All-Howard County outdoor track teams

High Schools

June 04, 2000

Boys Performer of Year

Luis George, Long Reach, senior: George swept the 400 and 800 runs at counties, regions and states while leading his team to its first county and regional championships and a fourth-place state finish. George won four gold medals at the county meet, competing on the victorious 800 and 3200 relay teams, winning the 400 in 49.0, and setting a 10-year-old meet record in the 800 at 1:56.3. His 3200 relay also set a meet record of 8:05.1. George won the Iron Man Award given to the meet's outstanding athlete. An All-County football player, George is headed to the University of Mississippi on a track scholarship.

Boys Coach of Year

Errick Henlon, Long Reach: In just his second year at Long Reach, the Jamaican-born sprint specialist helped the Lightning produce its first boys county and regional titles and a fourth-place state finish. The 46-year-old Henlon, who coached six years at Wilde Lake before moving to Long Reach, and who taught physical education in Jamaica for 15 years, predicted a county boys title for the Lightning. "We had a balanced team and won with teamwork from students and coaches," Henlon said. Long Reach girls coach Joe Thomas said: "In two years he really made a difference with the Long Reach sprinters."

The boys team

Ryan Blackwell, Howard, junior: He nipped favorite Nick Fambro to win the county 110 high hurdles title in 15.1 seconds, and finished third in the county triple jump (42-04). Blackwell continued to produce at regions, winning the triple jump (40-07) and taking second in the 110 hurdles (15.2). At states, he finished second in the triple jump (41-11) and third in the 110 hurdles (15.5).

Nick Fambro, Oakland Mills, senior: He helped the Scorpions to a Class 1A state title by finishing third in the 300 hurdles (42.98), third in the shot put (45-1) and fourth in the discus (135-0). At regionals he threw 147 feet in the shot, but he was not eligible to win a medal because his team had missed its originally scheduled meet. Earlier, he won the county shot put title at 41-6 1/2 , placed second in the 110 hurdles (15.2), and was third in both the discus (119-4 1/2 ) and the 300 hurdles (41.9). He will attend Bowie State.

Kyle Farmer, Oakland Mills, junior: Howard County's most well-known male track athlete competed on three state championship relay teams and won the state 400-meter run in a Class 1A state record time (47.81) to give him a perfect 12 state gold medals in three seasons. The relays included the 400, 800 and 1600. The 400 relay team that he anchored at the Penn Relays ran the fastest time by an American team at 41.2 seconds. The 800 relay (1:27.19) he anchored just missed the state record time of 1:27.0. The All-Metro Performer of the Year in 1999 was hampered by a hamstring pull the past several weeks, and was unable to defend his 100 and 200 state titles because his team missed its Class 1A regional qualifying meet. The Scorpions have won eight state titles in the past 12 years.

Justin Ferguson, Howard, junior: The county's premier pole vaulter saved his best for last, jumping 13-6 at the state meet to finish second. He won county and regional titles with identical jumps of 11-06.

Jeff Johnson, Oakland Mills, senior: He was a member of two state championship relay teams, the 400 and 800. The 800 team ran a 1:27.19, just missing the state record of 1:27.0. The 400 team ran 42.4 in a cold rain at states, after posting a 41.2 at Penn Relays - the fastest time by an American high school team at that meet and a time that would have broken the state record. Johnson also won the 100 (10.8) and 200 (22.2) at the Knight's Invitational and the 100 (10.8) at the River Hill Invitational.

Ansen Jones, Long Reach, senior: Long Reach's most versatile jumper won the county long jump title (20-03 1/2 ) and finished third in the triple jump (43-01). The next week he won the regional long jump (20-03 1/2 ) and finished second in the triple jump (43-1). He'll attend Florida A&M University.

Kirk LaRue, Wilde Lake, junior: He scored 18 points at the county championships, winning the discus at 131-7 and finishing second in the shot put (44-6 1/2 ). He was winning the discus at regionals when he was disqualified for wearing a T-shirt. That also kept him out of state competition.

Mario Merrills, Wilde Lake, junior: Running behind two-time state champ Kyle Farmer, Merrills medalled four times at the county meet, finishing second in the 100 (10.7) and third in the 200 (22.3) while taking gold medals with the 400 and 800 relay teams. The 400 relay set a meet record at 42.8 seconds. At regions he won the 100 and was second in the 200. At states, he DQ'd in the 100, was fourth in the 200, won a gold on the 400 relay and a bronze on the 800 relay.

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