BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Oakland Mills, junior
Continuing a string started by Kyle Farmer and Izudin Mehmedovic, Cole stamped his mark as the most scintillating athlete on the track scene this winter. He was the only performer to bring home four gold medals from the Ivan Walker Howard County championships. Cole won the 55 dash in 6.3 seconds and the 300 in 35.3 seconds and paced the Scorpions' triumphant relay teams in the 800 (1 minute, 36.3 seconds) and the 1,600 (3:37.3). At the Class 2A-1A Central region championships, he was first in the 55 again (6.5), but second to Loch Raven senior Stann Waithe in the 300 (38.7) and the 800 relay (1:41.1). Cole completed his 55 sweep by clocking a winning time of 6.51 seconds at the state meet. He was runner-up again to Waithe in the 300 (36.2) at the championships. Cole's name is still etched in the Class 1A state record books as a member of the 1,600 relay squad that set a mark of 3:31.30 last winter. "He is the most electrifying athlete in the county," said Reservoir coach Sam Singleton, who formerly coached Oakland Mills.
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
The first indicator to LeMon that his team had the potential to win the county championship appeared in an early league meet where the Vikings edged perennial powerhouse Oakland Mills in the 800 relay. That snowball picked up speed until Jan. 29 when the Mount Hebron avalanche yielded the school's first indoor track county title. A quietly intense motivator, LeMon recognized the team's strength in its distance corps and field standouts. But the second-year coach cultivated a group of sprinters like senior Stephen Tamburrino and junior Lance Schreiber. "Those guys busted their tails," LeMon said. "Every time we asked them to do something, they would do it." After capturing the crown by 45 points over runner-up Oakland Mills, the Vikings finished third at the Class 3A-2A West region meet and fourth at the state championships.
THE BOYS TEAM
Wilde Lake, junior
Bensarghin proved that his success in cross country knew no boundaries. He collected county titles in the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 3.2 seconds and the 1,600 in 4:35.3. Bensarghin also participated on the Wildecats' 1,600 and 3,200 relay squads, which placed sixth and fifth, respectively.
Mount Hebron, senior
A year ago, Gasque was barely clearing 5 feet, 6 inches in the high jump. Now he's a state champion. Gasque completed his whirlwind ride by clearing 6-2 at the Class 3A-2A state championships. Last winter, he placed eighth in the high jump with a mark of 5-10. Gasque was first in the high jump at the county championships (6-3) and the Class 3A-2A West region meet (6-2).
Wilde Lake, sophomore
Gayer proved that he belonged in the elite corps of distance runners produced by the county. He was consistently in the top 5 in the 1,600 and 3,200 events, finishing fourth in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 40.8 seconds) and fifth in the 3,200 (10:39.9) at the county championships. Gayer placed fifth in the 1,600 (4:43.6) and fourth in the 3,200 (10:29.2) at the Class 3A-2A West region meet.
Graybeal appeared seemingly out of nowhere to collect the triple crown in the 500. He won the event at the county championships by clocking 1 minute, 7.7 seconds, at the Class 2A-1A Central region meet in 1:11.2 and at the state championships in 1:06.3. Graybeal was also second to Cole in the 300 (35.9 seconds) at the county meet and fifth in the same event (39.0) at the regional championships.
Mount Hebron, senior
Kampf complemented Matt Sanders as the Vikings' potent one-two punch. Although Kampf placed third in the 3,200 (10 minutes, 15.6 seconds) at the county championships, he rebounded with a win in the same event at the Class 3A-2A West region meet by crossing the finish line in 10:10.9. Kampf placed fifth in the 3,200 (10:06.8) at the state championships.
His finishes at the county championships weren't remarkable, but it's what Klebanow accomplished at the Class 2A-1A Central region meet that drew the most attention. He won the 800 in 2 minutes, 16.8 seconds and joined three teammates to claim runner-up finishes in the 1,600 relay (3:54.7) and the 3,200 relay (9:07.0). Those efforts helped the Eagles win their first regional title.
