Although most athletes take pride in seeing how long a record they established will stand after they are no longer competing, Ted Lewis, who holds the Interstate Athletic Conference high jump record of 6 feet, 8 inches, is a bit different.
Lewis, who set his record while competing for Sidwell Friends, may see two athletes threaten or break his record this spring. If they do, however, Lewis will experience pride, not disappointment, because the senior Steve Bowsher and sophomore Will Warren are now competing for him at Landon.
Two weeks ago, Bowsher and Warren teamed to win the Landon Relays high jump at a combined 12-8. Each jumped 6-4 and quickly set their sights higher.
"At first, my goal this year was to jump 6-4, which is the school record," said Bowsher. "Now that I have reached that, my next goal is the IAC record at 6-8. That one should be interesting because my coach set it."
Numerous track and field records in the IAC and Metro conferences are in jeopardy of falling by spring's conclusion if the early-season performances of Bowsher, Warren and several others are any indication.
Carroll senior triple jumper Kevin Brown, who improved his personal best by more than two feet early in the indoor season, is proving to be one of the metropolitan area's top performers outdoors. Last year, he set the Metro Conference record in the triple jump at 45 feet, 6 inches, and this winter went more than 47 feet.
Brown also could threaten the league long jump mark of 24-4 set by Eric Metcalf of O'Connell.
For Bullis senior Mark Forster, the biggest problem is how to coordinate his schedule. If Forster could do it, he would enter everything from the 55-meter hurdles to the 800-meter run.
Forster already holds Bulldogs school records in the 55 hurdles, the 200-meters, 300, 400, 600 and 800. His early spring times have established him as an IAC contender at any distance between 100 and 800 yards. Yet, Forster has further ambitions. He wants to add the 110-meter high hurdles and 300-meter intermediate hurdles to his spring list.
Episcopal, perennially among the upper echelon of the IAC, will be relying on seniors Richard Beaver and Jim Bass for big points.
"Richard would like to win both the 1,500 and 3,000 in the IAC championships," said his coach, Buz Male. Beaver is the defending league champion in the 1,500 and was runner-up in the 3,000. "Ultimately, we're going to try to get him ready for the Penn Relays 3,000," Male said.
A Penn Relays invitation is also incentive for Bass to clear 14 feet this year in the pole vault. The league's defending champion in that event, Bass already has exceeded 13-6.
Good Counsel senior Norris Hanes, like Brown, competed in the East Coast championships last month. There, he finished third in a hotly contested 55-meter dash. Over the past two years, Hanes has demonstrated proficiency at distances from 55 to 500 meters. Last year he paced Montgomery County sprinters with a time of 22.0 in the 200 meters. And, in addition to his success in the 55 this indoor season, Hanes ran fast enough to be ranked No. 2 nationally at 300 meters.
"We'll concentrate on the 200 to 400 and we definitely think he can run 47.0 in the 400 ," said Coach Mark Jankovitz. Metcalf set the league record at 47.7 last year. "We'll see if Hanes can go 46, that's where his training is now. Last year, we didn't gear him for the quarter and he ran a 48.7, no problem. We're confident he can run it."
The only junior to join the elite group is Georgetown Prep's Kevin Haley. A discus thrower Coach Mike Horsey says is "really a decathlete," Haley already has thrown 145 feet in competition (the IAC record is 166). Although the difference may seem insurmountable, consider Haley's improvement in one year. Last year, in his first year of competition, he was throwing 132 feet.
"I think Kevin can break the league record," said Horsey. "If not this year, then definitely the next. He's been throwing 150s in practice."
Haley, the defending league champion, undertook the event after the season officially ended his freshman year because the team's discus throwers were seniors. "The day after the league meet, Kevin picked up the discus and started working with it. There was nobody else," said Horsey.