The accolades keep adding up for the Howard girls and Oakland Mills boys track and field teams.
In addition to claiming state titles this spring and having the Howard County Track Athletes of the Year, both programs’ coaches won awards Thursday.
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced winners of its High School Track & Field Coaches of the Year awards, with a boys coach and a girls coach from 47 states being honored. Oakland Mills’ Chris Brewington was Maryland’s Boys Coach of the Year, while Howard’s Zack Dickerson won the state’s Girls Coach of the Year honor.
“It means a lot, and to me, it’s a whole team and coaching staff award,” Dickerson said. “I was lucky to have a group of great coaches around me that made my job easier and a committed group of athletes that bought into the training and goals we had.”
Dickerson and Brewington are former high school track teammates at Howard, and they both said it was extra special to win these awards together.
“It really means a lot to me and puts a nice little bow on top of an incredible season,” Brewington said. “I’m also so happy to share the honor with [Dickerson]. He’s an incredible coach and an even better person. I’m so proud of him for everything he’s accomplished.”
The winners were selected by a committee of “experts from around the nation” based on their teams’ performances during the 2021 outdoor track season, according to the association’s website. Dickerson and Brewington will receive a trophy and are in consideration for the association’s National High School Track & Field Coach of the Year award, which will be announced in August.
Brewington led the Scorpions’ boys team to county, region and state championships this spring. Led by sprinter Judson Lincoln IV, hurdler Isiah Rucker, distance runner Baidy Ba and about 10 other talented sprinters and jumpers, Oakland Mills dominated Howard County competition before handily winning the MPSSAA Class 3A state crown.
Ba was the Gatorade Maryland Track and Field Player of the Year for his efforts in the 800 and 2-mile, while Lincoln was the Howard County Boys Track Athlete of the Year for his success in the sprints.
“Coach Brewington is the reason why I have all my running accomplishments,” Ba said. “He saw something in me before I even decided to do track. ... I’m not surprised that he won this award, but I’m very proud of him and grateful for not only being a role model and coach for me but for the whole team.”
Dickerson, meanwhile, also managed the Lions’ girls team to county, region and state titles. Led by mid-distance runner Nimrit Ahuja, versatile athletes Kiara and Tahlea Murray and jumpers Ruth Smith and Annaliese Mmari, Howard’s depth proved too much for opponents both in Howard County and at the 4A championships.
Ahuja stepped up in the mid-distance events throughout the postseason and broke 5:00 in the mile to earn the Howard County Girls Track Athlete of the Year award.
“He definitely deserves every award out there,” Ahuja said. “He’s an all-around amazing coach who puts in so much effort and cares about more than just the numbers we can put down on the track.”