THE TEAMS AT A GLANCE
GIRLS RUNNER OF THE YEAR
Kristen Nicolini, Annapolis, junior -- Her climb to the top among area girls runners is no surprise. Nicolini began surfacing in the seventh grade with some outstanding times and has helped her conditioning by swimming. In the ninth grade, she was already an accomplished indoor track distance runner. This season, she outran Perry Hall's Krissy Jost to earn the top runner award. Nicolini and Jost put on some exciting shows in six head-to-head races, with Nicolini winning four times. Nicolini won races from Annapolis to Frederick to Hereford High this season, with the big one coming in the state 4A championships at Hereford. She beat Jost by eight seconds in the state 4A title run (18:26 to 18:34). Almost every top runner in the area wound up being compared to the Annapolis standout at one time or another.
GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Marilyn Bevans, Perry Hall -- Like the classic running duels this season between Perry Hall's Krissy Jost and Annapolis' Kristen Nicolini, two area coaches had their own battle of sorts for the top girls coaching award. Bevans won that duel with Catonsville's Jeff McDaniel. Bevans took a young squad to Perry Hall's first state girls 4A title, finishing 28 points ahead of a talented Dulaney team. The top five finishers at the state meet for the Gators were three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman. Bevans, in her third season at Perry Hall, gained instant respect among her runners with a storied distance running background of her own. She won the Maryland Marathon twice and has a second-place finish for women in the Boston Marathon. Look for Bevans and Perry Hall to be around for a while.
ALL-METRO GIRLS FIRST TEAM
Alicia Adams, Glenelg, senior -- The Adams family continues to dominate girls cross country in Howard County. Alicia won her third straight county championship this season after a second-place finish as a freshman. Guess who was No. 1 when Alicia had to settle for second? That's right, her sister Kristina took first that year. Alicia is also the girls Runner of the Year this season, giving her that award for two consecutive years in Howard County. This is also the second straight first-team All-Metro position for Alicia. In addition to all the Howard county feats, Alicia won the 2A regionals and finished second in the state 2A championship race with a time of 19 minutes, 10 seconds -- 16 seconds behind Catonsville's Bridget Olp.
Krissy Jost, Perry Hall, junior -- The Runner of the Year in Baltimore City/County competition, Jost managed to win two of six meets against All-Metro Runner of the Year Kristen Nicolini. Jost beat Nicolini in their division of the Arundel Invitational and in the Harford Invitational. Not bad for the transfer from Queen Anne's who helped Perry Hall win its first girls 4A state title. When not competing against Nicolini, Jost won a 4A regional title and the Spiked Shoe meet. She was second to Nicolini by eight seconds in the state 4A championship meet. Stay tuned for more Jost-Nicolini duels next season. Both are juniors.
Teresa Love, Mount de Sales, junior -- This accomplished runner from the Association of Independent Schools was outstanding no matter what the competition was this season. She won the AIS group meet, won her division at the Arundel Invitational, took third at the state's Catholic championships and finished fifth at North County. Thanks to Love, the tiny student body at Mount de Sales has a lot to be proud of in cross country these days.
Becky McDivitt, Glen Burnie, junior -- It was easy for outstanding girls runners in Anne Arundel County to get lost in the shadows of Metro Runner of the Year Kristen Nicolini. McDivitt was one of those talented runners who was always in the hunt for Nicolini but had trouble catching her. McDivitt was second to Nicolini by nearly two minutes in the 4A regionals, third to Nicolini in the North County Invitational, third to Nicolini's second in their division of the Arundel Invitational and eighth to the first-place Annapolis runner in the state 4A championship race. Fortunately for McDivitt, there is a next year for both runners and things have a way of changing in one season.