1996 All-Baltimore City/Baltimore County cross country teams @

November 19, 1996|By Steven Kivinski

Runner of the Year

David Chalmers, Gilman, Sr.: Chalmers kicked off his senior campaign by winning the Spiked Shoe Invitational and he closed it out by fighting off "walking pneumonia" and a "touch of bronchitis" to become the first Gilman runner to win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association individual championship. Chalmers' time of 17 minutes, 28 seconds at Goucher earned him top individual honors and helped the Greyhounds capture their first postseason title since 1980. In between those two meets, the Moorhead Scholarship nominee won Arundel, Harford and Palotti invitationals. His only loss of the season was to Sharif Karie of West Springfield, Va., one of the nation's top-ranked runners. "No one will know the pain he left out on that course that day," Gilman coach Jack Thompson said of Chalmers win at Goucher. "He's the best runner I've ever had the pleasure of coaching. "His discipline and determination are what set him apart."

Coach of the Year

Jack Thompson, Gilman: For a man who teaches advanced placement Calculus in Gilman's math department, Thompson sure was having trouble at the scorer's table following the running of the MIAA individual championships. "I was having a hard time making out the score. I was so overcome with emotion and happiness," Thompson said after learning that his Greyhounds had won their first championship meet title in 16 years. "It was my finest moment in cross country." Thompson took over the Gilman cross country program in 1975 and led the Greyhounds to their first MSA meet championship in 1980. "It was the most satisfying season I have ever had," he said. "It [the season-ending victory] wasn't entirely unexpected. We talked of the possibility of winning it and they went out and did it."

The Team

Brandon Cole, McDonogh, Soph.: Cole closed out a successful junior year by finishing seventh at the MIAA championships. He opened the season by finishing 14th at the Spiked Shoe and went on to finish sixth at the Mercersburg Invitational, eighth at the Meade Autumn Classic and 11th at the Knights' Invite.

Antoine Collins, Mervo, Sr.: Collins repeated as the boys Baltimore City champion in 17: 34, which helped the Mustangs capture their fifth straight city team title. He finished third at the Class 4A regionals at Dulaney and left states with a 15th-place medal.

Tony Diem, Curley, Sr.: Diem, a talented runner and wrestler, won the Fleet Feet Invitational in Reston, Va., and the Mervo Mustangs Invitational at Herring Run Park. The only person to beat him in the MIAA dual-meet competition was Chalmers. With blood gushing out of his knee at the MIAA individual championships, Diem still managed to finish third. "He shows a lot of heart every time he runs," said Friars coach Gene Hoffman. "He never gives up."

Shawn Gaver, Towson, Sr.: Gaver, a first-year runner, won the Class 2A North regional meet at Catonsville High and helped Towson to its second consecutive regional crown. He was fifth at the Baltimore County Championships, seventh at Dulaney's Barnhardt Invitational and finished 16th at states. "He is a natural distance runner," said Towson coach Gil Stange. "He had a fantastic year. I only wish I had him the other three years he was here."

Omar Knight, Perry Hall, Sr.: Knight's third-place effort at the Baltimore County Championships, helped the Gators boys team capture its 11th consecutive county title. He -- and his team -- won the Class 4A North regional meet at Dulaney. His 19th-place finish at the Class 4A state meet lifted Perry Hall's boys to a fourth-place finish. "I was very pleased with Omar," said Gators coach Jerry Martin. "I hope to use the cross country season to catapult him into a fine senior track year."

Chris Knott, Loyola, Soph.: This talented underclassman was runner-up at the Knights' Invite at Baybrook Park and Meade Autumn Classic, where he beat MIAA-rival Garth Terry. He finished third at the Goucher Invitational and his fourth-place showing helped the Dons finish third in the team competition at the Spiked Shoe Invitational at Johns Hopkins. "He loves to run and he trains non-stop," said Loyola coach Jose Albornoz. "He's just a kid who loves the sport."

Eric Linder, Calvert Hall, Sr.: Linder was the No. 1 runner and co-captain of a team that collected collect its fifth consecutive MIAA regular-season championship. He finished as runner-up at the Arundel Invitational and was fifth at the MIAA individual championships. "He not only does the work you ask him to, but he has a lot of good insight into the sport and he will come up and give [the coaching staff] suggestions," said Cardinals coach Jim McCoach. "He's a smart kid first-rate."

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