Performer of the Year: Lauren Centrowitz, Broadneck
In a world where very few things are constant, the senior proved that when it comes to running, she is about as consistent as consistent gets.
The Sun's All-Metro Runner of the Year in cross country last fall and an All-Metro choice in indoor track this past winter, Centrowitz announced her presence on the national stage by finishing second in the 1,600-meter run at the Penn Relays in 4 minutes, 53.79 seconds. She was one of just five female athletes to break the 5-minute barrier in the event.
At the Knights Invite, Centrowitz claimed the 1,500 in 4:39.6. That time smashed the previous meet record of 4:50.2 set by Archbishop Spalding's Kelly Zuknick in 1999. Centrowitz set two more records at the Bulldog Invitational, winning the 800 in 2:14.69 and the 3,200 in 10:11.
At the Anne Arundel County championships, the Bruins' hopes for a fifth straight county title appeared to dim as junior Emily Nagle was hampered by shin splints and the team lacked performers in the field events. Fortunately, Broadneck had Centrowitz, who took first in the 800 (2:18.3) and the 3,200 (10:57.3) and ran a leg of the runner-up 3,200-relay squad to lift the Bruins to victory.
Centrowitz claimed two more first-place showings at the Class 4A East region meet, where she won the 800 (2:15.7) and the 1,600 (5:04.5). She repeated that performance at the state championships by registering victories in the 800 (2:13.73) and the 1,600 (4:55.75). Not only were those times the fastest posted by an athlete at the state meet, but they also ranked as the 10th-best in the state championship's 32 years.
The Anne Arundel County Performer of the Year has accepted a full scholarship to run cross country and track for Stanford later this year.
Coach of the Year: Amili Lumumba, Edmondson
There was a time not too long ago when female students who spotted Lumumba walking through the school hallways scattered because they knew that Lumumba was looking for new recruits for the track and field program. While some still avoid Lumumba, the success of the Red Storm is rising and beginning to draw the attention of new athletes.
With 12 girls on the team (double what Edmondson had been able to field in previous years), Edmondson springboarded off its first Class 2A-1A Central region crown during the indoor track season to finish third at the Baltimore City championships this spring.
Although the Red Storm placed fourth at the Class 2A North region meet and qualified just five athletes for the state championships, Lumumba - the Baltimore City/County Coach of the Year - wasn't overly concerned. His confidence was supported when junior Cierra Layne collected four gold medals, the 800-relay team set a Class 2A state record, and Edmondson compiled 50 points to finish second at the state meet. The runner-up outing was the No. 4 Red Storm's best showing at the state championships in school history.
Kelli Buck, C. Milton Wright
The junior captured her second consecutive state crown in the 1,600 when she crossed the finish line in 5:08.62 at the Class 3A state championships. Buck, who won the 1,600 at the Class 4A state meet last year, also ran a leg of the winning 3,200-relay squad (9:41.67) and was a runner-up in the 3,200 at the state championships.
Buck, who was 14th in the 1,600 at the Penn Relays, registered four victories at the Harford County championships, winning the 800 (2:36.02), the 1,600 (5:16), the 3,200 (11:38) and the 3,200 relay (10:00). Her performance propelled the No. 5 Mustangs to their fifth consecutive county title.
Lauren Capone, Towson
The reigning Class 3A-2A state indoor track champion in the 3,200 did it again outdoors. Capone did not lose in the 3,200 the entire spring, opening the season with a time of 11:31.31 at the Warrior Invitational. That time eclipsed the previous meet record of 11:35.15 set by Annapolis' Erin Masterson in 2001.
The sophomore won three times at the Baltimore County championships - the 1,600 (5:12.0), the 3,200 (11:17.4) and the 3,200 relay (10:09.32). After taking the 1,600 (5:12.0) and the 3,200 (11:33.6) at the Class 3A North region meet, the sophomore placed third in the 1,600 and first in the 3,200. Her time of 11:03.07 in the 3,200 was the fastest posted by an athlete at the state level.
Alyssa Evering, Fallston
No one made a bigger impact in her foray in track and field than this junior. In her first season, Evering grabbed Class 3A state crowns in the 100 (12.11 seconds) and the 200 (24.52 seconds). Her time in the 200 is the fastest registered by an area athlete, and she also ran an area-best 11.96 seconds in the 100 qualifier at the state championships.
Evering's victories in the 100 and 200 made her the school's first athlete to collect two state titles in the same year since Jenny Howard won three in 1991. The Harford County Performer of the Year claimed the 100 and 200 at the county (12.27 seconds in the 100 and 25.17 in the 200) and North region (11.96, 24.4) levels.
Timisha Gomez, Long Reach
At the Class 3A state championships, the senior claimed the 300 intermediate hurdles in 44.36 seconds, finished second in the 100 high hurdles and the triple jump and ran a leg of the runner-up 400-relay squad. Gomez posted victories in the 100 high hurdles (14.58 seconds), the 300 intermediate hurdles (44.43 seconds) and the triple jump (36 feet, 4 1/2 inches) at the East region meet.
Gomez, who was signed by St. Joseph's to play basketball, was first in the 100 high hurdles (14.90 seconds), the 300 intermediate hurdles (45.68 seconds) and the triple jump (36 feet, 8 1/4 inches) at the county championships. She was 12th in the triple jump at the Penn Relays.
Rachel Knapstein, North Harford
Though she dabbled in the 100 high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles, the senior's forte was the pole vault. Knapstein took the event at the Harford County championships by clearing an area-best 9 feet, 7 inches. She was also second in the 300 intermediate hurdles and third in the 100 high hurdles.
At the Class 2A East region meet, Knapstein repeated that effort, going first in the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches), second in the 300 intermediate hurdles and third in the 100 high hurdles. She secured her first state championship by clearing 9 feet, 6 inches in the pole vault at the state level.
Cierra Layne, Edmondson
The junior single-handedly lifted her team into contention at the Class 2A state championships. Individually, Layne captured the 100 (12.06 seconds, the second-fastest time by an area athlete) and the 200 (25.06 seconds). With her teammates, she ran legs of the winning 400- (48.60 seconds) and the 800-relay (1:41.8) squads.
The time in the 800 relay broke the Class 2A state record of 1:42.2 set by Frederick in 1981. Layne swept the 100 at the Baltimore City (12.47 seconds) and the North region (12.2 seconds) levels. She was first in the 200 (25.6 seconds) at the region meet, and she powered the 800-relay team to a sweep at the city (1:44.47) and region (1:50.79) championships.
Theresa Lewis, Western
Not only did the sophomore collect her first individual state title when she won the 100 high hurdles, but Lewis' time of 14.23 seconds set a Class 3A state record. The previous mark of 14.42 seconds was established last year by Mount Hebron's Jeanette Curtis. Second in the 300 intermediate hurdles at the state meet, Lewis set another record in the 100 high hurdles at the Baltimore City championships.
At the North region meet, Lewis took top honors in the 100 high hurdles (14.17 seconds) and the 300 intermediate hurdles (44.0 seconds).
Tiffani Long, Long Reach
Winner of the long jump in the intermediate girls division at the AAU National Junior Olympic championships last summer, Long extended that success to this spring. The sophomore claimed the Class 3A state title when she leaped an area-best 18 feet, 4 inches in the long jump. Her previous personal record was 18 feet, 2 1/4 inches.
The victory capped a sweep of the event at the championship levels as Long won the long jump at the Howard County (18 feet, 3/4 inches) and the East region (17 feet, 5 1/2 inches) meets.
Kamil Maclin, Edgewood
For the third straight year, the Class 2A state title in the triple jump went to a Ram. After watching Lauren Dunn earn state crowns in the event in 2002 and 2003, Maclin grabbed her first state championship when she leaped 36 feet, 1 1/2 inches.
The senior won the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.64 seconds) and the long jump (16 feet, 4 1/2 inches) and finished second in the triple jump at the Harford County championships. Maclin was first in the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.3 seconds) and the triple jump (36 feet, 3 1/2 inches) at the East region meet.
Dana Reeser, Century
The sophomore nearly went undefeated in the shot put this season. After winning the event at the Falcon Invitational (38 feet, 3 3/4 inches), Reeser placed 11th in the shot put at the Penn Relays. But she rebounded nicely, taking the shot put in the Piedmont Division of the Monocacy Valley Athletic League championships with an area-best throw of 40 feet, 9 1/4 inches.
