Ashley Wall

Ashley Wall Atholton track and field (Sun photo by John Makely / June 8, 2001)

Performer of the Year: Ashley Wall, Atholton

There seems to be nothing this Raiders senior can't do, either on the track or in the classroom. At the Class 2A state meet, the multi-talented Wall claimed three championships, winning the long jump (17 feet, 6 inches), the high jump (5-2) and the triple jump (37-4.5). She also took the runner-up spot in the state 100 hurdles (15.65), scoring 38 individual points to lead Atholton to its first state title.

During the entire spring season, she never once lost a high jump or long jump competition. At the Howard County championship meet, she gained honors as Co-Iron Woman for winning the high and long jumps, finishing second in the 100 hurdles and third in the triple jump.

She then put on a show at the Class 2A, South regionals, winning all three jumps and taking second in 100 hurdles. While Wall - a second team All-Metro selection a year ago - is undeniably one of the top athletes in the area, however, she is also one of its top students.

A National Merit Scholar finalist and vice president of Atholton's Black Student Union, Wall will attend Brown University.
Coach of the Year: Mike Ballard, Annapolis

Ballard was a master at getting the most from his athletes. With a roster of only 12, he had to. The Annapolis High graduate led his team to a share of the Anne Arundel County title for the first time since 1979, as well as a victory at the Anne Arundel Relays for the first time in 30 years.

The Panthers were led by first- team All-Metro distance standout Erin Masterson, but they also made their mark across the board, scoring in nine of 18 events at counties. Ballard's pole vaulters finished first and fifth at the county meet and swept regionals, with Calynn Offer, Kerra Strum and Christina Coates finishing one-two-three to help Annapolis to a runner-up finish behind only eventual state champion Long Reach.

The team, which also consistently scored big points in the hurdles and jumps, then wrapped up its season with a fifth-place showing at the Class 3A state meet. The Panthers ended the year ranked No. 6 in The Sun's Top 10 - not bad for a team that was considered a dark horse in its own county at the start of the season.
First team

Rachel Clinton, Oakland Mills

The senior closed out a stellar prep career by winning a Class 1A state championship in the 100 hurdles (15.08) after running an even more spectacular 14.96 in preliminaries.

Clinton, a second-team All-Metro pick a year ago, also took fourth in the 300 hurdles (48.57), helping lead Oakland Mills to a fourth-place team finish. Earlier in the postseason, she breezed to a county title in the 100 hurdles (14.6) and finished fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.9).

At the Class 1A, South regional, she again won the 100 hurdles and took the bronze in the 300 hurdles, as the Scorpions finished second.

Ashaley Davis, Western

There was no sophomore jinx for this Western standout, as Davis helped continue the Doves' reign in Baltimore City by capturing city championships in the 100 hurdles (15.70) and 300 hurdles.

She then went on to win both events at the Class 4A, North regionals - the 300 hurdles in a blistering 44.70 - helping propel the Doves to a 45-point victory over perennial-power Dulaney.

At the Class 4A state championship meet, Davis closed out her spectacular season by finishing fifth in the 100 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles. With two years left, she will no doubt be an area force in the hurdles for some time to come.

Tanesha Davis, Douglass

It's amazing to think that this Douglass High senior just completed her very first season of competing in the shot put. In only a matter of months, she has become the very best in the state. Davis, who is headed for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, capped off a spectacular season by winning Baltimore City, Class 4A, North region and Class 4A state championships, the latter with a heave of 36 feet, 5 3/4 inches, outdistancing her nearest competition by more than 2 1/2 feet. Her best throw of the season was 37-10.

Even more impressively, she did all this while simultaneously playing softball, where she led the Ducks in home runs and played center field, mainly for her throwing ability.

Mariama Gondo, Western

The junior was honored as The Sun's All-Baltimore City/County Top Performer, and deservedly so. Gondo came into her own this spring to become one of the state's top sprinters, posting area-best times of 12.0 in the 100, 24.4 in the 200 and 57.0 in the 400 to help the Doves claim Baltimore City and Class 4A, North regional championships before finishing sixth at the Class 4A state meet.

After winning city titles in the 200 and 400 and regional crowns in the 100, 200 and 400, Gondo single-handedly scored 20 points for her team at the Class 4A state meet, finishing second in the 100 and taking third in both the 200 and 400.

Kierney Hiteshew, Oakland Mills

This senior, bound for the University of Georgia on a track scholarship, was far and away the area's best pole vaulter. In just her second year competing in the event, Hiteshew claimed a Class 1A state championship by clearing 11 feet, a height that also would've won her a title in any of the state's three other public school classifications. Among her many wins this season were victories at the Woodlawn Invitational, Knights Invitational and Meade Stampede.

She set a Howard County record by clearing 11 feet at the county meet, and went on to win a Class 1A, South region title at the same height. Only rain and wind at the state meet prevented her from taking a shot at the state record of 11-6.

Rolanda Howard, Long Reach

Howard closed out a stellar high school career by winning her fourth straight Class 3A long jump championship, clearing 18 feet, 8 inches, the longest of any of the state's four classifications by 14 inches.

She also finished second in the 100 hurdles (15.43) and third in the triple jump (38-10), leading the top-ranked Lightning to its fourth straight state title.

Earlier, she also helped Long Reach easily capture a Howard County championship, placing third in the 100 hurdles (14.8) and second in both the triple jump (38-2.5) and long jump (17-4). She won the 100 hurdles and long jump at the Class 3A, East regional, setting an all-time county record (19 3/4 ) in the latter.

