All-Carroll County outdoor track teams

High Schools

June 04, 2000

Boys Performer of Year

Jesse O'Connell, Westminster, senior: The state's best-kept secret is out of the bag. Lightly recruited after his junior season, O'Connell proved himself this spring as far and away the area's premier middle-distance runner, winning county, region and Class 4A state championships in the 800 and 1600, as well as Central Maryland Conference championships in the 400 and 800. His 48.8 in the CMC 400 broke a 16-year-old school record, but that was only a small piece of the story for O'Connell. The Georgetown-bound senior ran in every event from the 200 to the 1600, surprising teammate Jared Craig in the 200 in a dual meet at Liberty and running the 1600 for the first time competitively at April's Westminster Invitational, winning in 4:28.3 to break Jason Santucci's meet record by nearly 10 seconds. He even won the high jump in one meet. Anchoring the 4 x 800 relay at the state meet, O'Connell made up a 50-meter deficit and held off Woodlawn speedster Clevon Johnson for the win. The personable, 6-foot-5 athlete is expected to focus mainly on the 1600 in college, an event in which he ran an area-best 4:19.58 at the state meet.

Boys Coach of Year

Jim Shank, Westminster: Shank's boys team captured its 17th straight Carroll County title, including its 10th straight under the coach. After serving as head coach at Westminster for several years during the 1970s, Shank returned to that role in 1991, and he hasn't looked back. This year certainly has to be considered among the Owls' best. Led by Jesse O'Connell and the multi-talented Jared Craig, the team began the postseason by knocking off conference-rival Frederick to win the Central Maryland Conference championship in what was considered a bit of an upset. Soon, however, the Owls would prove it was no fluke. They went on to win the Class 4A East regional title before capturing fourth at the Class 4A state meet at UMBC - Westminster's best finish in years.

The boys team

Troy Borneman, Westminster, junior: The county's premier high jumper, Borneman was consistent for the Owls this season. He cleared 6-foot-2 to win the county meet, to go along with third-place finishes at both the region and Central Maryland Conference meets and an 11th-place at the Class 4A state meet.

Jesse Corley, Bowling Brook, senior: Corley set school records in the long jump (20-9.75) and triple jump (41-9.5), taking fourth and second, respectively, at the Private Schools State Meet at McDonogh. He won the triple jump at the Walkersville Invitational and placed third at the Hancock Invitationals. He took second in the long jump at both Walkersville and the Western Maryland Classic.

Jared Craig, Westminster, senior: A probable decathlete in college, Craig excellent in several events this spring. He set school records in both the 110 hurdles (14.1 seconds) and 300 hurdles (38.84), claiming county titles in both, and won a state title in the latter. Among his numerous championships, he also won a county title in the 100 dash and conference titles in the 110H and long jump, an event in which he leaped 20 feet, 11 3/4 inches.

Josh Davis, Westminster, senior: The senior excelled in the 800, finishing second in both the county and Central Maryland Conference, third in the region and 11th at the Class 4A state meet. He also ran a key leg on Westminster's state championship 4 x 800 relay team, and spent the early weeks of the season competing in the 1600 and 3200 as well.

Tim Eagle, Liberty, senior: The discus standout measured up at a season-best 143 feet, 4 inches to take third at the Class 3A state meet at UMBC. It was a crowning achievement for Eagle, who threw 135-5 to place second in the county, helping the surprising Lions to a second-place team finish. He also won a Class 3A West regional title (134-7).

J.D. Egolf, Liberty, junior: The sprinting standout recovered from an early season stress fracture to run a 23.7 to win the 200 at May's county championship meet at Western Maryland College, helping the Lions to a second-place team finish. He also had a day to remember at the Central Maryland Conference meet, finishing fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 100.

Tristan Gilbert, Westminster, senior: He won a title in the 1600 at the Central Maryland Conference championships (4:33.1), going on to take second in the county, third in the region and 11th in the state in that event. He also took third in the 800 at the CMC meet, helping the Owls to a 1-2-3 finish in that event en route to a narrow team victory over rival Frederick.

Andy Kuchera, Westminster, junior: His coach, Jim Shank, refers to him as "Mr. Steady" in the pole vault, and with good reason. Consistent from start to finish this spring, the junior won county and region titles, also taking third at both the Central Maryland Conference and Class 4A state meets in that event. His personal best this season was 12-6, a foot higher than anyone else locally.

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