TOP PERFORMER: Jesse O'Connell, Westminster: The gangling O'Connell was the key performer for Westminster as it was winning the state class 4A-3A title for the first time indoors. The senior won the 800 in 1:59.8, was a close second in the 500 and served as anchor on the winning distance relay team (8:18.1) that got the team off to a flying start. He doubled in the 500/800 and ran two relays as Westminster was winning its regional title and was the top point scorer as the Owls were taking the Central Maryland Conference crown. At the National Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championships, O'Connell ran fourth in the 800 in 1:54.9 and ran a 11:53.5 split in the distance medley relay.
COACH: Jim Shank, Westminster: Keeping the boys pushing, a lot of the same lads who captured the state 4A cross country title last fall - that was one of the assignments Jim Shank faced when the indoor campaign commenced. Obviously, the job got done as the Owls won their first indoor state title. Middle distance runner Jesse O'Connell and hurdler/jumper Jared Craig were the main ingredients, but at least a dozen others made constant contributions. Next up, the state outdoor title. The teams First teamJesse O'Connell, Westminster senior Victor Thillet, Old Mill senior Mike Styczynski, River Hill senior Alan McDavid, Calvert Hall senior Chris Scott, North County senior Nick Wright, Mount St. Joseph senior Clevon Johnson, Woodlawn senior Dan Liden, Old Mill senior Jeremy Moore, Broadneck junior Kyle Farmer, Oakland Mills juniorBoys second teamJared Craig, Westminster senior Anthony Jenkins, Woodlawn senior Nick Fambro, Oakland Mills senior Luis George, Long Reach senior Steve Chu, River Hill senior Marques Sneed, Catonsville senior Kevin Merrick, Mervo senior Chris Wright, Mount St. Joseph junior Gary Bates, Randallstown junior Andy Kuchera, Westminster juniorMike Styczynski, River Hill: The All-Metro cross country runner of the year just kept on going into the indoor season, starting off with a solid 9:13.4 in the 3,000 meters at the Pangaea Invitational. The senior won the state 3A-2A two-mile in 9:54.9, was third in the mile (4:35.2) and on the winning 3200 relay quartet as River Hill was winning the team crown. He was second in both the mile and two-mile in the 3A-2A West Region.
Alan McDavid, Calvert Hall: The strength of the victorious Calvert Hall team, both indoors and out, is speed. And the team leader in this department is McDavid. He won all his 300-yard races in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association meets (4) this winter and took three of four at 60 yards. The senior anchors two usually-winning relay teams. He was All-Metro outdoors last spring.
Kyle Farmer, Oakland Mills: They don't come much better than this junior speed merchant. He was unbeaten in the 55 and 300 this season, registering bests of 6.3 and 36.2. He doubled in the sprints at the state (2A-1A), region and county championships and also anchored the usually victorious mile and 800 relay teams. He won the 55 at the Pangaea and National Guard meets.
Chris Scott, North County: In the Anne Arundel County championships last month, Scott gave a pretty good imitation of being a one-man track team as he racked up 38 points, good for fifth place by himself. The senior won the 55 hurdles, as expected, the 300 and 55 dash, by inches, and was second in the high jump. He took third in the state high jump, but missed a chance at the 4A-3A hurdles crown, where he would have been co-favorite, by false starting in a preliminary.
Jeremy Moore, Broadneck: With a best of 53-3, the burly Moore beat his metro area shot put competition by about five feet this season. Consistent in the 50-foot neighborhood, the junior won at county and region (50-8) before producing his best heave for second behind an awesome 58-7 effort by Vikas Gowda of Frederick in the state 4A-3A final.
Nick Wright, Mount St. Joseph: Arguably the best high jumper/hurdler in the area - after all, there's Chris Scott of North County and Jared Craig of Westminster to be considered - Wright can match anyone's combined numbers with bests of 6 feet 6 inches and 7.4. The senior led MIAA runner-up Mount St. Joe by scoring 124 points this season, hit a high jump/hurdles double in a meet at Dickinson (Pa.) College and is a creditable relay runner.
Clevon Johnson, Woodlawn: With his best times of the season, the senior finished third and fourth in the state 4A-3A mile and 800, respectively, with times of 4:36 and 2:02.5. He captured both events at the Baltimore County championships and had a pair of seconds in a regional that Woodlawn won handily. He's an important cog on Woodlawn's outstanding relay teams.
Dan Liden, Old Mill: Together with runner Victor Thillet, the senior has been an almost assured winner in his specialty, the pole vault, for the last two years. He scored a triple during the indoor season, taking county, region and state 4A-3A titles with jumps of an area-best 13 feet or 12-6.
Victor Thillet, Old Mill: The 5-5, 130-pounder has been the top performer in Anne Arundel County the last two seasons and with good reason: The senior is worth 30 points in a county meet, invariably winning the mile, two-mile and 800 meters. Old Mill has won the team title the last two years and Thillet took the 4A-3A mile at the recent state meet, but forfeited the title when declared ineligible for academic reasons.