Performer of the Year: Lindsay Grigoriev, Atholton
For additional perspective on how talented Grigoriev is, consider that her record-setting discus throw of 160 feet, 5 inches at the Penn Relays in April was just 5 feet less than the winning mark among the collegiate throwers. At times, it seemed that Grigoriev was performing on a higher different level than her high school competition.
The senior set state records in the discus and shot put at the Class 2A state championships. Her discus heave of 155-10 shattered the previous mark of 151-6 established in 1992 by Mattie Cymek of Chesapeake-AA. With that toss, Grigoriev joined Cymek as the only participants to break the 150-foot barrier. Grigoriev then threw the shot put 44-1 1/4 , which eclipsed the 1981 record of 43-10 set by Carolyn Brown of Woodlawn.
She swept both events on the Howard County and West region levels. At the county championships, she broke her own records in the discus and shot put. Her throw of 152-7 in the discus was 17 inches farther than her previous mark, while her shot-put heave of 43-2 was better by 2-11.
Grigoriev, who captured her third straight state crown in the discus and her second consecutive title in the shot put, graduated as one of the most decorated athletes in track and field history. She walked away with eight indoor and outdoor state championships and ownership of three state records - the shot put and discus in outdoor competition and the shot put in indoor competition.
Grigoriev, who has entertained visions of competing in the Olympics since she was 8, will continue her track and field career on a partial scholarship at Kansas State, which has pledged to train her as a heptathlete.
Co-Coaches of the Year: Keri Hymen and Jay Umholtz, Century
Without a single senior on their roster, the Knights - only in their second year as a varsity program - made their first statement with a 31-point victory at the Carroll Invitational that included 2002 Class 2A state champion Glenelg and eight-time Carroll County titlist Westminster. After placing fourth at the Central Maryland Conference championships behind Frederick County powers Thomas Johnson, Frederick and Urbana, Century bounced back in emphatic fashion, toppling Westminster by 32 points to claim the school's first county title.
Blessed with the county Performer of the Year in sophomore jumper Teresa Yannone and an emerging sprinter in junior Stephanie Dickerson, the Knights stayed in The Sun's top-10 poll for seven weeks and posted the best finish among area teams at the Class 2A West region meet with a third-place showing. Although Century faltered somewhat at the state championships with a tie for 16th and Umholtz has resigned to focus on his full-time occupation as an attorney, the team's youth and energy suggest that the Knights will be a force next season.
Kelli Buck, C. Milton Wright
The sophomore not only took the 1,600-meter race at the Class 4A state championships, but her time of 5 minutes, 6.5 seconds was the fastest in the event among any classification. Buck, who placed fourth in the 1,600 at last season's state meet, also was second in the 3,200 in a school-record time of 11:08.86.
Buck's performance may have been a surprise since she was third in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200 at the East region meet. But Buck won gold medals in the 1,600 (5:12.95) and the 3,200 (11:30) and a silver at the Harford County championships.
Buck was named the Harford County Performer of the Year.
Lauren Centrowitz, Broadneck
Forced to miss the second day of the Class 4A state championships because of an injured ankle, Centrowitz grabbed a gold medal when she won the 3,200-meter race in 10 minutes, 57.95 seconds. Not only was the time the fastest posted among runners in any classification, but it also beat last year's winning time by 59.17 seconds.
Centrowitz also ran a leg of the 3,200-relay squad that placed second. Centrowitz, who swept the 800 and 3,200 at the Anne Arundel County and East region levels, was the Anne Arundel County Performer of the Year.
Jeanette Curtis, Mount Hebron
The senior won the 100 high hurdles at the Class 3A state championships in 14.42 seconds - a time that erased the previous 3A record of 14.54 set in 1986 by Jackie McKendree of Charles County's McDonough. It was the second time in as many springs that Curtis had won the gold medal in that event at the state meet.
Curtis, who finished second in the 100-meter dash and the 300 intermediate hurdles, swept the 100 high hurdles at the Howard County and East region levels. Curtis, who also took the 300 intermediate hurdles (45.19) at the county championships, will run at Pennsylvania next year.
