1997-98 All-Anne Arundel County indoor track teams

March 11, 1998|By Steven Kivinski

Coach of the Year

Andy Witte, Spalding: Witte, a native of Long Island who went on to star for Loyola College's cross country and track teams, led the Cavaliers boys to a runner-up finish at the Catholic League Indoor championships in only the team's second season. "It was an incredible meet. Everything went well," said Witte, who also serves as a Spanish teacher at the Glen Burnie private school. "We were knocking on the door all season and that night, everything came together. The nice thing is, we're a young team of mostly freshmen, so hopefully next year we can move up a little farther." Under the guidance of Witte and his invaluable assistant coach Jeremie Kregelka, the Cavaliers' girls squad grew to 28 members this winter. Not bad for a school that didn't have a team three seasons ago. "I felt it was a crime not to have a track program at the high school," said Witte, who added, "This has been a great learning experience for me. It's forced me to grow as a person in many ways."

Boys Performer of Year

Victor Thillet, Old Mill, sophomore: At 5 feet 3 and 112 pounds, Thillet isn't the most imposing figure at a track meet -- until he steps on the track. The talented 10th-grader piled up some big points this season for the Patriots' county champion boys team. He was county, region and state champion in the 3,200 and county and region champ in the 1,600. After chasing down Dulaney's Greg Vincent in the 3,200 at states, he took third in the mile. Thillet, who chooses to play soccer in the fall instead of running cross country, also finished third in the 3,000 at the National Guard meet. "His stride is much shorter than other people's and he doesn't have the best form but he just keeps pumping those leg and never lets up," said Old Mill coach Leon Walters. "He never seems to get tired."

The boys team

Awais Akbar, Glen Burnie, senior: Akbar, which means "great" in Arabic, was nothing short of it at the Class 4A East Regional championships, where he captured a gold medal in the high jump. A four-year member of Glen Burnie's thriving track program, Akbar cleared a personal best height of 6 feet, 2 inches to win one of the county's group meets at the Fifth Regiment Armory. "He has a lot of ability," said Gophers coach Aaron Walker. "He's one of these people who focuses on what he has to do instead of what his competition is doing."

Mike Brady, Arundel, junior: At distance-rich Arundel, Brady established himself as one of the county's premier sprinters. He peaked at the county championships, where he won the 300 dash in 38.2 seconds and took third in the 55 dash (7.1). Despite sustaining a pulled muscle in his hip during the region meet, Brady still managed to claim fourth in the 300 and helped the Bruins' 800 relay team qualify for states.

Edmund Carazo, Meade, junior: Carazo, a wide receiver and defensive back on Meade's football team, was county champ in the high jump and runner-up in the hurdles at both the county and region levels. He took third in the high jump at the Pangaea meet and was part of Meade's bronze-medal winning 1,600 relay team at regionals. "He has quite a bit of potential," said Mustangs coach Hayes Henderson. "He will be one of our star kids again next year."

Mark Cunningham, Spalding, senior: Cunningham, a second team all-county defender on Spalding's MIAA soccer runner-up, won the 600 run in two of the three MIAA meets but miscounted laps at the conference championships and had to settle for fifth. He bounced back from the miscue and "showed character and && heart" by finishing fifth in the mile. "The 800 is his strongest event, but unfortunately, the way the track is at Essex Community College, we couldn't run it," said coach Andy Witte. "He trains hard, he's tough and he's dependable."

Dan Liden, Old Mill, sophomore: Liden, an honor student and Minds in Motion recipient, emerged as county champ in the pole vault after clearing a personal best 11 feet, 6 inches. At regionals, the sophomore injured his arm while vaulting and ended up fourth.

Mardy Mahoney, North County, Senior: Mahoney, who didn't join the Knights' track team until his junior year, took first in the hurdles at the county and region meets and took home the bronze at states. He also ran the anchor leg of the county and region champion 800 relay team that finished third at states. "He did all he could this season," said coach Ed Harte. "I give him an 'A'."

Tyrone Powers, North County, senior: Powers came into his own this season and became county and region champ in the 55 dash -- an event he placed third in at states. He also ran a leg of the Knights' 800 relay that won at counties before placing third at regions and states. "He was in the shadow of Kiki Ellis and Tony Fowlkes the last couple of years and this year he was our go-to guy," said coach Ed Harte. "A bad start at states is what cost him from finishing higher in the dash."

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