1998 All-Metro girls track team

June 04, 1998|By Steven Kivinski

Girls Coach of the Year

Joe Thomas, Long Reach: Under Thomas' guidance, the Lightning captured team titles at both the Howard County and Class 2A state meets. In eight seasons of coaching outdoor track, including six at Howard High, Thomas' teams have won three state titles and been runner-up once. The 33-year-old Glenelg High and Western Maryland College graduate attributed his team's success this season to improved representation in the field events and the presence of All-Metro performers Thema Napier and Teyarnte Carter. "This group knew what they had to do every meet," Thomas said, moments after his team captured the Class 2A state title. "They did what they had to do to get it done."

Performer of the Year

Thema Napier, Long Reach, senior: This repeat All-Metro performer capped a brilliant high school career by winning two gold medals and two silver medals at the Class 2A state championships and posted the best time of any classification in the 800 (2: 16.03), as her team won the state championship by 21 points over runner-up Central. She also won the 300 hurdles (43.58), finished second in the 100 hurdles (14.75) and second on the 400 relay (48.61). At this season's Howard County meet, Napier claimed four gold medals and the Iron Woman Award after winning the 100 high hurdles, 300 intermediate hurdles, 800 run and 400 relay. An honor student with a 3.67 GPA, she ran 14.3 in a preliminary heat of the 110 hurdles, breaking a 12-year-old meet record and the county record. After entertaining offers from many schools, Napier accepted a full track scholarship to the University of Maryland.

The girls team

Tia Burley, Western, junior: Burley took home one gold medal and three silvers from the Class 4A state meet after finishing second in the 400 dash, 300 intermediate hurdles and 3,200 relay and running a leg of the Doves' state champion 1,600 relay. She won the intermediate hurdles and finished second in the high hurdles at the Baltimore City meet, and at regionals won the 400 and was second in the 300 hurdles.

Teyarnte Carter, Long Reach, sophomore: The only local athlete to win three individual gold medals at the state meet, Carter swept the Class 2A 100 (12: 39), 200 (25.06) and 400 (56.88). She won the same three events in Class 1A as a freshman. Unlike last year, when the Lightning won the 400 relay, she had to settle for a silver medal in that event. Carter won four gold medals at the Howard County meet in the 100 (12.2), 200 (25.5) and 400 (57.9) and 400 relay (45.7).

Pun Chittchang, South Carroll, junior: Chittchang, Carroll County's Field Performer of the Year, lost just once this season in the long jump, but won every triple jump competition. She swept both long and triple jumps in the CMC, county, region and state meets. In addition, she set school records in both long and triple jumps. At the state meet, she ran a 1: 02.7 leading off the 1,600 relay, raced over to the long jump and nailed an 18-10 to win the event -- after resting two minutes. "For her, it's a commonplace thing. She can do it all," said coach Rob Pennington.

Amber Day, Oakland Mills, senior: She capped a celebrated high school career by winning the Class 1A 100 (12.47) and 400 (57.0) and finishing second in the 200 (25.27). At the Howard County Championships, she finished second in the 100 (12.4), 200 (26.1) and 400 (58.7). At the Knights Invite, Day finished first in the 200, breaking her own record set last year, took first in 400 and ran a leg on the Scorpions' winning 1,600 relay team. She'll attend the University of Minnesota on a track scholarship.

Jinelle Edmund, Harford Tech, sophomore: After successfully defending her Harford County titles in the 100 and 200 dashes, this sprinter went on to earn gold medals in the 100, 200 and 400 dashes at the Class 1A North Region meet at Perryville and closed out her season by capturing a state title in the 200 and finishing as state runner-up in the 100.

Jen Geroux, Parkville, senior: Geroux, who is taking her talents south to the University of Miami, closed out an illustrious high school career by winning state championships in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs. At the Baltimore County championships, Geroux won the mile and 2-mile and finished second in the 800. "The Hurricanes got a good one," said Knights coach Don Wann. "She's left an incredible void for us to fill." Expected to help fill that void is Jen's younger sister, Kristy, an incoming sophomore.

Catrice Jefferson, Woodlawn, senior: This Morgan State-bound sprinter helped the Warriors sweep team titles at the Baltimore County Championships by winning the 300 hurdles and 800 run and running on the first-place 1,600 relay. She took home four gold medals from regionals after winning the 400, 300 intermediate hurdles, 800 and 1,600 relay. At states, she won the 300 intermediate hurdles and took second in the 400. "I think she can take it to the next level," said coach Mike Sye. "She's a true competitor."

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