Performer of the Year
Justin Murdock, Meade
The dynamic sprinter made the alreadytough Meade team that muchbetter when he transferred from GlenBurnie this school year. He's been nationallyranked as sprinter the pastfew years, and he played a big role inthe top-ranked Mustangs' run to a secondconsecutive outdoor state title.
Murdock, a senior who is headed toClemson, finished second in the 100and 200 in the Class 3A state competition,losing in close finishes to Westlake speedster DevonSmith both times. But Murdock bounced back with a victoryin the 400 (47.51 seconds) and ran on the second-place 800 relayteam.
Coach Nigel Holder said Murdock needed some time to adjustto Meade's way of doing things, but once he settled in,Murdock took off and was a huge asset for the Mustangs.
Coach of the Year
Shedrick Elliott, Western Tech
The Wolverines were far from atrack power when Elliott became acoach at Western Tech in 2006, butthe program changed dramaticallyunder him.
A former high school track starhimself, Elliott developed a talentedgroup of athletes and had them scoringpoints in a number of ways.
Elliott made no secret of the factthat he thought his team had the talentto do big things this spring, and hecarefully pointed them toward peaking at the right time.That strategy paid off, as the Wolverines captured the BaltimoreCounty, regional and state titles with little trouble. Infact, they nearly pulled off a sweep at the state meet, but thegirls came up a few points short.
The Wolverines will lose top runner Jermol Dix after thisyear, but Elliott has laid the foundation for a lot of goodthings in the next few years.
Graham Bazell, Atholton
Bazell spent much of the winter training to stay in shape after a stress fracture of his ankle sidelined the junior. But Bazell came back strong this spring, looking as good as ever in the 3,200, which he won in the Class 3A division of the state meet.
He took an early lead in that race and Bazell held on against rival Joey Thompson of Howard to capture the race in 9 minutes, 18.69 seconds. It avenged a loss to Thompson in the Howard County title meet.
Pat Boyle, Calvert Hall
The senior was one of the state's top performers in the shot put during the winter, and it was more of the same in the spring. He was again dominant for the Cardinals and easily won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championship with a throw of 57 feet, 2 inches.
That gave the Temple-bound Boyle a victory of nearly 7 feet over his brother, Sean.
Matthew Brinkley, Meade
He was part of a group of four athletes who helped carry Meade to a second straight outdoor state title. Brinkley, like teammates Justin Murdock, Anya Uzoh and Dahmar Smiles, helped the Mustangs with his versatility.
The senior showed that versatility at the state meet by taking second in the Class 3A 300 hurdles and the open 800. Brinkley also took fourth in the 110 hurdles.
Lane Clelland, McDonogh
He was one of the area's top performers in the discus this spring. Clelland's best effort came in the MIAA championship meet, where his throw of 148-10 gave him an easy victory. That throw was one of the best in the metro area this spring.
The senior had several throws in that range, including one that went 143-1 at the McDonogh Invitational. He's headed to Notre Dame in the fall to play football.
Jermol Dix, Western Tech
The senior capped an outstanding career with a strong performance at the state meet that carried the Wolverines to their first state title. Dix won the 300 hurdles (40.80) despite clipping the final hurdle and falling. He got up and lunged over the finish line to win. He also was second in the long jump and ran on the winning 1,600-meter relay team.
Dix's emergence was a big reason the Wolverines swept the Baltimore County, regional and state Class 1A titles. He is headed to UMES.
Anthony Drumgoole, Digital Harbor
The junior helped carry DigitalHarbor to a second-place finish inthe Class 1A state meet. Drumgoolemissed the Baltimore City meet afterspraining his knee, an injurythat limited him in the regional thefollowing week.
But Drumgoole was back ontrack in the state meet, winningthe 100 (10.98) and 200 (22.06) andrunning on the first-place 400 and800 relay teams.
