By Brent Kennedy, firstname.lastname@example.org
4:41 PM EDT, June 16, 2011
There were plenty of defining moments for Long Reach's Aneesha Scott during her final outdoor track campaign this spring.
Whether it was record-breaking races or the dominance she had on some of the season's biggest stages, Scott secured her spot as one of the all-time great sprinters to come out of Howard County.
Yet, when it comes to determining the biggest of the moments, it may be one that happened before the outdoor season even began.
"When I won those two races, (the 55 and 300), at states during indoor (season) it gave me a lot of confidence. I was like 'I finally feel like I can do it,' " Scott said. "That really changed a lot. If I could do it then, there was no reason I couldn't do the same thing during outdoor."
Scott proved she could carry her success from season to season and closed her senior year in style. She won a combined seven gold medals at the county and regional meets before capturing four more titles at the Class 2A state meet.
Those efforts have earned Scott the Columbia Flier/Howard County Times girls outdoor track athlete of the year award.
"What she did this year is a testament to her dedication to her sport," Long Reach coach Phil DeRosier said. "She wanted it and she went out and got it."
DeRosier, who started working with Scott last year, said success didn't come without her fair share of hard work.
As a junior, Scott focused her energy on the sprinting events, primarily the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Although she was already a more-than-capable runner in the 400, DeRosier knew they had to break things down and then build up from there if she was going to be great.
"To reach her full potential, we first had to teach her to drive out and work on her sprinting," he said. "I recognized she was going to eventually have her most success in the 400, but to do that we had to speed her legs up."
Scott won the 200 and was second in the 100 at the state meet as a junior, but more importantly, her foundation had been set. The improvement continued in the indoor season this year and she started peaking duringt the outdoor season once April rolled around.
Not only was she cruising in the sprints, but she had changed up her training to become a force in the 400.
"I had to do a lot more endurance work because I was used to doing mainly just sprinting and sprint workouts," Scott said. "I definitely had to run longer distances to get ready for the 400. Doing broken 600s, simulations of 400s all helped."
The work paid off at the county championships as Scott ran a time of 55.81 seconds in the 400 to set a meet record.
"That was a textbook quarter-mile," DeRosier said. "She really went out and attacked it. That race took her to a whole different level in my mind."
At counties, Scott also added victories in the 100 (12.15 seconds) and 200 (25.08) to make her the meet's only female to win three individual gold medals.
She did herself one better at the 2A South regional meet by not only winning the 100 (12.00), 200 (24.52) and 400 (56.36), but also anchoring the winning 4x100 relay squad.
Then at the state championships in Baltimore at Morgan State University, a meet at which Scott had never won more than one individual race, she completed her postseason sweep.
She started with a victory in the 100 (12.22), then followed it up with her fastest time of the postseason in the 400 (55.65), before winning her third individual gold in the 200 (25.20). She ended with a fourth gold as the anchor on the Lightning's 4x100 relay team.
For Scott, who will attend George Mason University in the fall, it was the perfect culmination to her high-school career.
"She leaves a lot of legacy behind … it's hard to put into words really," DeRosier said. "She proves that if you step out on faith, you can achieve."
All-county first team
Named to the all-county first team are:
Caitlin Davis, River Hill
Events: pole vault, long jump and triple jump
Postseason highlights: Took home first in the pole vault (10 feet), second in the long jump (17 feet-5.5 inches) and sixth in the triple jump (34-0) at the county championship meet. Won the triple jump (34-3.75) and long jump (16-7.5) at the 3A East regional meet. At the 3A state meet, finished third in the triple jump (35-11.75) and sixth in the long jump (16-4).
Anna Demaree, River Hill
Event: 1,600-meter run
Postseason highlights: Placed third in the 1,600 (5:24.24) at the county championships, before rebounding to win that very same race at the 3A East regional (5:17.60) and 3A state championship (5:07.48) meets. Also finished sixth in the 800 (2:26.79) at the 3A East regional meet.
