The River Hill indoor track and field coaches don't believe in taking it easy.
Girls coach Earl Lauer and boys coach Wes McCoy have lined up a tough schedule for the Hawks in the first part of the season.
"For boys and girls both, Feb. 16 [the state championships] is what's important," Lauer said. "All that happens before that is irrelevant. That's our goal, to be in the top five in the states."
The tough schedule helps get the teams ready for states. They ran in the Howard County Winter Festival earlier this month and were headed for the Mountain Express event at Hagerstown Community College yesterday.
After that comes the Southern Maryland Mega-Meet on Jan. 3 at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex (site of the state meet). One week later is the Montgomery Invitational, a difficult meet.
"In indoor track, if you can get your quality kids to the next level, you're going to win," Lauer said. "[That's when] you're going to be a success. It's about how many quality kids you have."
The girls have talent across their lineup. In distance, Katie Harman battled injury problems throughout cross country and is getting back to top form. Anna Demaree has been strong and gives the Hawks a tough 1-2 punch.
Dohren Coleman won the 100, 200 and 400 meters in the regionals in outdoor track last year and returns along with Lauren Knauff (who was the 55 hurdles champion in the county last winter and can also run relays). Jeanne Bikoi should also be strong in the shot put.
The boys also have depth. Craig Morgan, who won the Class 2A state championship in cross country, is a solid distance runner. Roston Moore is tough in the 300 and 500, and Adam Davis (800 and triple jump) and Malik Redd (sprints) give the Hawks even more.
Oliver boosts Hawks
Looking forward to this season, the River Hill girls basketball team had everything it needed for another successful run - except a veteran point guard.
Santa came a little early for the Hawks.
When Shantrel Oliver transferred from Wilde Lake, the 5-foot-6 junior filled the void perfectly.
"She brings a lot," said senior guard Vanessa Collier. "She's a great point guard. She sees the floor really well, and she's quick as all get out. She steals the ball and it allows us to play an up tempo game which we really like."