Keith Brown Jr.

Boys track athlete of the year Keith Brown Jr. (McDonogh). (Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / March 17, 2006)

Keith Brown Jr., McDonogh

For the third time in a calendar year, an Eagles athlete has earned Performer of the Year honors. And like Tristram Thomas in indoor track last winter and Darrius Heyward-Bey in outdoor track last spring, Brown made a name for himself nationally.

The senior's winning time of 7.51 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles at the Hall of Fame Classic placed Brown in a tie for the 17th-fastest time in the event in the country, according to, a Web site devoted to track and field and cross country.

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He placed first in seven of nine hurdles events, including victories at the Bishop Loughlin Games (7.55), the Montgomery Invitational (7.56) and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championships (7.74).

Brown, who set a school record in the 60 hurdles with a time of 8.21 at the Virginia Tech Invitational, also claimed the 55 dash at the MIAA championships, crossing the finish line in 6.64 seconds. Brown's performance propelled No. 1 McDonogh to its second straight MIAA crown.

Maurice Sydnor, Atholton

The Raiders were reeling. Less than six months removed from the dismissal of head coach Brian Funk, Atholton was left with a void at the top and confusion among the athletes.

In stepped Sydnor, formerly a return specialist for the Towson State football team and the owner of the school record in the long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 5 inches in 1994.

Sydnor infused confidence and energy into the Raiders, who began the postseason with a solid, if unspectacular, second-place outing at the Howard County championships. Undeterred, Atholton earned another shot at county champion Long Reach and prevailed at the Class 3A-2A West regional meet.

The Raiders carried that momentum into the state championships, where they outpaced Mervo for the title. It was No. 5 Atholton's first victory at the state meet since 1998.

Matthew Centrowitz, Broadneck

The junior posted the metro area's fastest time in the 1,600 when he captured the event at the Anne Arundel County championships in 4 minutes, 20.2 seconds - a county record. That victory led to first-place finishes in the 1,600 at the Class 4A-3A Central regional (4:36.4) and state (4:24.72) levels. Centrowitz, who set another county record in the 3,200 with a time of 9:40.8 at the county championships, is the county's Performer of the Year. He was 11th in the 2-mile run (9:20.38) at the Nike Indoor Nationals.

Dominic Devaud, Archbishop Curley

The only repeat All-Metro first-team selection from last winter, the senior shared the area's best pole-vault height of 14 feet with Gilman's Khalil Uqdah. But what separated Devaud was his consistency, which helped him clear 14 feet three times this season. The Baltimore City Performer of the Year dabbled in the 55 hurdles and high and triple jumps, but his forte was the pole vault. His victory in the event at the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association championships (13 feet, 6 inches) was his second straight.

Jason Gross, McDonogh