1996 All-Howard County cross country teams

November 19, 1996|By Rick Belz

Runner of the Year

Jeff Olenick, Centennial, Sr.: Won eight of his nine races this season, including the Class 3A state championship (16: 52). He had the fastest time among Baltimore Metro area runners and was the only area runner to win a state title. The 5-foot-6, 115-pound senior also won county (16: 26) and region championships and the Meade Autumn Classic and Howard County Invitational. His only loss was at the Lancer Invitational by two seconds. A two-time all-county performer, he finished seventh in the county and ninth in the state as a junior. "Never in a million years did I think I'd be a champion when I started running," he said.

Coach of the Year

Charles Shoemaker, Wilde Lake: The fifth-year coach has built a shining program for the Wildecats, who won their first state boys championship since 1971 -- the year the school opened. Although beaten by Atholton by six points for the county title, his team rallied to turn away Atholton in the regionals and at states, ++ defeating third-place Atholton by 25 points. The Wildecats also won the Howard County Striders and Arundel invitationals and were unbeaten vs. all teams but Atholton and Centennial. It's his second straight Boys Coach of the Year award.

The Team

Mike Zaron, Atholton, Jr.: A tremendous finishing kick earned him second (16: 37) at the county meet, nine seconds behind the winner, and the only county runners with a faster state time (17: 22) were Olenick and Coffman. He was sixth in the state Class 2A race and third at regionals.

Nick Barresi, Atholton, Jr.: He won the Class 2A South region championship after finishing fourth (16: 40) at the county meet. His 17: 30 at the state meet was the fourth fastest among county runners, good for seventh place overall in Class 2A.

Zach Heidepriem, River Hill, Soph.: He won the Class 1A Central region championship, becoming the school's first boy to win a title, and led his team to its first title. He finished third at states (17: 38) and was fifth (16: 59) at the county meet.

Mike Prada, River Hill, Soph.: His third--place county finish (16: 39) was 13 seconds behind the winner, Olenick. His second-place finish at regions (17: 35) was 18 seconds behind the winner, Heidepriem. He was sixth at states (17: 58), 53 seconds behind the winner.

Ben Coffman, Wilde Lake, Soph.: He came on strong at the state meet, recording the second-fastest time (17: 21) among all county runners and finishing fourth overall in Class 2A. He missed winning the South region title by three seconds, running 17: 59 behind Barresi. At the county meet he was sixth (17: 04).

Aaron Blum, Wilde Lake, Jr.: His 17: 32 was the fifth-fastest time among all county runners at the state meet. His regional time (18: 25) earned him fourth place, 29 seconds off the pace. His county time (17: 13) was good for eighth place.

Eric Myers, Centennial, Sr.: One of two seniors on the all county team, Myers fought off a hip injury to finish second in the regionals (17: 39) after a seventh-place county finish (17: 13). He was 10th at states in 17: 48.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1996 All-Carroll County cross country teams were selected by Jeff Seidel after consulting with The Sun staff and area coaches.

Pub Date: 11/19/96

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