Ashley Duckett, Mount de Sales
Duckett won the 100 high hurdles at the Maryland Private Schools state championships in 14.9 seconds, eclipsing her school record of 15.2. In the 300 intermediate hurdles at the same meet, Duckett won that event in 47.1, beating her previous school mark of 48.6. She wrote her name in the record books again for clocking a time of 12.4 in the 100 during a dual meet against Mercy.
Duckett took home three gold medals at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships. Not only did she win the 300 intermediate hurdles (49.89) and the 400 (58.93), but her time of 15.44 in the 100 high hurdles broke the previous record of 16.4 set in 2000 by Jen Ford of McDonogh.
Lauren Dunn, Edgewood
Dunn, who won the triple jump at the state meet last spring, took the event again with a winning leap of 35 feet, 4 3/4 inches.
Although the senior placed second in the long jump and fell short of another two gold-medal performance at the state championships, Dunn did win the long jump at the Harford County and region levels. At the county championships, Dunn picked up first-place showings in the long jump with a leap of 16-2 1/4 and the triple jump with a mark of 35-5.
Cierra Layne, Edmondson
Layne, who won the 55-meter dash to become the school's first indoor state champion, became the school's first outdoor titlist when she took gold in the 200, crossing the finish line in a personal-best 25.38 seconds at the Class 2A state championships. The sophomore also finished second in the 100 at the state meet.
Layne wasn't as successful at the Baltimore City championships finishing second in the 100 and 200. But at the North region meet, Layne captured the 100 in 12.06 and the 200 in 25.5.
Angel McCoughtry, St. Frances
Joining Mount de Sales' Ashley Duckett as the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland's only three-event winner at the season-ending conference championships, McCoughtry picked up gold medals in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.68 seconds and the 200 with a time of 25.88.
The junior's crowning achievement, however, took place in the long jump, where she won the event with a leap of 16 feet, 11 1/4 inches. That mark shattered the previous record of 15-2 set in 2000. McCoughtry barely missed out on a fourth gold medal, finishing third in the high jump.
DaMara Parrish, Long Reach
At the Class 3A state championships, the senior collected a gold medal in the 100 (12.54 seconds) and the triple jump (37 feet, 1 3/4 inches). Parrish, who was third in the 200 at the state meet, took the 100 (12.3) and the triple jump (35-8 3/4 ) at the East region meet.
Parrish had the Midas touch at the Howard County championships as she won the 200 (24.94), 400 (57.36), triple jump (37-0) and 1,600 relay (4:12.22). Parrish, who earned the meet's Iron Woman Award for her effort, will run at Bowie State.
Katie Pencek, Glenelg
Pencek won two gold medals at the Class 2A state championships. The sophomore won the 800-meter race in 2 minutes, 19.86 seconds and ran the anchor leg of the 3,200-relay squad that placed first in 9:40.5 for the school's fourth win in the past five seasons in that event.
Pencek registered four wins at the West region meet, taking the 800 (2:22.8), 1,600 (5:25.2), 1,600 relay (4:14.7) and 3,200 relay (10:07.1). Pencek won the 1,600 (5:26.7) at the Howard County championships and ran a leg of the winning 3,200 relay team (10:02.67).
Shadé Smith, Hammond
Back pain blocked the senior's attempt to repeat as the state titlist in the 200-meter dash, where she placed seventh. But before that event, Smith collected her second consecutive crown in the 100 as she crossed the finish line in 12.43 seconds.
Smith swept the 100 at the Howard County and West region levels. Her time at the region meet was 12.6, and her time at the county championships was 12.37. Smith, who won the 200 in 25.9 at the region meet, might've done the same at the county championships if she hadn't slipped on the track and taken a nasty spill.
Cassandre Tanner, Bryn Mawr
At the Maryland Private Schools state meet, Tanner picked up gold medals in the high jump by clearing 4 feet, 6 inches and the triple jump by leaping 33-5. Those 20 points accounted for nearly a third of the Mawrtians' 66 points at the meet.
