Adams, White on right track Dean, Webber earn top coaching honors Coaches, performers of the Year


June 11, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Four years ago, neither Charles Adams of Perry Hall nor Amanda White of Dulaney could have predicted their future track and field triumphs.

For Adams, throwing the shot and discus was an off-season hobby taking a back seat to football. For White, distance running was of secondary importance to swimming.

But four years and 56 county, regional and state titles later, the graduating seniors leave behind a legacy of dominance and take with them a room full of trophies.

Make room for one more.

Adams is the The Baltimore Sun's Male Track and Field Performer of the Year for Baltimore County and White -- for the third straight year -- is the Female Track and Field Performer of the Year for Baltimore County.

They join longtime Dulaney coach Bob Dean and first-year Owings Mills coach Eric Webber, the Girls and Boys Track and Field Coaches of the Year for Baltimore County, respectively, to comprise a foursome that helped make this season one of the most memorable in recent years.

While White made most of her memories in the local, and even national, spotlight, Adams did the majority of his work from the more intimate setting of the thrower's cage in the infield.

But the 6-foot-4, 295-pound athlete, headed for Cheyney State in the fall, said it's not the attention that matters.

"If the team gets the spotlight, I feel good because I helped," said Adams. "It doesn't really matter if I get the credit or not. I know what I did."

What he did was win the Class 4A state shot put title for the second year in a row with a heave of 54-6 -- the third longest in Baltimore County history.

He adds that to an already rich high school career in which he has won six county titles and four regional titles and broken high jumper Greg Sutton's school record for career points scored with 393.

Adams, coached by former Perry Hall thrower Ron Schlicht, also finished sixth in the discus, helping the Gators to a 10th-place finish in the states. He said his main goal this spring was to repeat as state champion.

That was the goal for White, as well. The 1992 and 1993 Baltimore Sun Female Athlete of the Year reached that goal in three events, but had to trudge through injuries and the worst pain of her brilliant high school career along the way.

"It felt like I was laboring every step," said White, who raced to wins in the Class 4A 800, 1,600 and 3,200 despite two ear infections, strained back and leg muscles and an upset stomach.

"I tried not to think about the pain. When you dwell on an injury, you think about it when you're running, and you don't do as well."

But the senior refused to back down, as coach Dean says she never has in practice, a meet or in the classroom.

While winning national championships in cross country and indoor track, and gaining All-America honors in swimming, White still maintained a 4.0 grade-point average and earned a full scholarship to Stanford.

Those are the qualities that helped win her the Dial Award -- given annually to the top amateur female athlete in the country -- last winter. But her high school track career isn't quite over yet.

She'll compete later this month in the Keebler Invitational Track Championships in York, Pa., and the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Spokane, Wash.

And Dean will be rooting her on all the way.

Dean has done a lot of that in his 32 years of year-round coaching at Dulaney, the University of Maryland and Pikesville -- Middle School.

But this season was Dean's last on the cinder, as he must give up his winter and spring duties to make time for his new role as Dulaney athletic director.

The coach went out on a high note this spring, leading his girls team to wins in the county and regional meets and a third-place finish in the states. And though White may be the team's front-runner, Dulaney athletes scored points in 33 of 34 events in the county and regional meets.

"Mandy gives you that solid base that you know is going to be there," said Dean, "but if the other kids don't run, we're not going to win. Successful track is depth."

Over the years, Dean has had plenty of that, though he says that White and Bobby Wheeler -- a 1970 Dulaney graduate who held a national record in the indoor 600, and later won an NCAA title -- stand out in his mind.

While Dean, for now, will be saying goodbye to the local track scene, a newcomer from Owings Mills introduced himself with a bang.

Webber stepped in this year and helped turn a struggling boys program into a state contender.

Last season, standout sprinter Lonnie Humphrey was the only Eagle to score for Owings Mills in the Class 1A state championships.

But after recruiting six football players, and juggling his lineup, Webber turned around the team in remarkable fashion, leading it to a stunning third-place finish in the states.

"The attitude of the team is what's gotten us this far," said Webber. "The kids are willing to try new events. I need a hurdler or long jumper, a kid steps in and tries it. They've come a long way."


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