RUNNERS OF THE YEAR
* Greg Curtis, Oakland Mills, Sr. -- Curtis, Howard County's Boys Runner of the Year, led the Scorpions to their eighth state title in 11 years by winning the state Class 2A title in 14 minutes, 41 seconds, the fastest time at the state meet. An All-County and second-team All-Metro pick last season, Curtis was Howard County champ (16:11) and Class 2A South Region champ (16:37). He set an Oakland Mills course record (16:29). He won the Howard County, Westminster, Arundel, Pallotti, Harford and Lancer invitationals. He won 11 straight races; his only loss was a third-place finish at the Griffin Invitational. "A lot of times kids are just endowed with God-given talent and don't work hard," said Oakland Mills coach Steve Carnahan. "Greg works as hard or harder than anyone I've coached." * Krissy Jost, Perry Hall, Sr. -- This University of Alabama-bound senior won nearly every race she entered. Jost captured the Baltimore County title by crossing the line 1 minute, 15 seconds ahead of the runner-up, won the region crown at Oregon Ridge in 19:26 and secured her first state cross country championship by holding off defending state champ and longtime rival Kristen Nicolini of Annapolis. Before that, she won the Harford and Lake Forest invitationals. "Her threshold of pain is mind-boggling," said coach Marilyn Bevans. "She had that good fighter instinct this year." COACH OF THE YEAR * Charlie Shoemaker, Wilde Lake -- The Wildecats boys team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of Howard County cross country by winning its first county championship since 1972, beating runner-up Centennial by seven points and third-place Oakland Mills by 22 points. The team also won the Class 1A Central Region championship without its top runner, Faisal Hasan, who came down with chickenpox, and it finished second in the state Class 1A division. The Wildecats also won the Howard County Invitational. "Everybody was shocked," said Shoemaker. "They had no idea they'd win. It was a little bit of magic, a dream come true." In addition, Wilde Lake's girls team finished second in the county -- its best finish ever. A year ago, the Wildecats did not field a complete girls team.
TEAM AT A GLANCE * Jonathan Dietrich, Calvert Hall, Sr. -- Dietrich was the only runner to finish ahead of Greg Curtis, and he did that by two seconds at the Jack Griffin Invitational. After winning the Maryland Scholastic Association individual championships as a junior, he returned for his final season and helped the Cardinals extend their dual-meet winning streak to 18 and earn their first MIAA crown. He began the season with a victory at the Frederick Invitational and shared top honors at the Knights Invite and Anne Arundel Invitational. Said Calvert Hall coach Jim McCoach, "He's a rare kid. Totally unselfish." Dietrich hopes to attend Bucknell.
* Ted Lord, Gilman, Sr. -- The highlight of Lord's season came a week sooner than he planned as he broke the course record at Calvert Hall by more than 30 seconds. A week later, he settled for the runner-up award for the second year in a row as he bowed to Smith in the MIAA championships. He won the Spiked Shoe Invitational at Hopkins and lost to Greg Curtis at the Anne Arundel Invitational. "When other coaches talk about Ted, the first thing they talk about is his sportsmanship and how well he gets along with their teammates," said Gilman coach Jack Thompson. "Then, as an afterthought, they talk about how good a runner he is and they are absolutely right." The Greyhounds senior class president hopes to study pre-med at either North Carolina or Rice.
* Steve Petro, Oakland Mills, Jr. -- Petro is another reason the Scorpions took their eighth state title. He took second at the county championships (16:35) and the Class 3A East Region championships (17:01) and was runner-up to Curtis at the state Class 3A championships in 17:51 -- the third-fastest overall time at the state meet. He also was second at the Howard County Invitational and third at the Westminster Invitational and posted the third-fastest time at the Harford Invitational.
* Mike Recek, Westminster, Jr. -- Carroll County's Boys Runner of the Year dominated the opposition most of the season, losing only one of 10 races. He finished second by nine seconds to Greg Curtis at the Westminster Invitational but came back to win seven consecutive races, including the Central Maryland Conference and Carroll County championships, the Class 4A West Region title and the state 4A championship at Hereford, where he did a swan dive over the finish line. "Mike is the class of our team, the class of the county and one of the top runners in the state," said Owls coach Jim Gilford.
* Cory Smith, Calvert Hall, Jr. -- Smith, the Baltimore City/County Boys Runner of the Year, quietly emerged as the most dominant runner on Calvert Hall's top-ranked squad as well as in the entire MIAA. He started the season by winning the Lake Forest Invitational in Felton, Del., and a few days later crossed the finish line in unison with teammates Jonathan Dietrich and Doug Stewart for a 1-2-3 finish at the North County Knights Invite and finished neck-and-neck with Dietrich at the Anne Arundel Invitational. Smith ended his junior campaign by outlasting Gilman's Ted Lord in the MIAA individual championships at Herring Run Park. McCoach said: "Cory is a trail biker and a rock climber, and if you put him on a winding, twisting course, he's hard to handle."
* Doug Stewart, Calvert Hall, Soph. -- Stewart, the youngest member of the Cardinals' three-headed monster, gave Calvert Hall a potent 1-2-3 punch. He took third at the Anne Arundel Invitational and ended the year with a third-place effort at the MIAA championships, where he finished behind Smith and Lord and just ahead of Dietrich -- both in 16:30.
GIRLS FIRST TEAM
COACH OF THE YEAR * Ed Donnellan, Notre Dame Prep -- Just four years after "starting a team from scratch" and finishing 0-10 in league competition, Donnellan led the Pirates past league nemesis Mount de Sales and captured the team title at the Association of Independent Schools cross country championships. While tornadoes were touching down in parts of Baltimore, Donnellan's charges were busy making history at St. Timothy's School by placing seven of their runners in the top 20. "It's easy to be a one-shot deal or a flash in the pan, but what we've done is developed a program for the long run," said Donnellan, whose team went 9-1 in dual meets and took second at the state Catholic League championships. "We promoted the sport, made it visible to the students and found kids who were committed to winning."
TEAM AT GLANCE * Lolita Manning, Western, Fresh. -- This District IX champion also took second at the Knights Invite (which the Doves won), finished fourth at the Harford Invitational and was ninth at regions, 10th at states and 13th at the Spiked Shoe meet at Johns Hopkins. "She has talent to build on," said Western coach Jerry Molyneaux. "She's going to be something, I hope, if she continues making progress."
* Kristen Nicolini, Annapolis, Sr. -- Anne Arundel County's Girls Runner of the Year took first in the county and region before settling for third at states behind longtime rival and 4A state champion Jost. She won the Knights Invite, as well as the Anne Arundel, Jack Griffin, Frederick and Spiked Shoe invitationals. "She is very coachable," said Panthers coach Brian Funk. "If you tell her to do something, she bends over backward to do it. She's always asking questions and trying to understand more about the sport. She's the type of runner I have to hold back because she wants to go hard every single day of her life."* Brigid O'Connell, Catonsville, Soph. -- O'Connell, a second-team All-Baltimore City/County pick last year as a freshman, opened the season by winning the Southwest Invitational at Lansdowne. The underclassman then took second at the Baltimore County Championships behind Jost, won the Class 2A North
regional title at Oregon Ridge and was second in the 2A state race at Hereford in 22:05. She also finished fourth at the Harford Invitational.
* Alison Ross, Annapolis, Soph. -- Ross established herself as the sec- ond-best runner in Anne Arundel County behind Nicolini. She finished second in the county meet (19:43), second in the 4A East regional (19:16) and ninth in states (21:51). "I wish everyone on the team could have Alison's attitude," said coach Brian Funk. "By this time next year, she could be as good or better than Nicolini."
* Dana Strickland, Atholton, Jr. -- Strickland, the Girls Runner of the Year in Howard County, was state Class 2A champ (21:49), county champ (19:44), Class 2A South Region champ (20:55) and winner of the Pallotti Invitational. A first-team All-Metro and All-County last season, she took second at Georgetown Invitational and third at the University of Maryland and Meade invitationals.
* Meghan White, Dulaney, Soph. -- White, a second-team All-Metro per- former last season, began the season by winning the Westminster Invitational for the second year in a row in 20:18. She was fifth at the county meet and eighth at regions (22:04) and led her team to a 4A state title by finishing seventh (22:04).
BOYS RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Greg Curtis, Oakland Mills BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR: Charlie Shoemaker, Wilde Lake First team Name .. .. .... ..School .. ... ..Year
Greg Curtis .. .. Oakland Mills ..Senior
Jonathan Dietrich Calvert Hall .. Senior
Ted Lord .. ... ..Gilman .. ... ..Senior
Steve Petro .. ...Oakland Mills . Junior
Mike Recek .. ... Westminster .. .Junior
Cory Smith .. .. .Calvert Hall .. Junior
Doug Stewart .. ..Calvert Hall Sophomore
Second team Name .. ... .. .. School .. ... .. .Year
David Chalmers .. Gilman .. ...Sophomore
Mike Curtis .. ...Mervo .. ... ...Junior
Anders Fristedt ..McDonogh .. ... Junior
Joe Ledda .. ... .Liberty .. ... .Senior
Chris Long .. .. .Old Mill .. ... Senior
Jack Longley .. ..South River .. .Senior
Joe Smith .. ... .Parkville .. .. Junior
GIRLS RUNNER OF THE YEAR: Krissy Jost, Perry Hall GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR: Ed Donnellan, Notre Dame Prep First team Name .. ... ... . School .. ... ... Year
Krissy Jost .. .. Perry Hall ... .Senior
Lolita Manning ...Western .. .. Freshman
Kristen Nicolini .Annapolis .. .. Senior
Brigid O'Connell .Catonsville .Sophomore
Alison Ross .. .. Annapolis .. Sophomore
Dana Strickland ..Atholton .. .. Junior
Meghan White .. ..Dulaney .. ..Sophomore
Second team Name .. ... ... ..School .. ... ... Year
Amy Altmann C. .. Milton Wright ..Senior
Lauren Drake .. ..Oakland Mills Sophomore
Jen Englehart C. .Milton Wright ..Junior
Kari Meyer .. ... Centennial .. ..Junior
Jen Moorman F. .. Scott Key .. ...Senior
Suzanne Sclafani .Dulaney .. ... .Junior
Jenny Scott .. .. McDonogh .. .Sophomore
Boys top 10 1. Calvert Hall
2. Perry Hall
7. Oakland Mills
Other teams considered: Wilde Lake, C. Milton Wright, Broadneck
Girls top 10 1. Dulaney
3. C. Milton Wright
4. Perry Hall
6. Severna Park
7. Mount de Sales
8. Notre Dame Prep
9. F. Scott Key
Other teams considered: Centennial, Oakland Mills
PICKING THE TEAMS
The Baltimore Sun 1994 All-Metro cross country teams were selected by Steven Kivinski after consultation with staff and area coaches.