BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
* James Carter, Mervo, Jr. -- He is the most gifted and versatile track athlete in the area. Carter won state championships in both the high hurdles (7.58 seconds) and 300 (36.93), and finished in the top two both at the city and region championships. But he's also adept in at least four other events, including the long jump and half-mile. He became the state's top hurdler despite running in the event for the first time late last season after replacing an injured teammate. His coach, Freddie Hendricks, calls Carter his "go-to guy." "His versatility is his main asset," said Hendricks. "He's just done phenomenally well in so many events."
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
* Don Wann, Parkville -- In his 29th year of coaching, Wann led the Knights to one of their most successful indoor seasons in school history. Despite missing a third of his team due to injuries and illnesses, he coached Parkville to a win at the Class 3A, Central Region championship meet, and the Knights went on to take fourth in the states. Team members lauded Wann for his ever-present positive attitude and sense of fair play. He spent as much time working with the less gifted athletes as he did the champions. "This was mainly for him," said distance standout Joe Smith after the regional victory. "He's been coaching for a long time, and we wanted to get this for him. He gives everyone a chance."
THE BOYS TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Jim Banach, Perry Hall, Sr. -- Banach won the county 55 -- championship in 6.5 seconds before going on to take third in the region and second at the Class 4A state meet. He also won the county 300 championship and took first in the 55 at the National Guard meet.
* Shawn Carpenter, Franklin, Sr. -- The senior pulled off a clean sweep, winning the county, region and state Class 3A championships in the 3,200, the latter in 10:11.6. He and teammate Alex Taylor pushed each other all season and finished one-two at states.
* Dave Keller, Parkville, Sr. -- He was the class of the area in his event all season, winning the county shot put championship before setting a personal best en route to taking the state Class 3A title with an effort of 51 feet, 8 inches.
* Shawn Kelly, Perry Hall, Sr. -- Kelly won the 800 at county and region meets and ran a leg on a 3,200 relay team that won titles in the county and region before taking third in the state. An apparent timing discrepancy kept him from placing in the top three in the state 800.
* Joe Leilich, Perry Hall, Sr. -- He posted the area's fastest time in the 1,600 (4:32.5), and took second in the county, third in the state and fourth in the region. In the 800, he placed second in the county and sixth in the state (2:08.2).
* Greg Lopata, Hereford, Sr. -- Lopata came on strong in the postseason, winning the Class 1A-2A state title in the 800 (2:04.0) and taking second in the 1,600 (4:38.3). He lowered his personal best by 12 seconds during the course of the season.
* Malcolm McGhee, Dundalk, Sr. -- Despite not practicing until after the county championships (due to a lack of equipment), McGee exploded onto the high jump scene in the postseason, taking second in the region and fifth at the state Class 3A meet with an effort of 5 feet, 10 inches.
* Anthony Reid, Woodlawn, Sr. -- Reid capped off a consistent senior season with county and Class 4A state victories in the 500. He also teamed with Craig Thompson, Tyrone Capers and Troy Thomas to form an undefeated 800 relay team that won the state title for the second straight year and took fourth in the 1,600 relay.
* Dave Russell, Perry Hall, Sr. -- Russell was the best pole vaulter in Baltimore County history. He broke the county record three times (the last by over half a foot) during the season and cleared a personal best 14-7 in winning the state Class 4A title for the second straight year. He improved more than two feet during the season.
* Joe Smith, Parkville, Jr. -- Smith, who never had finished better than fourth in a state competition, came into his own this season. After winning the county championship in the 1,600, he went on to win the Class 3A state title in 4:40.2.
* Lloyd Vennie, Poly, Sr. -- One of the area's fastest at intermediate distances, he finished his senior season with a second place in the 500 (1:09.6) and a third in the 300 (37.8) at the state Class 3A meet after winning regional titles in both. He also took fourth in the 400 (51.08) at the Delaware Invitational and anchored the 1,600 relay squad that took fourth in the state.