But Tanner upped the ante at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships. The junior cleared 5 feet in the high jump, but saved her best for the triple jump. Tanner's mark of 34-3 1/2 smashed the previous conference record of 31-3 set in 2000 by former teammate Aliya Mosby. By placing third in the long jump, Tanner contributed 26 points to Bryn Mawr's second-place outing at the championship meet.
Latosha Wallace, Western
At the Class 4A state championships, Wallace placed first in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, 8 inches and ran a leg of the 3,200-relay squad that won in 9 minutes, 22.42 seconds. Wallace, who also finished second in the 400 and ran a leg of the second-place 1,600-relay team, contributed 36 of Western's 93 points, which elevated the Doves to second place in the team standings.
Wallace swept the 400 at the Baltimore City and North region levels. The Baltimore City/County Performer of the Year for the second consecutive spring also picked up a gold medal in the 200 (24.9) at the city championships.
Dominique Washington, Milford Mill
There are times when even a phenomenal performance doesn't net a title. Washington learned that difficult lesson in the long jump at the Class 3A state championships, when she leapt 17 feet, 11 1/4 inches - the best by any athlete in the metro area. But the senior placed second to Toni Aluko of Paint Branch, who won with a mark of 18-9. Still, Washington was a consistent source of points for the Millers, finishing third in the 300 intermediate hurdles and fourth in the 110 high hurdles at the state meet.
Washington swept the 100 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles at the Baltimore County and North region levels. Washington - who is headed to Seton Hall - collected gold medals in the long jump (17-4) and the 1,600 relay (4 minutes, 7.6 seconds) to pace Milford Mill to a county title.
Ashley West-Nesbitt, Western
West-Nesbitt continued the Doves' tradition of producing sensational sprinters, as the senior was second in the 100 and the 100 high hurdles at the Class 4A state championships. West-Nesbitt's time of 12.29 seconds in the 100 dash was the fastest recorded by any athlete in the metro area.
West-Nesbitt found better success at the Baltimore City and North region levels, where she swept the 100 and the 100 high hurdles. Her best times came at the city championships, where she won the 100 in 12.0 and the 100 high hurdles in 14.06..
Alicia Williams, Western
With teammates Latosha Wallace and Ashley West-Nesbitt taking care of the sprints and short-distance races, the Doves relied on Williams for points from the middle-distance events. She recorded the fastest time among metro runners in the 800 by crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 16.44 seconds at the Class 4A state championships. The senior, who finished second in the 800, took home another silver medal in the 1,600 relay and a gold in the 3,200 relay (9:22.42).
Williams swept the 800 at the Baltimore City and North region levels. At the region meet, she was second in the 400. She took the 1,600 in 5:31.1 at the city championships. She will run at Howard next year.
Lindsay Winter, North Carroll
The junior collected her first Class 3A state crown by clearing 10 feet, 3 inches in the pole vault at the state meet. The mark, the best among metro vaulters, was more than 2 feet better than her winning vault at the West region meet, where she cleared 8-0.
Winter, who placed fourth at the state meet last spring, hadn't practiced the pole vault all season, opting to contribute points to her team in the long jump and triple jump. She will likely defend her crown next season when the pole vault will return to its prior status as a scored event.
Name School Class
Novia Brown Milford Mill Senior
Phylicia Buie Hammond Senior
Ashley Campbell Bryn Mawr Senior
Sierra Cary-Brown City Junior
Timika Davis Lake Clifton Senior
Timisha Gomez Long Reach Junior
Ashlynne Jones Southern-AA Senior
Victoria Lawson Meade Junior
Emily Nagle Broadneck Soph.
Calynn Offer Annapolis Senior
Joung Park River Hill Junior
Megan Ravenscraft C. Milton Wright Fresh.
Mary Rollyson Glenelg Junior
Aislinn Sowash North Carroll Senior
Angel Thompson Western Senior
Ginger Williams Chesapeake-AA Senior
Brittany Woods W.E.B. DuBois Soph.
Note: Teams selected by Edward Lee after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun