Runner of the Year: Tenke Zoltani, Dulaney
If there were a Comeback Runner of the Year award, Zoltani would have claimed that, too. First, the senior overcame surgery on both of her legs and the words of one doctor who said she might never run again. Then, Zoltani proved that she never lost the competitive fire that earned her All-Metro and Baltimore City/County Runner of the Year honors for the second time in three seasons. Zoltani captured first place at the Class 3A North regional meet, the Baltimore County Championships, the Barnhardt Invitational and the elite race of the Bull Run. Her time of 18:53 at the Bull Run was one second off the course record set by Karen Pulliam of Quince Orchard last year. Although Zoltani finished third at the state event, she paced the top-ranked Lions to their fifth state championship since 1994. Her time of 19:18.3 in the Northeast region of the Foot Locker Championships was the fastest by a Maryland runner.
Coach of the Year: Jim McCoach, Maryvale
First-year programs usually struggle before achieving success. But not McCoach's Lions. No. 10 Maryvale won two invitationals -- the Greenspring Valley and Lake Forest -- in its first season of varsity cross country, and defeated Notre Dame Prep and Mount de Sales, two Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland powerhouses, in conference dual meets. The Lions won every IAAM meet except against No. 3 Bryn Mawr. McCoach, who coached his 99th season of varsity sports this fall and guided Maryvale's indoor track team to the regular-season title, molded a squad that was composed of four freshmen, two sophomores and one senior.
Lauren Centrowitz, Broadneck
Centrowitz, a second-team All-Metro pick last season, concentrated on improving a sixth-place finish at the Peter Geraghty Invitational, her first meet of the season. She won the Anne Arundel County and Class 4A East championships and was second at the state meet in 19:59.73, the seventh-fastest time at Hereford. The Runner of the Year in Anne Arundel County also won the sophomore race at the Foot Locker event in 19:34.0.
Laura Drossner, Bryn Mawr
No. 1 runners may be difficult to find, but searching for a solid No. 2 runner can be even tougher. The No. 3 Mawrtians solved that problem last year with Drossner. The sophomore provided a near-perfect complement to Nyam Kagwima, sometimes outracing the opponent's top runner. Drossner, a second-team All-Metro pick last season, was second at the St. John's and Spiked Shoe invitationals and in the small-schools division of the Anne Arundel Invitational. Fifth at the IAAM Championships, she was fourth in the sophomores race at the Foot Locker meet.
Laura Garrett, Mount de Sales
Garrett made herself a fixture in the handful of runners that broke away from the pack during a race. The sophomore fell short of winning a major event, but she was third at the Mid-Atlantic Private Schools Championships and at the Barnhardt and Peter Geraghty invitationals. She was fourth at the IAAM Championships and in the small-schools division of the Anne Arundel Invitational. She was 17th in the sophomores race at the Foot Locker event.
Rachel Hawes, Century
One of two freshmen on the All-Metro team, Hawes produced a finish that many would envy. At the Bull Run -- Century's first meet as a varsity program -- Hawes was fifth in the small-schools race. As she strengthened her form in Central Maryland Conference meets, Hawes broke through with a first-place performance at the Westminster Invitational. She ran off three more wins at the CMC, county and Class 1A Central championships. Hawes was third at the state meet and was named Carroll County Runner of the Year.
Nyam Kagwima, Bryn Mawr
Only three runners can say they beat Dulaney's Tenke Zoltani this season, and Kagwima is one of them. The junior won the seeded race of the Georgetown Prep Classic in 18:59, edging Zoltani by six seconds. Kagwima also claimed first-place medals at the Spiked Shoe and St. John's invitationals. She was second in the elite race at Bull Run and third in the small-schools division of the Anne Arundel Invitational. Despite finishing second at the IAAM Championships, Kagwima powered the Mawrtians to their second conference crown in three years.
Cori Koch, Towson
Koch's formidable ability may have brought out the best in Dulaney's Tenke Zoltani. Koch, last season's All-Metro Runner of the Year, was second at the Baltimore County Championships and third in the elite race at Bull Run -- both won by Zoltani. But Koch captured her second consecutive Class 2A state and regional titles. The senior's time of 19:44.69 at the state meet led the No. 6 Generals to their first state crown in 10 years. Koch also won the Meade Autumn Classic for the second year in a row and the small-schools division of the Anne Arundel Invitational.
Christine Myers, Dulaney
The senior understood her role as the No. 2 runner behind Tenke Zoltani and contributed in every race. Myers finished second at the Class 3A North regional and Barnhardt meets and fourth at the county and state championships. A second-team All-Metro choice last year, she was seventh in the elite race at Bull Run and the seeded division at the Georgetown Prep Classic. Her time of 19:29.1 in the seeded race of the Foot Locker event was the second fastest by a Maryland runner.
Carrie Selmer, Glenelg
The Howard County Runner of the Year was the leader of a Gladiators squad that finished second at the state meet for the second year in a row. The senior finished third at states and could not repeat as state champ, but she grabbed first-place medals at the county championships and the Howard County Striders Invitational. She was second at the Class 2A West regional meet and in the large-schools race at the Interstate Classic. She was 12th in the seniors division at the Foot Locker event.
Glenna Sullivan, Maryvale
Sullivan proved to be the formidable No. 1 runner the Lions were seeking, wowing many observers with her speed and determination. The freshman started with top-five finishes at the Mid-Atlantic Classic and the St. John's and small-schools division of the Anne Arundel invitationals. She followed up a second-place finish in the small-schools race at the Georgetown Prep Classic by upsetting Bryn Mawr's Nyam Kagwima and Laura Drossner and Mount de Sales' Laura Garrett to grab the IAAM title. Next season, Sullivan and the Lions could be a serious contender for an IAAM crown.
Name School Class
Tarynn Barker North Carroll Senior
Becca Funk Severna Park Senior
Deborah Green Northern Senior
Jessica Hepner C. Milton Wright Senior
Laura Holtrop Chapelgate Junior
Morgan Little C. Milton Wright Junior
Melissa McCarthy Mount Hebron Senior
Anastasia Mukhina Towson Senior
Tricia O'Connell Catonsville Senior
Cheryl Williams North Carroll SeniorCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun