with a 13.94 clocking in his preliminary, just back of Florida State's Drew Brunson, who ran in 13.86.

It also was a good for Maryland Masters Club sprinters.

In separate sections, Tom Jones (12.07) ran third in his 50-up section of the 100; Jeff Gold (11.75) was third in the 45-up race; and Melvin Fields (13.64) was fourth in the 60-up category.

Former Eleanor Roosevelt coach Larry Colbert, running for Sprint Force America, was third in the 70-up division (14.21.) Morgan State's Brittany Robinson cleared 5 feet, 10 1/2 inches, equaling the winning height in the women's college high jump - an event that was moved indoors - but wound up fifth on the more-misses rule.

UMES' Kimani Kirton heaved the 16-pound iron ball 56-2 3/4 to place fourth in the men's college shot put final. UMES added a fifth place finish in the college shuttle hurdles final, running in 59.83.

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