Oakland Mills, senior
When the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association classified the pole vault as a non-scoring event, many feared that current and future pole-vaulters would turn their focus to other events. But Mead continued to hone his skills, and the training paid off when he grabbed the county crown by clearing 11 feet. Mead used the same mark to win the event at the Class 2A-1A Central region championships.
The 55 hurdles belonged to Sagmiller. He registered a time of 8.3 seconds - a mark 0.8 seconds better than the rest of the field - at the county championships. Sagmiller finished third in the hurdles at the Class 2A-1A Central region meet by crossing the line in 8.4 seconds.
Mount Hebron, senior
Despite a series of foot injuries that forced him to miss several weeks, Sanders bounced back at the county championships, where he won the 3,200 in 10 minutes, 4.2 seconds and contributed to the 3,200 relay squad's victory in 8:38.0. After going winless at the Class 3A-2A West region meet, Sanders helped the 3,200 relay team capture gold in 8:23.2 at the state championships.
Wilde Lake, senior
Like Bensarghin and Gayer, Schnorf was a threat to his opponents in the distance races. He was a runner-up to Sanders in the 3,200 at the county championships, finishing in 10 minutes, 9.9 seconds. Schnorf was also third in the 1,600 (4:40.3) at the meet. At the Class 3A-2A West region championships, he was fourth in the 1,600 (4:40.0) and fifth in the 3,200 (10:38.4).
Stewart earned his second consecutive appearance on the All-County team by winning back-to-back county titles in the shot put. Last winter, he tossed the shot put 44 feet, 9 inches. Stewart added four feet to his throws, winning the county crown with a mark of 48-11.25. He finished second at the Class 3A-2A West region championships with a toss of 49-2.75.
GIRLS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Every athlete should have to deal with an injury like Grigoriev's. An overextended Achilles' tendon in her right foot led to other complications and forced Grigoriev to sit out a good portion of the winter. But she returned just in time for the Howard County Ivan Walker championships and didn't wait long to re-establish herself as the county's premier athlete. Grigoriev picked up her third straight county title in the shot put by setting a record with a toss of 43 feet, 7 inches. She placed second in the 55 hurdles (9.1 seconds) to Mount Hebron senior and personal friend Jeanette Curtis. At the Class 2A-1A Central region and state meets, Grigoriev swept both the shot put and the hurdles. She improved her winning time of 9.5 seconds in the hurdles at the regional championships by almost eight-tenths of a second to win the event at the state meet (8.71). Her mark of 42 feet, 7.75 inches in the shot put at the state championships was 3.25 inches shorter than her throw at the regional meet, but it still shattered the 1999 state record for all classifications. The previous mark was 42 feet, 2.75 inches by Meagan Verdeyen of North Hagerstown. Grigoriev's determination made an impression on several county coaches. "I'm always impressed by her sheer strength," said Mount Hebron coach Mark Reedy. "But to come back from an injury early in the season and not hurdle until the county championship and win a state championship, that speaks to more than athleticism. That speaks about her heart." This is Grigoriev's third consecutive appearance on the All-County indoor team.
GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Reedy has guided the Vikings' girls cross country team to two straight county crowns. So perhaps it's no surprise that he masterminded Mount Hebron's run to its first county indoor title by relying on a seemingly deep pool of distance runners. Distance standouts like Elise Lindenmayer, Katie Mason and Erin McAninch consistently provided points. But Reedy mixed their talents with two athletes who didn't run cross country - Jeanette Curtis and Darya Fakory. With Curtis spreading her talents in the 55 hurdles, the 55 and the 300 and Fakory taking care of the mid-distance events, Reedy fielded a solid squad capable of producing points in nearly every event. As Mount Hebron targets the spring as an opportunity to pick up its first county outdoor track crown, Reedy said he may not spin off one of his well-known pep talks. "I don't have to sell the kids on the possibilities," the second-year coach said. "They've already seen the possibilities."
