Performer of the Year: Christy Johnson, Bryn Mawr
Johnson said she used the memories of her losses to former Towson Catholic standout Devon Williams in the 800 and 1,600 at last spring's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships to inspire her this season.
"I think what I learned from that race was that there will be people better than me, and that's going to be everywhere," Johnson said last month. "She was just better than me, and she should've won. I just wish I could race her again this year."
This spring, Williams might have been hard-pressed to keep up with Johnson, who registered the area's best times in perhaps four of track and field's most arduous events. The senior's crowning moment occurred at the Penn Relays in April when she finished seventh in the mile - the best showing by a Maryland athlete. Her time of 4 minutes, 57.20 seconds ranks 14th in the country, according to dyestat.com.
Johnson posted three more No. 1 times at the IAAM championships, and courtesy of running a leg on the 3,200 relay, walked away with four gold medals. Her time of 4:56.20 in the 1,600 ranks 45th in the nation, her time of 2:13.60 in the 800 is 57th, and her time of 10:54.0 in the 3,200 ranks 88th. Johnson is the only area athlete to run the 1,600 in less than five minutes and the 3,200 in less than 11 minutes.
Also, her time in the 1,600 eclipsed the previous IAAM championship record of 5:17.45 set by Williams in 2004, and her time in the 3,200 shattered the previous mark of 11:49.92 established by Severn's Emily Oliver last year.
Johnson, the Baltimore City Performer of the Year and Runner of the Year in cross country last fall, plans to compete for both the cross country and track and field programs at Princeton.
Coach of the Year: Jerry Molyneaux, Western
It might be fair to say that Molyneaux, who has been coaching the Doves since 1990, never experienced a season as rough as the one that just ended. A week before the Baltimore City championships - which Western had owned for the past 16 years - Molyneaux's father, Weymouth, died, and Jerry left to be with his family in the British Virgin Islands. During their coach's absence, the Doves were upended by Mervo for the city title, leading to speculation that the perennial powerhouse was slipping.
Upon Molyneaux's return, however, Western defeated Mervo for the Class 3A North regional crown, but then the Doves' victory in the 800 relay on the first day of the state championships was negated for an illegal baton exchange. Molyneaux, though, remained calm, and Western responded by repeating as state champion for the second consecutive year. Molyneaux accepted any blame for the team's mishaps this spring. "When we lose championships, it's my fault," he said. "When the baton is dropped, it's my fault. ... We've been having winning streaks and not many obstacles. That's luck."
Jameice DeCoster, McDonogh
In early April, the freshman finished third in the 100 at the Freddie Hendricks Track Festival, crossing the finish line in 12.10 seconds, the second-fastest time in the area this spring. Until the state meet for the public schools, DeCoster's winning time of 24.85 in the 200 at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships also stood as the area's second-best time.
DeCoster ran a leg of the Eagles' 400 relay that qualified for the Championship of America final at the Penn Relays. McDonogh eventually placed sixth in 47.84.
Michelle Donadio, Franklin
The senior finished her high school career ranked in the top five in three events. Her time of 11 minutes, 8.4 seconds in the 3,200 at the Baltimore County championships ranks fourth, while her times of 2 minutes, 19.1 seconds in the 800 at the county meet and 5:07.02 in the 1,600 at the county championships rank fifth.
Donadio, the Baltimore County Performer of the Year, captured the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the county and Class 3A North regional levels before grabbing her first individual state crown with a victory in the 3,200 in 11:08.91. She will continue her career at Towson.
Theresa Lewis, Western
No one registered faster times in the 100 high hurdles and 300 intermediate hurdles than this senior. Lewis, the All-Metro Performer of the Year in indoor track this past winter and in outdoor track last spring, is the only area athlete to complete the high hurdles in less than 14 seconds (13.98 at the Class 3A North regional meet) and the intermediate hurdles in less than 44 seconds (43.99 at the state championships).
Lewis, who will run at Louisville, swept both hurdles at the state (14.04 and 43.99), regional (13.98, 44.32) and Baltimore City (14.09, 45.38) levels.
Tiffani Long, Long Reach
The Maryland-bound senior's season began with an eighth-place outing at the Penn Relays, where she leaped 17 feet, 10 1/4 inches in the long jump. Long became the only area athlete to break the 18-foot barrier when she went 18-3 1/2 at the Howard County Spring Track Classic.
Long displayed her versatility at the Howard County championships when she claimed the 100 in 12.90 seconds, the 200 in 26.58, the long jump with a distance of 17-7 1/4 and the triple jump with a mark of 32-4 1/4 . She took the long jump in 17-8 3/4 at the Class 3A East regional meet before placing second in that event at the state championships.
Liz McCarter, Mount Hebron
The junior finished her season ranked in the top three in the area in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Her winning times of 5 minutes, 1.17 seconds in the 1,600 and 2:16.17 in the 800 at the Class 3A state championships rank second and third, respectively.
McCarter also ranks third in the 3,200 after winning that event at the East regional meet in 11:04.45. McCarter, an All-Metro selection in indoor track this winter, also took the 1,600 in 5:05.93 at the regional meet and the 800 in 2:21.39 at the Howard County meet.
