WESTMINSTER -- Anne Arundel County bid farewell over the weekend to some of the best track and field practitioners whose performance it has enjoyed, but it isn't as if the marquee will be devoid of star quality next year.
For every Mattie Cymek or Adrienne McCray, who most likely will be found at the NCAA Division I championships a year from now, there's an underclassman like Kristin Nicolini or Raina Domneys who's ready to improve her already lofty status in the state's all-time rankings.
McCray, the North County senior who'll soon decide among Eastern college powers George Mason, Seton Hall or Temple, was one of the names atop the most talented girls Class 4A field ever at the state championships Thursday through Saturday at Westminster High. Her 300-meter intermediate hurdle time of 42.9 seconds bettered the old state record of 43.2.
"I would have been satisfied with the record," McCray said. "I wasn't necessarily trying to break 43 seconds, but that's great."
Cymek, a senior at Chesapeake, got another meet record with an effort of 151 feet, 6 inches in the discus. In the 21-year history of the girls championships, only one other competitor has thrown over 138 feet. Cymek is headed to Louisiana State, which next week goes for its sixth straight NCAA title.
Nicolini, the Annapolis freshman whose experience before the indoor season included the occasional middle school field day and thousands of hours at the Severna Park YMCA pool, settled for third in the state 1,600, behind Dulaney junior Amanda White and fellow freshman Krissy Jost of Queen Anne's. Nicolini's time of 4:58.2 made her the fifth-fastest in state history and the all-time county leader.
The previous Panthers and county record-holder, Laurie Taylor, lTC was The Baltimore Sun's Athlete of the Year in 1979. Nicolini also ran personal bests of 11:10.3 in the 3,200 and 2:18.9 in the 800, not bad for someone who's still torn between team and individual endeavors.
The team remains the priority at Old Mill, where the Patriots girls placed second behind Eleanor Roosevelt, which has some of the nation's top performers. It was the seventh time in nine years Coach Ron Evans' program earned either the first- or second-place trophy, and sophomore Domneys and junior Michelle Smith led the effort.
Domneys became the third girl in meet history to reach 39 feet in the triple jump, with a half-inch to spare. Still, she was second behind national leader Tyra Moore of Largo, who also edged her in the 100 hurdles. Domneys got a Baltimore-area record in the triple jump, and no other area girl came close to her hurdles best of 14.7.
Domneys also anchored an area-leading relay, the Patriots' 4x100, which dipped to 48.9 seconds. The first leg was provided by Smith, one of the county's most versatile athletes. She won the shot put on her last attempt, with a mark of 39-8 1/2 ; was third in the discus; and was a non-scorer in the triple jump, though she had a personal best of 35-2. Not bad for someone nursing a nasty foot injury.
Old Mill's boys, who like the girls are No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun poll, settled for sixth place in the tight team standings behind Rocky McMillan. He won the 300 hurdles in 38.6 and lost a photo finish in the 110.
The debate about the county's top hurdler wasn't settled, as South River junior Jason Fullmer dominated the Class 3A proceedings with times of 14.4 and 38.8 despite sluggish starts. If Fullmer can learn to get his 6-foot-5 frame out of the blocks better, next year he could threaten the county records of 13.9 and 37.6.
Fullmer will share the spotlight next year with North County's Sam Lomax, the 4A 400 champ with a Baltimore-area best of 48.6.
The county's only other state champion was Northeast senior Bill Atwell, who took the Class 2A discus with a toss of 157-0. At the county championships two weeks earlier, Atwell improved the Anne Arundel record to 169-11, and he had designs on the Baltimore-area record of 175-1.
If national leader Jermaine Lewis of Roosevelt hadn't been involved, two 4A sprinters would have been state champions. North County's Anthony Walker, who hopes football coaches at Syracuse let him run spring track, placed second in the 100 in 10.6. Glen Burnie's Alphonso Generette was second in the 200 in 21.4, believed to be the second-fastest ever by a countian.