THE GIRLS TEAM
Despite being a no-show at the Class 3A-2A state championships, Buie demonstrated her worth to the Bears by contributing 26 points to their third-place finish at the county meet. She captured the 500 in 1 minute, 21.1 seconds and was a runner-up in the 300 with a time of 42.9 seconds. Buie added a second-place effort with three Hammond teammates in the 1,600 relay (4:18.3).
River Hill, freshman
Few athletes make a splash in their first year of varsity sports. Even fewer can say they were champions. Carter is one of those who can make that claim. The freshman collected a county crown in the high jump, clearing 5 feet to hold off Mount Hebron junior Laura Bowen and Hawks junior and teammate Joung Park. Carter also ran a leg of the team's fourth-place 800 relay team.
River Hill, junior
Cunningham rebounded from an unremarkable cross country season to gain gold at the county championships. First, she teamed with three teammates to edge Mount Hebron's 3,200 relay squad - the pre-race favorite - and win the event in 10 minutes, 11.5 seconds. Cunningham followed that win with one in the 3,200 in 12:04.7.
Mount Hebron, senior
Defending a crown is never easy. Defending three of them is practically impossible. But Curtis achieved just that by repeating as a county, regional and state champion in the 55 hurdles. Every race was an opportunity to better her previous time as Curtis went from 8.5 seconds at the county meet to 8.2 at the regionals to 8.12 at states. Curtis also took up the 55 dash, where she racked up a third (7.4 seconds), a fourth (7.5) and a fifth (7.54) at the county, region and state meets.
First-year Reservoir may have found a future star. Ely finished third in the 500 (1 minute, 26.0 seconds) at the county championships and contributed to the 1,600 and 3,200 relay squads' fourth-place efforts at the same meet. At the Class 2A-1A Central region championships, she was a runner-up in the 500 (1:27.0) and helped the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams finish fourth and third, respectively.
Mount Hebron, junior
Whatever the Vikings needed, Fakory was willing to oblige. At the county championships, she won the 800 (2 minutes, 28.7 seconds), was a runner-up in the 500 (1:22.3) and the 3,200 relay (10:15.1), and chipped in a third-place outing in the 1,600 relay (4:19.1). Despite a winless showing at the Class 3A-2A West region meet, Fakory grabbed that elusive gold at the state championships when she and three teammates on the 3,200 relay (10:03.2).
Heinke could be the next in a long line of Gladiators standouts. Wins in the 1,600 at the county championships (5 minutes, 32.3 seconds) and the Class 2A-1A Central region meet (5:59.9) support her. Heinke also ran on the second-place 1,600 and 3,200 relays that helped Glenelg capture its second consecutive region title.
Awarded the top seed in the pole vault at the county championships, Kim didn't disappoint. She held off Glenelg senior Robin Lancaster to collect her first indoor county crown by vaulting 8 feet. Kim duplicated her performance at the Class 3A-2A West region meet with one exception - she added two inches to win the pole vault.
Long Reach, senior
Maybe Parrish would've been a triple gold medal winner at the county championships if she hadn't slipped and fell to the track while rounding the final turn in the 300. Still, Parrish was second in the 55 (7.3 seconds) and ran on the winning 800 (1 minute, 51.3 seconds) and 1,600 (4:18.0) relay teams. At the Class 3A-2A West region meet, she won the 300 (42.0 seconds) and contributed to the winning 800 relay squad (1:49.6).
Smith earned her third straight appearance on the All-County team for being one of the fastest athletes in the state - again. Smith repeated last winter's state crown in the 55 with a 7.25-second win in the event at the Class 3A-2A state meet. She swept the 55 at the county and region championships with respective times of 7.1 and 7.3 seconds. Smith was a county titlist in the 300 (41.8 seconds).
Glenelg Country, junior
Walls extended her success from the cross country season to the indoor arena, where she proved to be the Dragons' most consistent source of points. At the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships, Walls ran third in the 800 (2 minutes, 28.1 seconds) behind Bryn Mawr junior Laura Drossner and Mercy senior Jamie Antonious.