Kristen Fawole, Long Reach
Events: triple jump, long jump and 100-meter dash
Postseason highlights: Won the triple jump (35-11), while placing third in the long jump (16-9) and fifth in the 100 (13.089) at the county championship meet. Second in the long jump (16-5) and fourth in the triple jump (35-3) at the 2A South regional. Second in the triple jump (37-4.25) and third in the long jump (16-7) at the 2A state championships.
Alexis Harris, Reservoir
Events: high jump, 100- and 200-meter dashes
Postseason highlights: Earned titles in the high jump (5-1), 100 (12.15) and 200 (24.84) at the 3A East regional meet. Finished fourth in the 100 (12.42), sixth in the 200 (25.99) and sixth in the high jump (5-0) at the 3A state meet.
Tiffany Lang, Oakland Mills
Events: 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs
Postseason highlights: First in the 1,600 (5:18.55) and second in the 3,200 (11:46) at the county championship meet. First in the 3,200 (11:44.35) and second in the 1,600 (5:26.30) at the 2A South regional meet. Placed third in the 1,600 (5:20.71) and fourth in the 3,200 (11:58.65) at the 2A state championships.
Christine London, Howard
Events: 100- and 300-meter hurdles
Postseason highlights: First in the 100 hurdles (14.88) and 300 hurdles (46.96) at the county championship meet. Won the 100 hurdles (14.54) and 300 hurdles (45.68) at the 3A East regional meet. Placed first in the 300 hurdles (43.71) and eighth in the 100 hurdles (22.51) at the 3A state championships.
Amanda Mercer, Hammond
Events: long jump and 100-meter dash
Postseason highlights: Won the long jump (17-7) and finished sixth in the 100 (13.10) at the county championships. Won the long jump (16-9.5) at the 2A South regional and finished sixth in the long jump (16-4.5) at the 2A state meet.
Hannah McFadden, Atholton
Events: 200-, 800- and 1,600-meter wheelchair
Postseason highlights: Won the 200- (35.49), 800- (2:25.91) and 1,600-meter (5:02.61) wheelchair races at the county championships. Finished first in the 200-(34.78), 800- (2:25.00) and 1,600-meter (4:57.00) wheelchair events at the 3A East regional. Won the 200-(35.13), 800- (2:20.70) and 1,600-meter (4:41.80) wheelchair races at the 3A state meet.
Titi Oden, Hammond
Events: 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes
Postseason highlights: Finished second in the 100 (12.50) and 200 (25.62), while also finishing third in the 400 (57.82), at the county championship meet. Earned second place finishes in the 100 (12.12), 200 (25.33) and 400 (57.53) at the 2A South regional meet. Second in the 100 (12.46) and 200 (25.75), in addition to a third-place effort in the 400 (58.04), at the 2A state championships.
Tope Olujobi, River Hill
Events: discus and shot put
Postseason highlights: First in the discus (106-5) and second in the shot put (29-7.75) at the county championships. Placed second in the discus (97-9.5) and shot put (32-1.25) at the 3A East regional meet. Eighth in the discus (92-3) at the 3A state championships.
Kayla Servance, Reservoir
Events: discus and shot put
Postseason highlights: Won the shot put (29-10.75) and finished second in the discus (99-0) at the county championship meet. Champion of the shot put (32-2.5) and discus (103-1.5) at the 3A East regional.
Michaela Wilkins, Mt. Hebron
Events: 400- and 800-meter runs
Postseason highlights: Won the 800 (2:25.52) and was second in the 400 (57.59) at the county championships. Champion of the 400 (58.88) and 800 (2:20.50) at the 3A East regional meet. First in the 800 (2:16.05) and fifth in the 400 (58.43) at the 3A state championship meet.
Rachel Yep, Mt. Hebron
Events: 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs
Postseason highlights: Won the 3,200 (11:35.91) and finished sixth in the 1,600 (5:28.05) at the county championship meet. Won the 3,200 (11:44.72) and finished fifth in the 1,600 (5:27.52) at the 3A East regional. Placed fourth at the 3A state championships in the 3,200 (11:51.26).