Michelle Newman, Eastern Tech
The sophomore recorded moderate outings in the long and triple jumps at the beginning of the season, but announced her presence by soaring 17 feet, 9 inches in the long jump - the area's second-best distance - at a Baltimore County meet in April. Then Newman hopped to the top of the area rankings when she leaped 37-9 1/4 in the triple jump at the Class 2A state championships.
Newman, who also won a gold medal in the long jump (16-11) at the state meet, recorded victories in both of those events at the North regional championships (16-7 1/2 in the long jump and 36-5 1/4 in the triple jump).
Jessica O'Brien, John Carroll
The senior earned her third straight appearance on an All-Metro team (indoor track, winter; outdoor track, last spring) for dominating the high jump. Despite a slow start, O'Brien, who will run at James Madison, redeemed herself by clearing 5 feet, 7 inches at an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland meet in May. That height is three inches higher than the next-best mark in the area.
O'Brien, the Harford County Performer of the Year, repeated as the IAAM champion in the high jump (5-2) and won the IAAM heptathlon.
Dana Reeser, Century
The senior flirted with the 40-foot mark in the shot put in her first invitational of the season, posting a heave of 39 feet, 8 1/4 inches at the Pikesville Track Classic. Resser broke through at the Carroll County championships, where she captured the shot put crown for the third straight year with a throw of 42-11.
Reeser, who is the only area athlete to post a 40-foot toss in the shot put this spring, also claimed the event at the Class 2A West regional meet with a distance of 41-6 1/2 . Her bid for a third consecutive state title, however, fell short as Reeser placed second. She will continue her career at Penn State.
Devin Robinson, McDonogh
The senior's range and leadership made her the backbone of the No. 1 Eagles. Robinson, an All-Metro selection in indoor track this past winter, collected the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland title in the 100, holding off teammate Jameice DeCoster and 2005 champion Erin Brooks of Seton Keough.
Robinson's time of 12.14 seconds in that victory ranks third in the area, and her time of 25.26 in the 200 ranks seventh. She will run at Jacksonville University.
Alison Smith, Atholton
The junior showed that she lost little from her decision to take the winter season off from competing for the Raiders. Her times of 2 minutes, 15.67 seconds at the Class 2A South regional meet and 11:02.30 in the 3,200 at the state championships rank second in the area, and her time of 5:04.29 in the 1,600 at the Howard County championships ranks third.
The Howard County Performer of the Year's victory in the 3,200 at the state meet capped a sweep of that event at the county (11:19.09) and regional (11:30.09) levels. Smith also won the 800 at the state (2:15.96) and regional (2:15.67) championships.
Shalaiyah Sommerville, Western
The senior joined Bryn Mawr's Christy Johnson as the only athletes to lead the area in three individual events. Sommerville, who will run at Hampton, registered the area's fastest times in the 100 (12.04 seconds), the 200 (24.36 at the Class 3A state championships) and the 400 (56.41 at the state meet).
Her first-place showings in the 100 (12.24) and 200 at the states capped a sweep of those events at the Baltimore City (12.38 in the 100 and 26.03 in the 200) and North regional (12.14, 24.85) levels.
Chelsey Truesdell, North Carroll
Perhaps the most surprising result of the senior's season was that she didn't win the pole vault crown at the Carroll County championships. But Truesdell, who finished third, bounced back nicely at the Class 3A West regional meet, where she became the first area athlete to clear 10 feet.
At the state championships, Truesdell went head-to-head against defending champion Linsey Vollmer of Fallston. In the end, both competitors reached 10 feet, but since Truesdell had fewer missed attempts than Vollmer, she was declared the winner.
Christine Vidmar, Reservoir
At the Class 2A state championships, the senior recorded a distance of 131 feet, 7 inches to become the only area athlete to exceed the 130-foot mark in the discus.
Not only did she collect her second consecutive gold medal in the event at the state meet, but Vidmar's throw was the best in all four classifications by at least 13 feet. The victory capped a sweep of the discus at the Howard County (127-3) and South regional (127-8) levels.
Robin Yerkes, Broadneck
The senior is the only athlete to rank in the area top 10 in four individual events. Yerkes' time of 45.3 seconds in the 300 intermediate hurdles at the Class 4A East regional meet ranks fourth, her time of 25.0 in the 200 at the regional championships ranks fifth, and her times of 12.1 in the 100 at the Bob Golliday Invitational and 15.37 in the 100 high hurdles at the Anne Arundel County championships rank fifth.
The Anne Arundel County Performer of the Year won four golds at the regional meet, taking the 100 (12.2), 200, high hurdles (15.3) and 300 intermediate hurdles (45.3). She will continue her career at Roanoke College.
Lauren Campbell, Western Tech, sophomore
Alexis Hurd, North Carroll, fresh.
Katie Hursey, North Carroll, junior
Amanda Kimbers , McDonogh, freshman
Christina Mason, Meade, junior
Laura Paulsen, Bryn Mawr, senior
Nicole Robinson, Atholton, junior
Chante Sandiford, McDonogh, junior
Torrie Saunders, Annapolis, sophomore
Shannel Shivers, Aberdeen , junior
Brooke Staton, McDonogh, junior
Quantikia Stepney, Mervo, junior
Tinsley Stokes, North Carroll, senior
Jessica Tongue, Annapolis, sophomore
Linsey Vollmer, Fallston , senior
Letecia Wright, Western, junior
Note // Teams selected by Edward Lee after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun