Boys Performer of the YearJustin Murdock
When Murdock decided to go out for indoor track as a junior, he didn't know much about the sport. He just knew that he wanted to use track to sharpen his skills and increase his speed for football.
It didn't take long, however, to realize that Murdock was a special athlete on the track as well as the football field. He won the Class 4A-3A state title that winter in the 55-meter dash and kept rolling from there.
He captured the Class 4A state title in the 100 last spring and was even better this year. No one came close to the senior this winter, as Murdock breezed in every race. He ended the season by twice setting the national standard for the 55-meter dash in the span of a few days.
Murdock ran the 55 in 6.27 seconds in the regional meet, and then later in the week posted a time of 6.21, still the best time in the country.
Coach of the YearSteve Williams
Williams pushed the team concept this season, and it paid off for the Engineers, who won their first Baltimore City and Class 2A-1A state titles. Poly used the talents of versatile performers such as Jamin Gallman to score points in numerous places.
Williams built strong relay teams, which carried the day at the state meet. Poly scored 28 of its 52 points in the relays alone, which helped the Engineers beat Liberty by eight points.
First TeamGraham Bazell Atholton Bazell already had gained respect as one of the area's better distance runners, but this was a breakout season for him. He started off with a time of 9 minutes, 13.65 seconds in the 3,200 meters at the Montgomery Invitational on Jan. 13, the nation's best time at that point.
Bazell then won the 1,600 and 3,200 at both the Howard County and Class 3A-2A West regional meets. The sophomore finished second in the 1,600 at the state meet and won the 3,200 in 9:30.06, which shattered the meet record.
Ben Burden North Carroll The girls team got most of the glory at North Carroll this season, but Burden quietly made a name for himself in the shot put. Burden's throw of 48 feet, 11 inches blew away the competition at the Carroll County meet, as he won by more than 6 feet.
The senior then finished second in the regional and took fourth in the state. Burden had the best throw for a public school student in the metro area this season.
Jamin Gallman Poly He played a major role in Poly winning its first Baltimore City and state championships. The senior won the 500 at the Class 2A-1A state meet and later ran on the relay team that helped Poly get past Liberty and win by eight points.
Gallman's versatility allowed Engineers coach Steve Williams to tailor his strategy to a given opponent.
Nick Hruch Liberty Headed to Bucknell next year, Hruch won he Class 2A-1A state championship in the high jump. He also took third in the 500 and 800 despite running with a swollen ankle that he did not tell Liberty coach Bobby Ward about.
Hruch also ran on the 3,200 relay team that finished third. The senior was a big reason that Liberty pushed eventual champion Poly to the limit before finishing second.
Quentin James Reservoir James came away with four gold medals at the Howard County championships. The senior then won the 55 hurdles at the Class 3A-2A West regionals and took second in the 300.
James did the same thing in the 300 at the state meet and was third in the 55 hurdles. He was consistent all season despite dealing with the illness of his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Tom Meyer Mount St. Joseph The versatile senior helped the Gaels dominate their competition this season. Meyer set a meet record in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championships with his run of 1 minute, .07 seconds in the 500.
Meyer, who is headed to Army next year, ran in the 500, 800 and 1,600, and also was the anchor on the 3,2000 relay team.
Duane Parker Mount St. Joseph He went undefeated in the 300 meters, long jump and triple jump, and also ran the first leg of the 800 relay. The sophomore got four gold medals at the MIAA championships, helping the Gaels cruise to the title.
Parker, whose older brother Dwight is a track star at Woodlawn, has been voted the Gaels' Most Valuable Player in each of his first two seasons.
Chris Wagner Fallston Harford County doesn't officially recognize indoor track as a sport, so teams are basically clubs, but that didn't stop Wagner. The senior broke the Class 3A and state record by winning the 800 in 1:57.04. That gave Fallston all 10 of its points at the state meet.
His record-breaking time was more than seven seconds better than his time in the Class 3A-2A Central regional meet, where he edged Isaac Richardson of Mervo by one second for the win.
Henry Watts Old Mill The senior had the state's best high jump of the year (6-7). Watts won the Anne Arundel County and Class 4A-3A East regional titles before barely losing at the state meet.
He tied Jamal Currica from Damascus at 6-6 but lost on misses. Watts was consistent all season long, giving the Patriots 10 points at almost every meet.
Sam Wilson South River The senior pole vaulter capped an outstanding season with impressive performances in the county, regional and state meets.
Wilson took the county title with a vault of 12-6. He then twice edged Shawn Meyers of Perry Hall to capture titles, first in the Class 4A-3A Central regional meet and then in the state meet.
Malik Zafar Meade Zafar helped the Mustangs become one of the area's dominant teams. He was consistent throughout the season and came up big in the Anne Arundel County, regional and state meets.
The senior won the 1,600 and 3,200 in the county and took third in the 800. He then captured the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Class 4A-3A Central regional meet. At the state meet, Zafar was a close second in the 1,600 and finished eighth in the 3,200.
Second TeamName, School, Class
J.P. Allera Wilde Lake Senior
Darren Bell Arundel Senior
Darryl Bell Pikesville Senior
Matthew Brinkley Meade Junior
Brent Dawson Century Senior
Justin Fontanoza Lansdowne Senior
Eric Liberatore Liberty Junior
Shawn Meyers Perry Hall Junior
Dwight Parker Woodlawn Senior
Matt Parks Mount St. Joseph Senior
Lemuel Pridgen Poly Junior
Rob Wetzel Arch. Spalding Senior
Note // Teams selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.