McDonogh's Bryn Holmes acknowledged it was something he thought about, even if he wasn't expecting it. Roland Park's Brittany Kalkstein said it took her by complete surprise.
Yesterday, the senior three-sport All-Metro performers were named The Sun's Male and Female Athletes of the Year at M&T; Bank Stadium during the 40th annual banquet for the awards.
"It was kind of something that I had [as a goal] in the back of my mind, but you never know because there are so many good athletes here - so I was surprised," said Holmes, who earned All-Metro honors as a 152-pound three-time state champion wrestler, a midfielder in lacrosse and a linebacker/defensive back/running back in football.
"I was surprised, yeah," said Kalkstein, who was named All-Metro in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. A high scorer in all three sports, Kalkstein earned All-America honors in lacrosse, as did Holmes. "I got a little nervous, standing up in front of all of these people, which doesn't usually happen to me. Receiving recognition in front of them for all three sports - it's really awesome."
Kalkstein, who will play lacrosse at Virginia, is the third Roland Park student to be named Athlete of the Year, joining Betsy Gaines and Kelsey Twist, graduates in 1999 and 2001, who also were All-Metro picks in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse.
Holmes, who will play lacrosse at Maryland, follows 1981 McDonogh graduate and three-sport athlete Richard Bosley and 1996 graduate Laurie Schwoy, a former National High School Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
"I'm honored to be a part of the McDonogh family, " said Holmes, a two-time National Preps wrestling champion who led the Eagles' lacrosse team to two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference finals and last year's title. "I thank my fellow competitors for bringing out the best in me - this ties it all together for me."
Kalkstein and Holmes said their achievement felt even better because it came in the 40th year of the event. A number of former winners were in attendance, including keynote speaker and Bel Air graduate Karen Stout.
A former All-Metro selection in field hockey, basketball and softball, Stout, 45, broke ground in 1978 when she became the first female to be named Athlete of the Year. Stout is in her sixth year as president of Montgomery County Community College near Philadelphia.
Others present included Southern-Baltimore's Don Russell, 57, who was the first Athlete of the Year in 1967, as well as Dulaney's Mandy White Pagon (1992-1993) and Gilman's Damien Davis (1998-1999), two of three repeat winners.
Perry Hall's Alisha McClinton, a winner in 1997 and former All-Metro track performer, was in town from Cork, Ireland, where she is a project engineer for Johnson & Johnson.
Roland Park's Twist also traveled a long way, arriving at 1 a.m. yesterday from Stanford, Calif.
"Kelsey Twist has always been an inspiration to me," said Kalkstein, whose league-high 21 goals and 19 assists led her field hockey team to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title. "You look around at the other great athletes, past and present, and it's even more amazing. I'd like to think that now I'm among them."