Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame: Jill Krebs 'proud of the hard work' that made her an all-time great runner

Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame: Jill Krebs 'proud of the hard work' that made her an all-time great runner
Jill Krebs, shown here in 1997 at the county cross country championship meet, is set to be inducted into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019. (Baltimore Sun file photo)

Running came so naturally to Jill Krebs that as a middle-school student she got a slight case of false security when she participated in play-day distance events.

Krebs had her way with most races before high school, so she joined the track team as a freshman at South Carroll and perhaps assumed things would continue to be simple. Until they weren't.


“It’s a rude awakening,” Krebs said. “There’s a big difference between smoking all the boys in middle school gym class during your warm-ups, on one hand, and then getting to high school and just jumping into track … having your coach say, ‘OK, we’re going to do 10 [400-yard sprints],’ and then making it without dying.”

Krebs discovered something in a hurry, she said — hard work would be required to experience success. And she set about putting in that work right away.

Krebs won two county championships as a cross country runner at South Carroll, and added five gold medals at track and field county meets during her varsity career. Krebs went from Winfield to McDaniel College (then Western Maryland), and became an all-time great for the Green Terror.

Now she’s striding into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame — Krebs is part of the Class of 2019, which gets inducted Friday night at 6 at Carroll Community College.

“I knew I was good at running,” Krebs said. “I never had delusions I was good at anything else.”

Krebs earned Times Cross Country Runner of the Year awards in 1995 and 1997, the same years she placed first at the county meet. She qualified for the state cross country meet in those years too, and earned three first-team all-county nods for the Cavaliers.

Krebs won two county titles in the 1,600 run and three more in the 3,200 from 1995-98, and received four first-team all-county selections for track and field.

Her college running career was just as impressive, and she competed on the Terror’s swim team as well (Krebs was part of the Green Terror Aquatic Club during high school).

Krebs earned four all-Centennial Conference honors for cross country, qualified for the NCAA championship three times, and twice was All-America. Krebs earned a spot on the Centennial’s Silver Anniversary Team after earning NCAA Woman of the Year for Maryland in 2002.

Krebs was part of the Class of 2012 for the Green Terror Sports Hall of Fame.

“I’m proud of the hard work,” Krebs said. “I put in so much time and so much effort. That’s what I’m really proud of.”

Jill Krebs was inducted into the McDaniel College Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
Jill Krebs was inducted into the McDaniel College Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. (Courtesy photo / David Sinclair)

Krebs said she enjoyed reminiscing when she had to go looking for old running photos for the upcoming Carroll hall of fame ceremony. It’s possible one of those pictures came from the fall of 1997, when Krebs competed in the Central Maryland Conference cross country race but was disqualified for violating a uniform rule — her pink sports bra, a different color than the rest of her uniform, was showing during the run.

“To this day, it still comes up every now and then,” Krebs said. “Like, ‘Oh yeah! I remember that.’ Some of the old-timers in the county. It was just such minutiae. I had on the uniform, and we all had on the same color bra so we thought we were following the rules.

“It was a lot of technicalities … I think we lost sight that day of the point of a cross country race.”


Krebs wore pink gloves at the state meet a few weeks later, in a definite fashion statement, and finished 15th in Class 3A.

Krebs keeps running these days, when she’s not at her job as the dean of curriculum and instruction at Springdale Preparatory School in New Windsor, but competitions are few and far between. She’s more than happy to pack her two infant children into a jogging stroller and head out on the trails around her home in New Oxford, Pennsylvania.

“To me it’s exciting,” Krebs said. “I love getting out on the trail, jumping over walls, fording the creek. I love the challenge of it. Just kind of the adventure…. I guess that’s why I still run.”