Chanel Lattimer, McDonogh

This Princeton-bound senior repeated her first-team All-Metro status by capturing Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships in the 100, 200 (meet-record 25.45) and 400 (57.87).

Winning was a habit for Lattimer, who posted best times of 12.0 in the 100, 25.1 in the 200 and 57.4 in the 400, also capturing private schools state titles in the 100 (meet-record 12.0) and 200 and winning both events at the 13-team Knights Invitational, breaking her own three-year-old meet record in the former.

She was a key member of McDonogh's relays teams, as well, anchoring the Eagles' mile relay team that finished in 4:00.8 at Penn Relays.

Erin Masterson, Annapolis

Easily the county's most dominant distance runner, Masterson scored Class 3A state championships in the 1,600 (5:13.37) and 3,200 (11:20.6), and also captured third place in the 800 (2:22.28), only three seconds off the lead.

Earlier, she repeated her performance of last winter by winning Anne Arundel County titles in all three events, leading the Panthers to a share of the county title for the first time since 1979.

The William & Mary-bound senior then did it again at the Class 3A, East regionals, helping her team to a runner-up finish at that meet. Masterson leaves Annapolis with 13 individual county championships and four state titles to her credit.

Shayla Moore, Long Reach

Moore was the best triple jumper in Maryland, as well as one of the best inthe entire nation.

She claimed a Class 3A state title in the event by clearing 39 feet, 4 1/4 inches, or about 2 feet farther than any of the other three state classification champions. Where the Howard County champion (39-6) really opened some eyes, however, was at April's Penn Relays, where she finished second with an impressive leap of 39 feet, 6 1/2 inches - one of the nation's top 30 jumps this season, according to DyeStat Elite. This senior, however, was no one-hit wonder, also finishing third in the county 300 hurdles (47.8).

Anastasia Mukhina, Towson

This junior was one of the best around in both the 800 and 1,600. At the Class 2A state championship meet, Mukhina scored runner-up finishes in both events, finishing the 800 in 2:21.16 and the 1,600 in 5:16.77. That followed a victory in the Baltimore County 800 and as well a Class 2A, North region title in the 800.

Also at the region meet, she finished runner-up to teammate Cory Koch, a second-team All-Metro, in the 1,600, helping the Generals capture a regional championship.

When she wasn't running solo, she was doing it as part of a relay team, handling key legs on the county champion 1,600 relay team and region champion 3,200 team.

Leonie Prao, Wilde Lake

One of the area's top sprinters, Prao finished her high school career with a bang, winning a Class 3A championship in the 100, crossing the line in 12.68 seconds - faster than the winning times in two of the state's other three classifications.

That followed a win in the 100 at the Class 3A, East regional (12.70). At the Howard County championships, the senior edged Hammond's Shade Smith to capture the 100, also taking second in the 200, just two-tenths of a second off the lead.

Her efforts helped the Wildecats claim third place in the county, as well as third place in the region.

Katie Selby, Westminster

This is the second All-Metro appearance for Westminster's discus standout, who again staked her claim as the area's best. The senior won Carroll County and Central Maryland Conference championships in the event - the latter in a meet-record 126 feet, 2 inches - before claiming the gold at the Class 4A, East regionals and finishing runner-up at the Class 4A state meet (118-9).

The basketball standout, who was her county's co-Performer of the Year a year ago when she won a state title in the discus, also excelled in the shot put, taking third in the county and fourth in the CMC, helping lead the Owls to championships at both meets.

Eva Tukarski, Arundel

The senior standout was a huge point-scorer for the Wildcats this season. At the Anne Arundel County championship meet, she claimed titles in the 400 (59.9) and 300 hurdles (46.1) and took runner-up in the 100 hurdles (15.3) to help Arundel to a third-place team finish.

She finished her high school career with seven individual county championships, as well as several more relay titles.

Tukarski, who will attend the Naval Academy, then swept both hurdles events at the Class 4A, East regional, winning the 100 hurdles for the second straight year, and went on to capture third in the 300 hurdles (45.73) at the Class 4A state meet at UMBC.

Cara Wettlaufer, C. Milton Wright

After four years of qualifying for the state meet, this fiercely competitive senior wrapped her high school career this spring with a Class 4A championship in the 1,600, crossing the line in 5:10.21.

That finish, however, was nothing new to Wettlaufer, who went undefeated in the 1,600 all season, posting a personal-best time of 5:07.3 before also claiming Harford County and Class 4A, East region titles.

But the 1,600 wasn't the only strong event for this UMBC-bound athlete. She also won a county title in the 800 (2:21.7) before taking second in the region and eighth in the state, and ran the anchor leg on the Mustangs' 1,600 and 3,200 relays, the latter of which claimed fourth at the state meet.

Tenke Zoltani, Dulaney

This immensely talented distance standout was the area's comeback story of the year. After suffering what doctors called the worst of the overuse injuries in both lower legs, she was forced to undergo surgery and missed all of the indoor season and the first half of this spring. Though several doctors told her she'd never race again, she was determined to prove them wrong. Limited to no more than 15 miles a week in training, she still managed to win a Baltimore County championship in the 1,600 and region titles in the 1,600 and 3,200.

She then capped her comeback at the Class 4A state meet, capturing a title in the 3,200 and taking runner-up in the 1,600.