Three points separated the first three teams in the Haringer Relays at Washington-Lee last weekend, and Fort Hunt's surprising victory over powerful Gar-Field and Northern Virginia favorite T. C. Williams indicates one thing: there will be few runaways in area high school track competition this spring.
The annual Haringer event was the beginning of a season that should see close battles in almost every league, from the Prince George's County AA, where Friendly and Crossland are co-favorites, to the Interhigh, where McKinley has already threatened to end H. D. Woodson's domination.
Early season relay meets continue today with the second day of the Edison Relays and the running of the D.C. Coaches Relays at Spingarn.
If indoor performances are any sign, the two-mile relay should be this spring's feature event after Georgetown Prep and several Maryland schools raced to national indoor rankings. Virginia
Fort Hunt's Haringer triumph was unexpected after T. C. Williams ran away with the Virginia AAA Northern Region indoor title. But this doesn't necessarily mean that Fort Hunt is now the class of the area.
"I wouldn't say that by the results of one relay meet," said Federal coach Al Perrauit. "You haven't had a chance to see a lot of individual performances from other teams.
"We do have a lot of depth, though, and the team morale is fantastic.The Haringer win really helped a lot."
Providing a big boost for the Federals is indoor state mile champ Matt Smith, who overcame a sore hip to anchor the two-mile-relay team to a third-place finish that climaxed the Haringer title.
Weak in only the shot and discus, Fort Hunt has five top sprinters, paced by Mark Mial and Bill McAnulty, and a middle-distance threat in Richard Murray.
Jay Caldwell is among the area's best two-milers. Rick Echard and Richard Pierce lead an exceptional hurdle corps, Scott Baker is a 13-foot pole-vaulter and Chris Brevard anchors Fort Hunt's long-jump hopes.
Defending Northern Region outdoor champion Edison was nipped by Fort Hunt by two points for the Gunston indoor crown, and the Eagles again boast a potent distance crew to spark their title hopes, led by Chuck Wimberly, Richard Lee, Mike Watts and Jorge Nobre.
Jeff Parfitt is a good bet to clear 14 feet in the pole vault for Edison, which also has two 6-6 high jumpers in Jack Reese and Bruce Mack, a triple-jump threat in David Vareen and four 50-foot shotputters.
T. C. Williams rates as a strong outdoor favorite with its own set of 6-6 high jumpers in Roland Stanfield and Teddy Robinson and a bevy of good quarter-milers. The Titans' field-event crew is bolstered by pole-vaulter Doug Rockwell, shot-putter Tony Hamed and discus man James Wellington.
Traditionally strong in the sprints, Williams has eight speedsters, including Mark Rapert, Argeal Durham, Barry Mountain and Mario McBride.
Wakefield's top-line performers carried the Warriors to a second-place indoor finish in the region. Maurice Chapman is the Great Falls champions' do-it-all performer (springts, long jump, hurdles and relays), and is backed by Dennis Carter in the triple jump and relays. Dennis Garcia in the 880 and sprinter James Faltz.
Oakton is young but has its best-ever distance tandem in sophomores Jimmy Hill and Steve Larsen, a 12-6 pole-vaulter in Chris Benjamin and a jumping threat in Lance Balthazar.
Milers Dan Huskerson and Kevin Myers, high-jumper Mike Donovan and a pole-vault trio led by Lewis Affronti boost Lake Braddock.
Other distance contenders in Virginia include Stuart's Kevin McCarten, Williams' Tom Cook, W. T. Woodson's Scott Apted, Robinson's Hugh Hennessey and Wakefield's Mike Stafford.
Stuart also boasts a 13-6 vaulter, Bob Lytle, and a discus threat, Steve Gold.
Langley's Steve Halsey should contend for the two-mile title, Bruce Bower is a long-jump hope for W. T. Woodson. Bob Myers leads Washington-Lee in the shut put and Bob Moris is Robinson's speed king. Interhigh
H. D. Woodson shoots for its fourth outdoor title in six years behind Bill Contee, the Warriors' highly touted half-miler who was clocked in 1:51 last year.
"This should be Bill's best season," said Woodson coach Stan Mullins. "He has matured. He's in full control now and knows more about pace than ever before."
Joining the Woodson senior in the middle distances are Charles Nesbitt, Ronald Crowder and Michael Lane. The Warriors also offer respectable hurdlers in Parkdale transfers Don Curtis and Theodore Megginson.
Jerome Watts, Anthony Fields, Anthony Robinson and Bobby Milner head the sprints for Woodson, which has field strength in Anthony Rose (shot put) and Joe Bellinger (high jump).
McKinley could scramble the Interhigh race if Tech's triumph in the Eastern Relays Wednesday is any indication. Twins Ronnie and Donnie Payne, Barry Tolliver and James King set a meet record in the mile relay (3:21.1) and Tech has four more speedsters in Danny Rainey, James King, ark Leach, and Timothy Street.
Ballou, with only four seniors, is led by quarter-milers Charles Chisley and Ricardo Jones, sprinters Michale Campbell and Dan Campbell and miler Michael Day.
Wilson's surprise this spring is Melford Boddie, second in the Interhigh 600 indoors. He is joined in the 440 by Thomas Haigler.
Spingarn's Dexter Hill and Dunbar's Michael Huff figure to battle in the distance events, Theodore Rossevelt has a sub-50 second quarter-miler in Paul Stanton and Coolidge hopes to contend in the sprints. Spingarn's Ricky Marsh and Anacostia's Derrick Pringle are the Interhigh's top hurdlers. Prince George's
After a rare rebuilding season, Crossland took the Maryland State AA indoor crown behind mile and two-mile champion Art Taylor.Its two-mile relay team (8:05 indoors) is among the nation's best and the Cavaliers also feature a nationally ranked indoor 880-relay quarter (1:32.2: Keith Gilger is a top weight man.
Rival Friendly hopes its indoor injuries to half-miler Keith Amick and relay ace Ken Mitchell will heal soon, along with a stress fracture to relayer Kenny Bassett. But the Patriots have healthy performers in Tom Van Lierde in the 440 and half-milers Sean Murphy, Paul Schaeffer and Mark Pyke. Greg Rannekis shores up Friendly's relay efforts.
Curtis Moore should lead Parkdale in the high jump at 6-7, while High Point has a potent running trio in Curtis Pierce (100), Paul Slaby (880) and Dave Ciccarelli (two mile).
Michael Broome of Northwestern rates as the AA's top hurdler and the Wildcats also have Carl Frederick to watch in the sprints. Potomac's Ken Russell and Tim Phanelson and Bladensburg's Gerald Chasten are other top dash men.
In the A League, Fairmont Heights has tradition on its side, having won 10 state outdoor titles in the last 12 years. Hurdler Rawle Ashley is Fairmont's top all-around athlete, while Mark Hairston is a 49-second quarter miler.
The Hornets turned in the nation's fourth-best schoolboy two-mile relay indoors (8:03), and also have two discus threats in Wilbur Wood and Bobby Thompson, a leaper in Maurice Brown and a proven half-miler in Greg Franklin. Three pole vaulters, led by Kevin Boyd, have cleared 12-6 or better.
Oxon Hill, which romped to the Pallotti Relays title last week, also has a powerful two-mile relay team and the Clippers' Robert Lee is closing on the 50-second barrier in the 440.
The A League sprints should also feature a battle between Surrattsbille's Marvin White and Butch Robinson and Eleanor Roosevelt's Aaron Copeland and Curtis Jordan. Roosevelt's Theo Hodge claimed the indoor two-mile title in 10:41.
Central should be even stronger than its last year's Maryland Class B outdoor championship team. It has more balance in the field behind weight-man Calvin Savoy, and defending state champion in half-miler Chuck Driessnack, Tom Fryer leads Central in the hurdles.
Prince George's other Class B team, Gwynn Park, is led by Dale Meunier in the pole vault, state champion Harold Green in the 100 and high jumper Steve Bailey. MONTGOMERY
Defending outdoor Maryland AA titlist Churchill is again a contender behind a solid field and relay contingent led by state discus champ Brian Holloway and sprinter Kevin Gilbert.
Chuck Heidel backs up Holloway in the discus and Garland Davis stands as another good hurdler and sprinter. Churchill always has good pole vaulterds: this year they are Chris Darling and Dave Garnitz. Charles Bosetti and Ward Wilson add field strength, while Rich Coffin and Jeff Hay lead the middle distances.
Springbrook boasts a number of outstanding individuals, including two-time county high-jump champion Jon Kinnamon and indoor winners Steve Guiliani (hurdles) and Tim Good (two-mile).
Todd Hixson leads Springbrook in the sprints, Bill Kovac contends as a sub-4:30 miler, and the Blue Devils are hoping their relay strength can offset any field weaknesses.
The two-mile relay combination of Alan Menkes, Frank Hum, Tim Kettler and John Kebler giver Whitman individual title hopes in the middle distances, while Gunner Sandine is the Vikings' top prospect in the pole vault.
Wheaton has indoor pole vault champion Donny Peterson, hurdler Rob Harleston and Dan Maddox in the 440.
Dark-horse Blair should get dash points from Jeff Seals and Victor Lee, and has a top-notch hurdler in Malcolm Hunter. Blazer Sophomore George Saah already holds the state indoor shot record (56-2 1/4).
Peary's hopes rest with Bob DeSantis, the county AA indoor 600 champ.
Defending state mile champion Cary Judd returns for District II Class A titlist Magruder, and district 100 and 220 winner Larry McKenney appears stronger this season. Cliff Sinopoli, Sylvester Carroll and Darrell Prather round out the sprint crew for The Colonels, who have a versatile hurdler in Mark Ridgeway.
Walter Johnson should fight for the A League crown, led by hurdler Charlie Hrebenach, weight-man Bob Keehn and sprinter Bob Charette.
Richard Montgomery has perhaps the area's best pole-vaulter in Tim Downs, who cleared 15 feet in a recent practice. David Crump is the Rockets' hurdle and long jump candidate.
Einstein's Larry Rosen is the area's top-flight shot-putter, having set the county record indoors (56-6 3/4). Sprinter Al Nagao is the Titans' other plus.
Kennedy has a good mile-relay team to go with Stewart Kerkhof in the mile, while Northwood has sub-2:05 half-milers in Brett Donaldson, Chris Eagle and Lowell Washington.
Wootton is paced by sprinter Duane Flowers and miler Chris Quinn, Rockville looks to Steve Fortunato in the shot and Garland Heverly in the two-mile, and Eric Kinn leads Woodward in the pole vault.
Paint Branch has the inside track in the Montgomery B League behind sprint and long jump ace Mark Shaw, the state ABC 60-yard champ, and Giles Hunter, who took the 600 crown.
The Panthers have relay power in Kevin Moore, Lionel Watson and Stirling Phillips and a sophomore standout in half-miler Jim Forbes.
Seneca Valley has veteran experience in two-miler Bill Kirschner and Laurel transfer George Guthridge in the mile. John Sluger returns from last year's knee operation to go for his second district shot title. PRIVATE
Georgetown Prep breezed to the Interstate Athletic Conference title last year and appears to be unbeatable again, with the likes of sophomore sprint sensation Dave Saunders, ranked nationally in the indoor 60 and 500. The Little Hovas' two-mile relay team of John Donegan, Anthony DEsir, Tom Raskuskas and Bill Plank was timed in 7:55.6 a month ago, the nation's fastest schoolboy time indoors.
Kip Jawish is a 56-foot shot-putter for Georgetown and Kurt Pierce is not far behind. Junior Pat Haley has cleared 6-6 in the high jump.
Steve Ferri, who ran a 4:11.5 mile and 9:00.1 two-mile indoors, is the area's dominant distance runner. However, the O'Connell star has missed training because of a bout with mononucleosis and is not expected back in action until April 12. Phil Peevy addss zip to O'Connell's distance relays, as do Steve Curran and Jim Gallahan in the mile.
St. Albans will try to catch Georgetown Prep with 177-foot discus man Clancy Brown and three other IAC titlists in Sam Peal (pole vault), Michael Randolph (long jump and triple jump) and Kwabena Gyasi (440).
Friends has a top jumping prospect in DuVal transfer Willy Williams and dash men in Rod Jones and Jimmy Small. John Chace leads St. Stephen's in the hurdles, while Landon looks to its distance men for support.
Episcopal is the area's leading Virginia Prep League power with Robert Mason in the 880 and John Voorhees, Army Welford and Ben Finney in the 440.
Good Counsel outscored Carroll in a tri-meet with Georgetown Prep last week. The Falcons have good distance stock in Ed Walsh and Pallotti transfer Tom Noel, along with Bob Graham. Matt McCardle is the returning triple-jump champ and Phil Kafarakis is a 50-second quarter-miler.
Carroll is blessed with sprint speed in Doug Alston, Jock Payne, William White and Don Younger and has four competitive distance men to go with hurdler Mark Wildy.
St. John's, in a rebuilding year, offers competition in sprinter Alfred Buckley and miler Tony Effer.