Early during her junior year, Fallston's Alyssa Evering had considered applying to colleges such as Maryland and North Carolina to find a career.
But after winning Class 3A titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the outdoor track and field state meet last spring, Evering enjoyed a role reversal. Colleges began calling her.
Evering took a scholarship from the University of Connecticut, which beat out Maryland, North Carolina, Florida State, North Carolina State and Notre Dame for the senior sprinter's services.
"Everything I wanted is there," said Evering, who visited the campus in Storrs, Conn., in October and made her decision a month later. "It's a little cold, but everything else is nice."
Her path to the Huskies is somewhat unusual. Evering, who participated in gymnastics for six years and competitive cheerleading for three, didn't take up track until last spring.
The lack of experience didn't seem to bother Evering, who swept the 100 and 200 at the Harford County, Class 3A North region and state levels.
Despite her success, Evering said she was taken aback by the attention she had drawn from college coaches.
"I was surprised that the coaches liked the fact that last year was my first year of track," said Evering, who claimed the 55 and 300 at the Clear Spring Invitational on Dec. 10 and the 200 at the Dickinson College Invitational last Saturday. "I guess their thinking was that they get to start with me not having any bad habits."
Evering, ranked in the top 40 nationally this winter at 55 meters, said UConn coach Bill Morgan told her that she would run the 100 and 200 for the Huskies.
This will be the final year of coaching for Maryvale's Jim McCoach and Glenelg's Mike Selmer.
McCoach, who has been coaching at schools such as Dundalk, Calvert Hall, Sparrows Point, Overlea and Dulaney since 1967, said he will step down after the indoor track and field season this winter to be closer to his wife and daughter, who live in Ocean City.
McCoach, who spends his weekdays living in the basement of a home owned by the parents of Maryvale runners Glenna and Kelly Sullivan in Phoenix, guided Calvert Hall to six straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Maryland Scholastic Association cross country titles.
He also started the cross country program at Maryvale four years ago that has finished the fall season ranked in The Sun's top 10 every year.
"I promised the girls that I would finish up with them," said McCoach, 61, who plans to assist the track and field teams at Snow Hill on the Eastern Shore.
Jason Miller, who ran for McCoach at Calvert Hall, will take over at Maryvale.
Like McCoach, Selmer is retiring to spend time with his family. Selmer said he plans to watch his daughter Carrie run during her senior year at Winthrop (S.C.) University.
Selmer, who coached Glenelg's boys team for two years before moving to the girls squad for the 1995-96 campaign, has helped the Gladiators' girls capture the 2002 Class 2A state crown in outdoor track, the 1999 Class 2A-1A state title in indoor track and four Howard County indoor track championships.
"Glenelg has - and will continue to have - a long tradition of fielding successful track teams," Selmer said. "I'm glad that I could be a part of that success."
A week after repeating as Carroll County champions, the Winters Mill boys and girls teams added Monocacy Valley Athletic League titles last weekend.
Competing in the Piedmont Conference, the No. 6 Falcons boys squad outpaced runner-up Middletown, 154-124, on the strength of double victories by seniors Dave Robertson in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 45.5 seconds) and the 3,200 (10:40.6) and Joe Taylor in the 300 (37.6 seconds) and the 500 (1:10.2).
The No. 10 girls team accrued 139 points to runner-up Middletown's 104 courtesy of wins from senior Katie Hertsch in the 800 (2:34.9) and the 1,600 (5:38.2) and junior Sara Sollott in the 55 hurdles (9.1 seconds).
North Carroll's boys collected the Chesapeake Conference crown by edging Frederick, 71-67. Senior Tim Wunderlich took the shot put (49 feet, 6 inches) and the pole vault (12 feet).