Reeser registered two more victories in the shot put at the Carroll County (40 feet, 9 inches) and Class 2A West region (40 feet, 6 3/4 inches). Reeser completed her run by winning the shot put at the state championships with a toss of 38 feet, 9 1/2 inches.
Ashley Riggs, Southern-AA
The junior found gold at the end of her season when she captured the Class 2A state crown in the discus throw with a heave of 117 feet, 9 inches.
At the Anne Arundel County championships, she earned top honors in both the discus throw (113 feet, 9 inches) and the shot put (37 feet, 5 3/4 inches). Riggs repeated that performance at the South region meet, where she won the discus throw (an area-best mark of 120 feet, 9 inches) and the shot put (38 feet, 8 1/2 inches).
Quantikia Stepney, Mervo
After winning two state titles in indoor track last winter, the freshman collected another this spring when she captured the 800 in 2:16.68 at the Class 3A state championships.
Stepney posted victories in the 400 (58.2 seconds) and the 800 (2:21.2) at the North region meet.
She won the 800 (2:31.99), the 1,600 (5:42.60) and the 3,200 (14:06.56) at the Baltimore City championships.
Jennine Strange, Severna Park
The sophomore provided one of the more dramatic highlights at the Class 3A state championships when she outleaned a diving Star Flood from Douglass-PG to capture the 400 in an area-best 57.28 seconds and her first state crown.
Strange's victory capped a sweep of the 400 at the championship levels. Strange also won the 800 (2:28.4) at the region meet.
Cassandre Tanner, Bryn Mawr
The senior not only took the long jump (17 feet, 8 1/2 inches) and the triple jump (35 feet, 9 1/4 inches) at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships, but she also set meet records in both events. Her leap in the long jump smashed the previous meet record of 16 feet, 11 1/4 inches established by St. Frances' Angel McCoughtry in 2003, while her mark in the triple jump shattered the record of 34 feet, 3 1/2 inches set by Tanner herself in 2003.
Tanner tied another of her records in the high jump at the Warrior Invitational. That height of 5 feet, 4 inches stands as the best posted by an area athlete this spring.
Devon Williams, Towson Catholic
After winning the 400 at the Falcon Invitational (59.5 seconds), Williams captured the 1,600 at the Morgan State Invitational in 5:08.17. That time blistered the previous meet record of 5:28.18 set by Bryn Mawr's Ellett George in 2003. At the IAAM championships, the Baltimore City/County Performer of the Year took the 400 (57.34 seconds), the 800 (2:20.07), the 1,600 (5;17.45) and the 3,200 (11:55.09).
The freshman's time in the 800 smashed the previous meet record of 2:23.03 set by Bryn Mawr's Nyam Kagwima in 2001. Her time in the 1,600 eclipsed the previous mark of 5:17.91 set by Bryn Mawr's Ashley Campbell in 2003. And her time in the 3,200 nipped the previous record of 11:55.60 set by Bryn Mawr's Laura Drossner in 2001.
Rokesha Williams, Towson Catholic
Like her younger sister, Williams set meet records at the IAAM championships. The junior captured the 300 intermediate hurdles in 45.07 seconds - a time that shattered the previous mark of 47.80 seconds set by McDonogh's Jen Ford in 2000. Williams also won the high jump by clearing 5 feet, 2 inches.
That height broke the previous record of 5 feet set by Bryn Mawr's Cassandre Tanner in 2003. Williams collected top honors in the 400 intermediate hurdles (1:04.09) at the Morgan State Invitational.
Name School Class
Samantha Beltz C. M. Wright Junior
Tish Carter River Hill Soph.
Stephanie Dickerson Century Senior
Michelle Donadio Franklin Soph.
Ashley Duckett Mount de Sales Junior
Brittany Griffin Meade Senior
Nneka Madu Parkville Senior
Heather Millford Chesapeake-AA Junior
Kate Nicholson Atholton Fresh.
Bethaney Perna Winters Mill Soph.
Devin Robinson McDonogh Soph.
Nicole Robinson Atholton Fresh.
Phoenix Ruff Reginald Lewis Senior
Alison Smith Atholton Fresh.
Shalaiyah Sommerville Western Soph.
Brooke Staton McDonogh Fresh.
Teresa Yannone Century Junior
Note: Teams selected by Edwards Lee after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun