1994 All-harford County Track And Field Team

June 09, 1994|By Bill Blewett

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Bob Johnson, C. Milton Wright -- This was his first year as head track coach at C. Milton Wright, but Johnson has contributed much to the Mustangs' track success over the past seven seasons. As assistant coach, he developed the distance runners who have been big point producers for the Mustangs.

He kept the Wright track machine humming along this season, winning its eighth consecutive county boys title and surpassing 100 straight victories against county teams. The team placed fourth in the 3A state meet, the best finish by a Harford team. The Mustangs set four school records in the state meet. Johnson was a sprinter when he ran track for Edgewood High School (class of '66), but he has been immersed in distance running since -- not only as a cross country and track coach but as a recreational road runner. Before arriving at C. Milton Wright, he coached the Fallston girls cross country team, guiding them to several county titles.

BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

* Terry Vail, Bel Air, Sr. -- What clinched Performer of the Year honors for Vail took just 15 seconds of the season. That's how long it took him to run the 110 high hurdles in the Class 3A state meet and win Harford's only state title in track and field.

Vail's combination of impeccable hurdling form and natural speed earned him five county hurdle titles. But it was his strong determination that won him the first state championship for the Bel Air boys team in 10 years. He came into the meet with a pulled hamstring, the same injury that had kept him out of the county championships two weeks earlier. "He was determined to win," said coach Randall Cerveny. "[The injury] was painful. It was uncertain whether he would be able to compete at all."

Vail's speed and strength, which brought success as a running back on the Bel Air football team, lead him into a new event in college. His football days are over, he says, and at West Virginia University this fall, he will begin training for the decathlon. He has shown talent in the jumping events (over 20 feet long jump and 6 feet high jump) and, at 195 pounds, should do well in the throwing. He intends to major in physical education. "I hope to be a coach one day," he said. "I've gotten so much from sports. I've got to give back."

GIRLS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

* Cindy Wolf, Fallston, Fresh. -- Fallston coaches knew they had found a rare talent when they watched Wolf run in a dual meet on April 28, just a month after her first track race. This 5-foot, 105-pound newcomer lined up for the 1,600 that day against the county's top distance runner, Michelle Apland of Bel Air. Wolf beat Apland in a personal best and county-leading time of 5 minutes, 27 seconds. Later in the meet, Wolf beat Apland again in the 800.

"She is so focused when she runs," said coach Greg Thompson. "I've been coaching nine years, and I've never seen anyone who can work as hard as she can. She just pushes herself to the limit."

Thompson saw her run a fitness mile in 6:30 last year and talked her into coming out for track. She tried the long jump briefly, then turned to the middle-distance races. She took to them with the temerity of a veteran, racing through her first season with just one loss (to Apland) prior to the state meet.

She won three gold medals in the county meet, four in the 2A regional. In the state meet, she ran a spectacular anchor leg on the 3,200 relay to bring the Cougars from fifth to second place. She also placed fourth in the 800 and sixth in the 1,600. She led the county in both the 800 (2:23) and 1,600 (5:27).

BOYS FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE

* Scott Davies, C. Milton Wright, Sr. -- From football running back to half-miler, he showed unusual versatility. He led the county in the 400 (49.87) and 800 (2:01.5) and repeated as county 400 champ. He also anchored three of the Mustangs' county champion relays. In the 3A state meet, he placed third in the 400 and sixth in the 800, and ran a 49-second anchor for a silver medal in the 1,600 relay.

* Ephraim Dorsey, Fallston, Sr. -- In the high jump, he cleared 6-6, the best mark by a Harford athlete since 1987. He also raised the school record he set last year by an inch. He did not compete in the county meet but won the regional meet and placed second in the 2A state meet.

* Mike Gibson, Havre de Grace, Sr. -- He placed second in the long jump in the class 1A state meet after winning both the long and triple jumps in the regionals. An all-around athlete, he was captain of the football, basketball and track teams. He will attend the University of Delaware.

* Will Hanks, C. Milton Wright, Jr. -- Another football player, this 6-3, 220-pound shot putter won the county meet then placed second in the 3A North regional. His best throw was 43 feet, longest in the county by more than a foot.

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