BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
* Pat Saunderson, Atholton -- An Atholton runner in the mid-80s, Saunderson set three goals for his team at the beginning of the season -- winning county, region and state championships. The team accomplished all three goals. The school never had won a Class 1A-2A state title. Three years ago, when Saunderson took over as head coach, the team had just seven members. This year it had 84. The last event of the state meet clinched Atholton's gigantic leap from have-nots to state champs. The Raiders won the 4 X 400 relay and set a state record of 3 minutes, 33.6 seconds. Saunderson, 26, graduated from Atholton in 1987 and earned nine letters in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. He teaches social studies at Atholton.
BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
* Jared Howard, Atholton, Jr. -- Howard earned eight gold medals in five days during the county and region meets. Then he came back in the same events at the states to claim two more golds, a silver and a bronze, leading his team to its first Class 1A-2A state championship. Howard set a school record of 1:08.6 in the 500 at regionals. He was part of the state record-setting 4 x 400 relay team. He also finished first in the Class 1A-2A state 500-meter run (69.5) and second in the state 300 (38.1). He was part of the state third-place 4 X 200 relay team (1:37.2). "Jared had our sprinters working out since Sept. 1," Saunderson said. "He's a great role model, and not too many athletes win 10 first places during the county, region and state meets. He's proven he wants to be the star of our team and has found himself a home here."
THE BOYS TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Ed Chang, Atholton, Sr. -- He was part of the Class 1A-2A state record-setting 4 X 400 relay team. He broke the existing
school record in the 500 at the regional meet but finished second behind Howard. At the county meet he earned silver medals in the 800 relay and the 500 run, a bronze in the 800 run and a gold for the 400 relay. At the regional meet, in addition to his second in the 500, he was third in the 300 and won a gold for the 400 relay.
* Max Clifford, Atholton, Jr. -- He collected golds for the county 400 relay and for the county 200 relay. He finished third in the county 55 -- and second in the 300. At regionals he won golds in the 55 --, 200 relay and 400 relay. Clifford capped his season by collecting bronze medals for both the Class 1A-2A state 55 -- and 200 relay and a gold for the state record-setting 400 relay.
* Greg Curtis, Oakland Mills, Sr. -- He was undefeated in both the 800 and 1,600 until the Class 1A-2A state meet, where he finished sixth and eighth, respectively. His best time in the 1,600 was 4:34, and his best in the 800 was 2:03. At states, he anchored the winning 800 relay team. He was a large part of Oakland Mills' two-time state championship teams his sophomore and junior seasons, but the Scorpions finished second this season.
* Faisal Hasan, Wilde Lake, Jr. -- A consistent scorer in two events, he ran third in the 3,200 and fourth in the 1,600 at the Class 1A-2A state meet; second in the 3,200 and fifth in the 1,600 at the region meet; third in the 3,200 and second in the 1,600 at the county meet.
* Charles Martin, Glenelg, Jr. -- The county's premier high jumper, he finished second in the state Class 1A-2A meet with a jump of 6 feet, 2 inches. He won county and regional titles.
* Steve Petro, Oakland Mills, Jr. -- He lost only one race this season in the 3,200 -- a second in the National Guard Meet. He finished first in the 3,200 in county, regionals and Class 1A-2A states, and 10:06 was his best time. Petro also finished third in the 1,600 at county and regional meets.
* Kevin Rondon, Oakland Mills, Jr. -- The county shot-put champion, Rondon finished second at the regional meet and third at Class 1A-2A states. His best toss was 48 feet, 1 inch.
* Chris Selmer, Glenelg, Soph. -- One of the county's top middle-distance runners, he earned two silver medals at the Class 1A-2A state meet by finishing second in the 800 (2:05.6) and by anchoring the second-place 800 relay team. Selmer was third in the county 500 and second in the county 800. He ran third in the region 500 and 800.
* Jason Stephens, Howard, Sr. -- The county's top sprinter this season won the 55-meter -- at the county, region and state meets. His best time was 6.4 seconds. Stephens also finished fifth in the Class 3A state 300 and first in the region 300. And he ran on the 200-relay team that finished second in the region.