Eric Franklin, Archbishop Curley
The Friars needed all of Franklin'shelp to edge Mount St. Josephand repeat as the MIAA champion.Franklin won the 100 hurdles(14.85), took fourth in the 300 hurdlesand sixth in the 100.
The junior was undefeated in the110 hurdles this spring and ran onthe MIAA record-setting 800 relayteam. He is being recruited by anumber of Division I schools forfootball.
Corey Fuller, Woodlawn
He's been ranked among the nation'sbest in the triple jumpthroughout his senior year, andFuller stepped up in the big eventsthis spring. His recorded the area'sbest, 47-10.5, at the Penn Relays.
Fuller then captured the Class 4Astate title with a mark of 46-11.25,giving him a margin of victory ofmore than 2 feet. He will be goingto Kansas in the fall.
Dorian Johnson, Mount St. Joseph
He helped the Gaels push ArchbishopCurley at the MIAA championshipmeet as Mount St. Josephwas second, just three points behindthe Friars. Johnson won thelong jump (22-0.75) and took secondin the triple jump (45-3), narrowlylosing to McDonogh's Justin Gross.(45.4.5).
Johnson, a junior, was one of thearea's top performers in both of theevents throughout the spring, justas he was during the indoor season.
Sumanth Kuppali, Perry Hall
The senior had shown flashes ofhis talent the past few years intrack and cross country, but hebroke through in the fall and becameone of the area's dominantrunners this spring.
Kuppali won the 800 (1:57.53)and 1,600 (4:30.40) at the BaltimoreCounty meet. He came in second inthe Class 4A 1,600 at the state meetand third in the 3,200.
Shawn Myers, Perry Hall
The pole vaulter followed up hisindoor state championship withanother state title this spring. Thesenior captured the Class 4A crownwith an impressive vault of 14-6,which was the best vault in any ofthe four classes at the state meet.
That followed a victory at theBaltimore County meet, where hisvault of 13-6 gave him an easy win.
Dahmar Smiles, Meade
He did a little bit of everything tohelp Meade win another state titlethis spring. Smiles won the Class 3A110 hurdles in 14.27 by taking thelead midway through the race andpulling away late to edge out ZachRay of Huntingtown -- who hadbeaten him in the preliminaries.
Smiles took third in the 300 hurdlesand fourth in the 400. The senioralso helped the Mustangs byrunning on the second-place 800 relayteam.
Joey Thompson, Howard
The senior continued to be one ofthe area's top distance runners,aided by the signature kick that lefthis opponents behind. He used it tobeat rival Graham Bazell of Atholtonin the 3,200 at the HowardCounty title meet.
Thompson won the 1,600(4:20.74) in the Class 3A state titlemeet and nearly caught Bazell inthe 3,200 with a flat-out sprint onthe final lap. He finished second,less than one second behind him.
Anya Uzoh, Meade
The versatile senior was one ofcoach Nigel Holder's "Four Horsemen,"who led the Mustangs to asecond straight outdoor state title(they also won the indoor statecrown this past winter).
Uzoh was able to score points ina number of ways. He won theClass 3A high jump (6-2) at the statemeet and finished sixth in the 400.Uzoh also ran on the 800 relayteam that finished second.
Name, School, Cl.
Jabulani Blyden Gilman Jr.
Mason Campbell Towson Sr.
George Chambers Arch. Curley So.
Issa Connell North Carroll Sr.
Andy Darmody Mt. St. Joseph Sr.
Floyd Hawkes Western Tech Sr.
Jackson Jordan Mount Hebron Sr.
Jerome Junior Arch. Curley Jr.
Brenden Morales Westminster Jr.
Craig Morgan River Hill Jr.
Joe Orsulak Loyola Jr.
Markeith Price Mt. St. Joseph Sr.
Lee Reynolds Poly Sr.
Anthony Rowe Calvert Hall Sr.
Dontay Taylor Carver Tech Sr.
Note: Teams selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun