Marriots Ridge's Alexandra McKay and Howard's Daniel Rau are the winners of the Rotary Club of Columbia's 2013 Robert Davidson Scholar Athlete Awards.

Taariq Mohammed of River Hill and Glenelg's Emily Russo were the runners-up. The winners each receive a $2,000 award, while the second-place finishers get $1,000.


Alexandra McKay finished with an unweighted GPA of 3.90, earning 10 varsity letters between indoor track, lacrosse and soccer. She was a multiple-time MVP in indoor track and helped the Mustangs' girls lacrosse team to county, region and state titles. She is a member of the National Honor Society, along with several other esteemed groups, and will continue her education at the University of Maryland where she will also play lacrosse.

Daniel Rau posted a perfect unweighted GPA of 4.0 . He is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, an AP Scholar, and between cross country and indoor and outdoor track has earned nine varsity letters. As a senior, Daniel won the individual title at the county cross country meet and was second in the region and at the state championships, where he posted one of the fastest times of the day. His performances garnered him recognition as Howard County's cross country Runner of the Year and a spot on the All-Metro first team. In college, Daniel plans to major in mechanical engineering and run cross country and track.

Emily Russo posted a 3.95 GPA while earning 12 varsity letters — four each in field hockey, basketball and girls lacrosse. She is a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies. Russo is a three-time all-county first team selection in field hockey and was the county's girls basketball Player of the Year as a junior. Her senior season was cut short when she tore her ACL. She will attend UMBC next year on a basketball scholarship and will major in biology or biochemistry.

Taariq Mohammed posted a perfect 4.0 GPA. He also earned a perfect ACT score of 36, which was the first in school history, and is a National AP Scholar. Athletically, he has four varsity letters in wrestling and has accumulated 127 career wins. He placed first at the county and regional championship meets as a senior. His efforts as a wrestler earned him a spot on the state wrestling association first team and a position as captain of the all-academic wrestling squad. Taariq will be attending Johns Hopkins to study biomedical engineering.

Dye repeats at Columbia Triathlon 

At 15 years old, Cameron Dye won his age group in his first triathlon. Thirteen years later, Dye, a native of Colorado, won six triathlons in 2012.

One of those wins was last year's Columbia Triathlon. This past Sunday, under threatening skies, Dye repeated the feat — taking charge over the 40K bike course to win in an overall time of 1:51:02.

Second place went to Olympic medalist Bevan Dockerty of New Zealand, with Andrew Yoder taking third.

Hunter Lessi, in his first year on the pro circuit, was first in the 1.5K swim but was quickly overtaken on the bike course by the hard charging Dye. Dye held off both Yoder and Dockerty over the 10K run to claim the $5,000 first-place prize.

"I pretty much had the whole race after the bike course," Dye said. "Then I had to hold off Andrew (Yoder) on the run. I'm glad that the rains held up too."

Nicky Samuels, a native of New Zealand, took a commanding lead over the 40K bike course and cruised to win the female race in 2:01:39. She finished in 17th place overall. "The course was a tough one, but I love the tough courses anyway," she said.