Performer of the Year
Torrie Saunders, Annapolis

Saunders has been a key cog on Annpolis' team throughout her career, but the senior often was in the shadow of teammate Jessica Tongue. This season, Saunders raised her game and helped the Panthers win the Anne Arundel County title and finish a close second in the Class 3A state meet.

Saunders played a huge role at the state meet, winning the triple jump (37 geet, 4.75 inches) and 300 hurdles (44.49 seconds) and running on the victorious 400 relay team.

Although she was an accomplished performer before this spring, she had never won an individual state title. "It made all the work worth it," Saunders said.
Coach of the Year
Earl Lauer, River Hill

Using a no-nonsense approach, Lauer helped turn the Hawks around this season. He took over after River Hill finished 11th in Howard County last year, guiding the Hawks to the county title this spring and a second-place finish in the state in Class 2A.

The talent was there, as River Hill won the state title in cross country last fall, but Lauer worked hard at getting other athletes to join the track team. He also helped strong young runners like Anna Demaree develop.

With runners such as Demaree and Katie Harman, plus other talented athletes returning, the Hawks could be the team to beat again next spring.
First team

Funmi Alabi, Long Reach

Alabi continued to show why she's one of the area's most versatile and talented sprinters.

The junior won the Class 3A 100-meter dash at the state meet (11.81 seconds), and finished third in the 200 in a close race.

She also ran on a pair of fourth-place relay teams, in the 400 and 800.

Kristen Brown, McDonogh

She combined with teammate Amanda Kimbers to make McDonogh almost unbeatable this spring. The sophomore came up big in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship meet, winning the long jump (18 feet, 3 1/4 inches), 100 hurdles (14.37) and 300 hurdles (45.60).

Brown also ran on the victorious 800 relay team (1:45.43). Overall, she had a hand in 40 McDonogh points, as the Eagles had little trouble repeating as IAAM champions.

Kellie Christian, Catonsville

Christian was slowed a bit by hamstring injuries suffered at the state indoor meet, but the junior remained one of the toughest 400-meter runners in the area. Christian finished second in the 400 at the Class 3A state meet, losing a close race to Danielle Brock of Westlake.

She was a member of the victorious 1,600-meter relay team, as the Comets finished sixth overall in the state.

Jenna Cimino, Hereford

Cimino stepped up this spring, as the Bulls had a few holes to fill even though they won the Baltimore County indoor track title. Her consistent distance running and good performances at crucial times helped Hereford take the outdoor county crown, as well.

The junior capped off the season with a victory in the 1,600 (5:11.24) at the Class 3A state meet and a third-place finish in the 800. Baltimore County coaches picked her as the performer of the season this spring.

Amanda Deller, Aberdeen

The junior capped a fine season with a standout performance at the Class 3A state meet. Deller took first in the shot put (41- 1/2 ) and the discus (119-10). Her marks in both were the best in the area this spring.

The discus throw is even more impressive considering Deller threw about 20 feet less (99-2) in taking fourth place in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship meet a few weeks before. Deller won the shot put at that meet meet before putting it all together at the state meet.

Anna Demaree, River Hill

The freshman wasted little time in becoming one of the area's top runners. In Howard County, she surpassed teammate Katie Harman (a state champion) to become the county's best distance runner.

She finished second in the Class 2A 800 and 1,600, and third in the 3,200 at the state meet, as she helped the Hawls finish second. That came after a spectacular performance at the Howard County championships, when Demaree won the 800 (2:23.39), 1,600 (5:12.58) and 3,200 (11:36.72) to help River Hill win the county title.

Alese Forbes, Northwestern

The junior made her mark by winning two Class 2A state titles, which are believed to be the only individual state crowns ever won by the program. Forbes captured the crowns in the 100 (12.27) and 400 (56.97).

She worked closely with coach Jerry Molyneaux, who came to the school after nearly two decades at Western. Molyneaux said Forbes gives a growing Northwestern program someone to build around next year.

Joceyln Henline, Marriotts Ridge

Moving up one class didn't bother Henline this spring. The senior won the Class 1A state title last year in the pole vault at 10 feet, and did the exact same thing this spring -- in Class 2A. She edged Katie Miller of J.M. Bennett (also at 10 feet) for the state title. That gave Henline a bit of revenge after Miller beat her for the state title during indoor track season.

Henline also topped Laura Shoemaker of Wilde Lake to take the Howard County title earlier in the spring. She'll be going to South Carolina in the fall.

Amanda Kimbers, McDonogh

Kimbers had much better luck this spring than in the winter. The junior helped McDonogh remain a powerful team during the indoor season, but she suffered a broken foot in a freak accident the night before the IAAM championships, which opened the door for Seton Keough to win the team title in February.

But Kimbers was healthy this spring and helped the Eagles repeat as the outdoor IAAM champions. She won the 100 (12.20) and 200 (25.29), ran on the victorious 400 relay team (49.80) and finished third in the long jump at the championship meet.

Maura Linde, Century

The freshman quickly established herself as one of the area's top distance runners. She turned in a spectacular performance at the state meet, winning the Class 2A 1,600 (5:05.91) and 3,200 (10:57.51) in a tough field that included River Hill's Anna Demaree. Linde also took third in the 800, making a good push at the end, and ran on the fourth-place 3,200 relay team.

Linde's times in these races were among the area's best this spring despite the fact that she was in her first year of varsity competition.

Michelle Newman, Eastern Tech

Newman set a Class 2A record in winning last year's triple jump state title (38-10 3/4), and she repeated as champion this season with a jump of 38-4 1/2. That jump gave Newman a victory by more than a foot over runner-up Page Harris of Clarksburg.

It was the second-best triple jump in all four classes at the state meet. Newman, a senior, showed her versatility by running on two relay teams at the state meet and finishing fourth in the long jump.

Tyshia Oliver, R.F. Lewis

Oliver fared well in the big meets this past winter, and she did just as well in the spring. The senior won the Class 1A state title in the 400, setting a class record (55.63) in her victory. Oliver also took second in the 800, fourth in the long jump and ran on the seventh-place 1,600 relay.

With Oliver graduating, the Reginald F. Lewis track team will now have a huge void to fill.

Lacey Shuman, Maryvale

Shuman came out of the blue to become perhaps the area's best high jumper during the winter, and she kept it going this spring.

The sophomore came up big again at the IAAM championship meet, as she was the only high jumper to go above five feet--winning the event at 5-4. That came after a strong performance at the Penn Relays, where she connected on a 5-5 jump.

Jessica Tongue, Annapolis

One of the area's top sprinters the past few years, she turned in another strong season this spring. Tongue, a senior, combined with Torrie Saunders to help Annapolis finish second in the state in Class 3A, just two points out of first.

Tongue won the 200 (24.16) and finished second in the 100 hurdles. She also ran on the winning 400 relay team. Tongue and Saunders combined to score all of Annapolis' 56 points in the state meet. She also combined with Saunders to help Annapolis win its first Anne Arundel County title.
Second team

Name, School, Cl.

Sara Bailey C.M. Wright Sr.

Erin Brooks Seton Keough Sr.

Lauren Campbell Western Tech Sr.

Katie Harman River Hill Jr.

Alexis Hurd North Carroll Jr.

Racquel Jones Western Sr.

Alyssa McClure Digital Harbor So.

Amber Melville North Carroll Fr.

Uju Ofoche Parkville Jr.

Rachel Pillion Towson Jr.

Brinae Robinson Western Fr.

Erika Stasakova John Carroll Sr.

Sophie Thomas North Carroll Sr.

Chelsea Walker Digital Harbor So.

Moriah Young McDonogh Jr.

Note: Team selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.