GIRLS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
* Krissy Jost, Perry Hall, Sr. -- With another stellar campaign, the distance specialist established herself as one of the state's all-time best. She ran to victories in both the 1,600 and 3,200 at the county, region and state meets, winning the Class 4A 1,600 in a state-meet record 5 minutes, 1.9 seconds. She placed fifth at the Milrose Mile at Madison Square Garden and set a county mark in the 800 (2:19.2) in winning the National Guard meet. Other top wins came at the Delaware Invitational (1,600, 3,200), the Baltimore Metro Invitational (800, 1,600) and Virginia Tech Invitational (1,600). In addition, the Villanova recruit anchored the county record-setting sprint and distance medley relay teams.
GIRLS CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR
* Jeff McDaniel, Catonsville, and Pat Sokoloski, Perry Hall -- McDaniel led the Comets to their sixth straight region title and to second- and fourth-place finishes in the county and state meets, respectively. He said the highlight of the season was watching his 3,200 relay team set a Class 1A-2A record in winning the state title with a time 12 seconds faster than any in county history. Sokoloski led the Gators to victory at the county championships, fourth place in the region and sixth at the state 4A meet. He said his team's defining moment, however, came at the National Guard meet, where it took first place. He specialized in working with the sprinters.
THE GIRLS TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Christina Chillemi, Dulaney, Sr. -- Chillemi won the county championship in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 2 inches, before tying for third at the state Class 4A meet. She also was second in the county in the high hurdles and ran a leg on the fourth-place 800 relay team.
* Tamara Clarke, Western, Sr. -- After winning the 500 in the city, Clarke took third in the regionals. She helped the Doves on three of the area's best relay teams (800, 1,600 and 3,200) with the 1,600 team taking third at the state 4A meet.
* Ann Giardina, Catonsville, Sr. -- She was second to Jost in the 1,600 for most of the season, taking runner-up at the county championships before winning at the regionals. She also took second in the regional 3,200 and ran a leg on the state championship 3,200 relay team that set a Class 1A-2A record.
* Lori Havrilla, Catonsville, Sr. -- Havrilla excelled all season participating in the unusual combination of the shot put and high jump. As a shot putter, she placed second in both the county and National Guard meets and fifth in the states with a top heave of 30 feet, 10 1/2 inches. She also took sixth in the state 1A-2A high jump, clearing 4-10.
* Joanna Helm, Perry Hall, Jr. -- Helm won the county 500 title, took second in the region and seventh at the state 4A meet in a personal best 1:21.9. She also found success in the 300 (third in county), high jump (second in county, fifth in region). She was a member of the county record-setting sprint and distance medley relay teams and set a county mark in the 400 at the Delaware Invitational.
* Donita Hurston, Randallstown, Sr. -- Hurston established herself as one of the area's top sprinters by winning county titles in both the 55 -- (7.4) and 300 (43.8). She went on to take fifth in the 55 at the Class 3A state meet.
* Brigid O'Connell, Catonsville, Soph. -- This sophomore ran the leadoff leg on the Comets' 3,200 relay team that won the Class 1A-2A state title in a record 9:59.7 -- 12 seconds faster than any county team in history. She also won the 3,200 at regionals while taking second in both the county and state meet and took seventh in the state 1,600.
* Deborah Ray, City, Jr. -- This junior ran nearly two-tenths of a second faster than her previous best this season in taking fourth place in the high hurdles at the Class 3A state meet in 9.03. She missed placing in the top three by one-100th of a second.
* Eden Rellihan, Catonsville, Soph. -- The hardest worker on the ++ Comets, according to McDaniel, Rellihan also ran the fastest split on their record-smashing 3,200 relay team. In the 500, she took third in the county, second in the region and sixth an the Class 1A-2A states.
* Meghan White, Dulaney, Soph. -- After fighting through a series of physical problems, she came back in the state Class 4A meet to run personal bests in the 800 (fifth place) and 1,600 (second). She also finished in the top three in both events at the county and regional meets.
PICKING THE TEAM
The Baltimore Sun All-Baltimore City/County Indoor Track and Field team was selected by Jeff Seidel and Rich Scherr after consultation with staff writers and area coaches.