Performer of the Year
Torrie Saunders, Annapolis
Saunders has been a key cog on Annpolis' team throughout her career, but the senior often was in the shadow of teammate Jessica Tongue. This season, Saunders raised her game and helped the Panthers win the Anne Arundel County title and finish a close second in the Class 3A state meet.
Saunders played a huge role at the state meet, winning the triple jump (37 geet, 4.75 inches) and 300 hurdles (44.49 seconds) and running on the victorious 400 relay team.
Although she was an accomplished performer before this spring, she had never won an individual state title. "It made all the work worth it," Saunders said.
Coach of the Year
Earl Lauer, River Hill
Using a no-nonsense approach,Lauer helped turn the Hawks aroundthis season. He took over after RiverHill finished 11th in Howard Countylast year, guiding the Hawks to thecounty title this spring and a second-placefinish in the state in Class 2A.
The talent was there, as River Hillwon the state title in cross countrylast fall, but Lauer worked hard at gettingother athletes to join the trackteam. He also helped strong young runners like Anna Demareedevelop.
With runners such as Demaree and Katie Harman, plusother talented athletes returning, the Hawks could be theteam to beat again next spring.
Funmi Alabi, Long Reach
Alabi continued to show why she's one of the area's most versatile and talented sprinters.
The junior won the Class 3A 100-meter dash at the state meet (11.81 seconds), and finished third in the 200 in a close race.
She also ran on a pair of fourth-place relay teams, in the 400 and 800.
Kristen Brown, McDonogh
She combined with teammate Amanda Kimbers to make McDonogh almost unbeatable this spring. The sophomore came up big in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship meet, winning the long jump (18 feet, 3 1/4 inches), 100 hurdles (14.37) and 300 hurdles (45.60).
Brown also ran on the victorious 800 relay team (1:45.43). Overall, she had a hand in 40 McDonogh points, as the Eagles had little trouble repeating as IAAM champions.
Kellie Christian, Catonsville
Christian was slowed a bit by hamstring injuries suffered at the state indoor meet, but the junior remained one of the toughest 400-meter runners in the area. Christian finished second in the 400 at the Class 3A state meet, losing a close race to Danielle Brock of Westlake.
She was a member of the victorious 1,600-meter relay team, as the Comets finished sixth overall in the state.
Jenna Cimino, Hereford
Cimino stepped up this spring, as the Bulls had a few holes to fill even though they won the Baltimore County indoor track title. Her consistent distance running and good performances at crucial times helped Hereford take the outdoor county crown, as well.
The junior capped off the season with a victory in the 1,600 (5:11.24) at the Class 3A state meet and a third-place finish in the 800. Baltimore County coaches picked her as the performer of the season this spring.
Amanda Deller, Aberdeen
The junior capped a fine season with a standout performance at the Class 3A state meet. Deller took first in the shot put (41- 1/2 ) and the discus (119-10). Her marks in both were the best in the area this spring.
The discus throw is even more impressive considering Deller threw about 20 feet less (99-2) in taking fourth place in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship meet a few weeks before. Deller won the shot put at that meet meet before putting it all together at the state meet.
Anna Demaree, River Hill
The freshman wasted little timein becoming one of the area's toprunners. In Howard County, shesurpassed teammate Katie Harman(a state champion) to become thecounty's best distance runner.
She finished second in theClass 2A 800 and 1,600, and third inthe 3,200 at the state meet, as shehelped the Hawls finish second.That came after a spectacular performanceat the Howard Countychampionships, when Demareewon the 800 (2:23.39), 1,600 (5:12.58)and 3,200 (11:36.72) to help RiverHill win the county title.
Alese Forbes, Northwestern
The junior made her mark bywinning two Class 2A state titles,which are believed to be the onlyindividual state crowns ever wonby the program. Forbes capturedthe crowns in the 100 (12.27) and400 (56.97).
She worked closely with coachJerry Molyneaux, who came to theschool after nearly two decades atWestern. Molyneaux said Forbesgives a growing Northwestern programsomeone to build aroundnext year.
