COACH OF THE YEAR
* Eric Kemp, Aberdeen -- In his first season, he engineered a remarkable ascent for the Eagles boys team, bringing it to its first county title, a regional championship and third place in the 2A state meet -- their best showing in the state since 1976. The Eagles, who didn't win a meet last year, went 11-2 in dual meets this spring, losing only two close decisions to C. Milton Wright. Kemp passes the credit on to his assistants, Frank Sumpter and Eric Cochran, and to his athletes. "We got the kids to believe in themselves and they did it. They have really done a lot, coming from where they were," he said. "I'm no super coach; I just get them to work. I'm amazed no one has tapped this talent before."
BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
* Andre Turner, Joppatowne -- A sprinter last season, he applied his natural speed this year to out-kick opponents over 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He lost only twice, in two close 400-meter races to state champions. No one came close to him in the 800. In his first trip to the state meet, he ran 1 minute, 58.48 seconds to win the Class 1A 800 and a 1:56.7 to lift his 4x800 relay to victory. He placed second in the state 400 in 49.75, the best Harford time of the season. He won four gold medals in his regional meet. Said Joppatowne coach Greg Komondor, "He's gifted and he works hard. Even when we have a day off, he'll practice."
BOYS FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Eric Benjamin, C. Milton Wright, Soph. -- A reliable point-winner in the distance events, he won the 1,600 and 3,200 in the county meet, won the 3,200 in the regional and placed second in the 3,200 at the states with a career best of 9:55.1. He led the county in the 1,600 at 4:35.0.
* Pete Chamberlin, Fallston, Jr. -- The county champ in the high hurdles, he recorded the county's fastest time in that event (15.0) with impeccable form. He was also among Harford's fastest in the 300 hurdles.
* Duane Fisher, C. Milton Wright, Jr. -- In the 300 hurdles, he gained speed steadily in the latter part of the season to win the county meet and place second in the regional and the state 3A meet with a best of 40.85. He was strong in the horizontal jumps, 400 and relays.
* Dondre Gilliam, Aberdeen, Jr. -- He did what very few Harford athletes have ever done, win two state titles in his first season of track. He won the 200 and 400 in the county, regional and state meets, registering best times of 49.8 in the 400 and 22.1 in the 200. He also competed in the 100, long jump, high jump and relays.
* Brad Hulbert, Joppatowne, Sr. -- He led county high jumpers (6-1), was close to the best at 300 hurdles (41.8), ran a 2:08 on Joppatowne's state champion 3,200 relay and a 16.0 in the high hurdles. A double-winner in the regional meet, he took fifth in both the high jump and 300 hurdles in the 1A state meet.
* Steven Shaw, North Harford, Jr. -- A discus thrower last season, he took up the shot put this year. Starting at 38 feet in April, he concluded the season with a state-meet winning throw of 51 1/2 . Along the way, he broke a school record that had stood for 25 years. Undefeated in the shot put, he lost only twice in the discus and placed second in the 2A state meet.
* Tim Short, Fallston, Jr. -- The county champion in the pole vault, he had a best mark of 11-0, a foot higher than the next best !! Harford vaulter. He also anchored the Cougars' 800 relay team that won county and regional meets and placed third in the state. He was a finalist in the 200 in the state meet.
* Terrence Washington, Aberdeen, Jr. -- A consistent all-around jumper, he was one of the top point producers for Aberdeen through its 11-2 dual season. He won the county long jump and both the high and long jump in the regional. He placed fourth in the state meet. He led long jumpers at 21-4 1/2 .
* Mike Wood, Havre de Grace, Jr. -- Unbeaten at 100 meters until he reached the state meet, Wood lost only one race to a county runner, a 200 to Gilliam. His best times of the season (10.7 and 22.2) were near the top among Baltimore area rankings. He was a double-winner in the Class 1A regional meet and placed fifth in the state 100.
GIRLS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
* Becky Bystry, Fallston, Jr. -- "She's a natural athlete," said Fallston coach Greg Thompson. Such was apparent in her quick development as a hurdler. Only a month after her first attempt at the 100 hurdles, she won the event in the county meet in 15.3 seconds, just a tenth off the county record. She won three individual titles that day and led off the Cougars' 400 relay team that placed third, ensuring that Fallston would repeat at team champion. Her triple win raised her career county title total to six: She won the high jump as a freshman, the triple jump as a sophomore. This year she repeated in the triple jump and added the long jump.
GIRLS FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Jen Englehart, C. Milton Wright, Jr. -- In the 3,200, she won the county and regional meets and had a best of 11:56.5. She also was among the county's best at 800 (2:31) and 1,600 (5:32) and was a member of Wright's regional champion 3,200 relay team.
* Amy Goetzinger, John Carroll, Jr. -- She was the only athlete to set a county record this season, running 45.6 in the 300 hurdles. She captured the county title in the same event, then won four events in the private school championships. She was among the county's best in the horizontal jumps and 100 hurdles.
* Monica Grigora, Bel Air, Jr. -- She had the county's best performance in the long jump (16-10) and high jump (4-11) and was ranked fourth in the 100 hurdles, fifth in the triple jump. In the regional meet, she won two events and placed second in two.
* Delicia Haynes, Edgewood, Jr. -- She had the county's longest triple jump of the season (34-10 1/2 ) in winning the 2A regional meet. She also won races at the 100 and low hurdles, and was a mainstay on Edgewood's county and regional champion 400 relay team, which had the fastest time in the county.
* Tiffany Higgins, Bel Air, Jr. -- She led the county in both the discus (100-4) and shot put (31-6). In the state 3A meet, she placed second in the discus, missing victory by just 2 inches. She won both the shot and discus in the county and regional meets.
* Cara Johnson, North Harford, Jr. -- The county champion in the high jump, she placed fifth in the state 2A meet. Her best mark of the season was 4-10 1/2 . She also ran on the Hawks' 1,600 relay.
* Susan Kirn, North Harford, Sr. -- She won the 200 and 400 in both the county and regional meet. She placed fifth in both events in the 2A state meet, dipping under 60 seconds for the first time in the 400 with a 59.62. In three years, she won six county titles among the 400, 200 and 100.
* Beth McFarland, Bel Air, Sr. -- She was a consistent winner in dual meets and county champion in the 100 with a best of 12.7. She ran on the Bobcats' 400 and 800 relay teams that won the 3A regional meet. Her 800 relay team led the county at 1:49.4.
* Mary Beth Rollins, C. Milton Wright, Soph. -- She took over as Harford's best miler, winning both the county and regional 1,600 titles. In the 3A state meet, she placed fifth in the 3,200 with a school record of 11:43.8 and sixth in the 1,600 with a 5:23.6, both the fastest county times of the season.
* Cindy Wolf, Fallston, Soph. -- She won the 800 in the county meet and both the 800 and 1,600 in the regional. In the 2A state meet, she won four medals, placing third in the 800 (2:25.47) and fourth in the 1,600 (5:31.1), and running on the Cougars' 3,200 (third) and 1,600 (fourth) relay teams.