1998 All-Carroll County boys track team

May 29, 1998|By JEFF SEIDEL

Runner of Year

Steve McClearn, South Carroll, senior: Helping lead the Cavaliers to the Class 3A state championship last fall in cross country, McClearn continued to show why he's one of the area's most consistent runners. He won the county 1,600-meter title and was second in the 3,200 and fourth in the 800. Then he was third in both the regional 800 and 1,600, plus fourth in the 3,200. McClearn, headed for Cornell in the fall, ended his high school career with a second-place finish in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 at last weekend's state meet.

Field Performer of Year

Charlie Poole, Francis Scott Key, senior: Poole had a great senior season. Despite the fact that F.S. Key moved up to Class 2A, Poole won the state meet in the discus and was third in shot put. That wrapped up a big postseason, which also saw him sweep both the county meet's shot and discus honors, beating Class 4A state champion Beau Ridgway in the discus. In regionals, Poole won the discus and was second in the shot.

Coach of Year

Jim Shank, Westminster: Working with Tom Fisher, he helped guide the team to county, Central Maryland Conference and region championships. He did a good job of juggling the lineup to give the Owls the most points in the most places. That showed in the Central Maryland Conference meet, where Westminster edged Frederick by one point despite winning only two events to the Cadets' nine. Shank also played a key role in getting indoor track started this year, something that should benefit all Carroll County running programs for years.

The team

Matt Adami, South Carroll, freshman: He had a strong fall, as the Cavaliers won the Class 3A state title in cross country, and he showed more of the same this spring. Stuck behind Steve Hammel and McClearn on the tough South Carroll distance squad, he finished third in the 3,200 in the county meet. In regionals, Adami finished sixth in the 3,200. He should be one of the county's top distance runners for the next three years.

Ifeanyi Ani, Westminster, junior: He broke through this season with a number of strong efforts at big meets. Ani swept the long and triple jumps at the county and region meets and was sixth in the state triple jump. Ani preceded all of that with a win in the triple jump at the Central Maryland Conference meet that helped the Owls edge Frederick for the championship.

Marc Falcone, Liberty, sophomore: He followed up a strong freshman year with another good season. He was second in county in the triple jump at 41 feet, 9 inches. If he keeps improving, he'll be among the county's top field event performers next year.

Scott Glover, Francis Scott Key, senior: He's done everything there is to do in the county. After leading Key to a pair of Class 1A state titles, Glover ran well this year when the team moved to Class 2A. He won the 800 in the county and took third in the region meet and sixth in the state. Glover also anchored the 3,200 relay team that swept everything, taking the MVAL, county, region and state meets. He ran a tremendous final leg at the state meet to help the Eagles edge Potomac.

Matt Gronaw, Francis Scott Key, senior: This sprinter showed his versatility during postseason meets. He took third for the Eagles in the county meet in the 100 and anchored the victorious 400 and 800 meter relays. They also were second in both in the region. The 800 won at the state meet while the 400 took fifth. Gronaw's work helped the Eagles score many points on relays, one of the reasons this smaller school did so well so often.

Steve Hammel, South Carroll, junior: In the strong corps of South Carroll distance runners, Hammel edged McClearn for the county title in the 1,600 in a good race. In addition, he took second in the CMC in the 3,200 and finished fifth in the region in the 1,600. He should be one of the county's top distance runners again next year and could be among the area's best.

Aaron Howard, Francis Scott Key, senior: Along with Glover, he helped the Eagles win the Class 1A state title the last two years and found more success this year. He won the county 400 and took second in the 200. In addition, he ran second in the 400 at the region meet and ran on the aforementioned 1,600 and 800 relays along with Gronaw, both of which were very successful this season.

David Higgs, Francis Scott Key, senior: This hard-working runner helped the Eagles in different ways. He was fifth in the state 800 meters, edging Glover. In addition, Higgs ran leadoff on the 3,200 relay team that captured the state title by edging a good Potomac foursome. Higgs had the fastest split of the four Eagle runners in that race, which went a long way toward helping them win.

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