Joceyln Henline, Marriotts Ridge
Moving up one class didn't botherHenline this spring. The seniorwon the Class 1A state title lastyear in the pole vault at 10 feet, anddid the exact same thing this spring-- in Class 2A. She edged KatieMiller of J.M. Bennett (also at 10feet) for the state title. That gaveHenline a bit of revenge after Millerbeat her for the state title duringindoor track season.
Henline also topped Laura Shoemakerof Wilde Lake to take theHoward County title earlier in thespring. She'll be going to South Carolinain the fall.
Amanda Kimbers, McDonogh
Kimbers had much better luck thisspring than in the winter. The juniorhelped McDonogh remain a powerfulteam during the indoor season, butshe suffered a broken foot in a freakaccident the night before the IAAMchampionships, which opened thedoor for Seton Keough to win theteam title in February.
But Kimbers was healthy thisspring and helped the Eagles repeatas the outdoor IAAM champions. Shewon the 100 (12.20) and 200 (25.29),ran on the victorious 400 relay team(49.80) and finished third in the longjump at the championship meet.
Maura Linde, Century
The freshman quickly establishedherself as one of the area'stop distance runners. She turned ina spectacular performance at thestate meet, winning the Class 2A1,600 (5:05.91) and 3,200 (10:57.51)in a tough field that included RiverHill's Anna Demaree. Linde alsotook third in the 800, making agood push at the end, and ran onthe fourth-place 3,200 relay team.
Linde's times in these races wereamong the area's best this springdespite the fact that she was in herfirst year of varsity competition.
Michelle Newman, Eastern Tech
Newman set a Class 2A record inwinning last year's triple jumpstate title (38-10 3/4), and she repeatedas champion this season with ajump of 38-4 1/2. That jump gaveNewman a victory by more than afoot over runner-up Page Harris ofClarksburg.
It was the second-best triplejump in all four classes at the statemeet. Newman, a senior, showedher versatility by running on tworelay teams at the state meet andfinishing fourth in the long jump.
Tyshia Oliver, R.F. Lewis
Oliver fared well in the big meetsthis past winter, and she did just aswell in the spring. The senior wonthe Class 1A state title in the 400,setting a class record (55.63) in hervictory. Oliver also took second inthe 800, fourth in the long jumpand ran on the seventh-place 1,600relay.
With Oliver graduating, the ReginaldF. Lewis track team will nowhave a huge void to fill.
Lacey Shuman, Maryvale
Shuman came out of the blue tobecome perhaps the area's besthigh jumper during the winter, andshe kept it going this spring.
The sophomore came up bigagain at the IAAM championshipmeet, as she was the only highjumper to go above five feet--winningthe event at 5-4. That came aftera strong performance at thePenn Relays, where she connectedon a 5-5 jump.
Jessica Tongue, Annapolis
One of the area's top sprintersthe past few years, she turned inanother strong season this spring.Tongue, a senior, combined withTorrie Saunders to help Annapolisfinish second in the state inClass 3A, just two points out of first.
Tongue won the 200 (24.16) andfinished second in the 100 hurdles.She also ran on the winning 400 relayteam. Tongue and Saunderscombined to score all of Annapolis'56 points in the state meet. She alsocombined with Saunders to helpAnnapolis win its first Anne ArundelCounty title.
Name, School, Cl.
Sara Bailey C.M. Wright Sr.
Erin Brooks Seton Keough Sr.
Lauren Campbell Western Tech Sr.
Katie Harman River Hill Jr.
Alexis Hurd North Carroll Jr.
Racquel Jones Western Sr.
Alyssa McClure Digital Harbor So.
Amber Melville North Carroll Fr.
Uju Ofoche Parkville Jr.
Rachel Pillion Towson Jr.
Brinae Robinson Western Fr.
Erika Stasakova John Carroll Sr.
Sophie Thomas North Carroll Sr.
Chelsea Walker Digital Harbor So.
Moriah Young McDonogh Jr.
Note: Team selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun