2000-2001 All-Howard County indoor track

High Schools

March 07, 2001

Boys

Co-top performers

Kyle Farmer, Oakland Mills, senior: "He's one of the top two or three sprinters in the country," said Oakland Mills coach Sam Singleton, whose team won county, regional and state titles. "He's the real deal. Anytime the University of Florida comes up here to Maryland to get somebody, you know he's legit." Farmer will attend Florida on a scholarship, and hopes to be in Athens, Greece, for the 2004 Olympics. "With the right training and discipline, he'll be there," Singleton said. A four-year All-County selection, Farmer receives this award for the third straight year. He earned four gold medals at both the county and 2A-1A Central regional meets. At the county championship, where he was named Iron Man for the fourth straight year, Farmer took the 300 (34.20), 55 dash (6.30) and anchored the 800 relay (1:31.30) and 1,600 relay (3:33.70). At the regional, Farmer took the 55 (6.3), 300 (36.6) and anchored the 800 (1:34.9) and 1,600 relays (3:40.5). He earned Class 2A-1A state titles in the 55 dash (6.38) and 300 (33.90). His 300 time is believed to be the second-best in the country, and his 55 dash time is among the top 10. A dropped baton in the 800 relay meant a second-place finish at the state meet, and that happened only because of Farmer's amazing anchor run. Because of injuries and that fact that the Scorpions had wrapped up the state title, Farmer and his teammates did not run the 1,600 relay. Farmer, who will participate this weekend at the New Balance Indoor National Championships in New York City, has eight state titles and 13 county titles in his career.

Shane Stroup, River Hill, junior: "What a fantastic year," said River Hill's boys coach Todd Wright about his star runner. "And he's not going to get anything but better." Stroup finished first in every event he entered at the county, region and state meets. He saved the best for last, earning 40 of the Hawks' 48 points that was more than enough to earn the Class 3A-2A state championship. He set state Class 3A records in winning the 500 (1:06.7), 800 (1:58.1) and 1,600 (4:21.5), and the 3,200 relay team set a record (8:14.0) regardless of classification. At the 3A-2A West regional, Stroup took the 500 (1:07.6), 800 (1:59.8), 1,600 (4:31.6) and anchored the 3,200 relay (8:30.0). He finished first in the 800 (1:58.40) and was on the victorious 3,200-relay team (8:21.40) at the county meet. He ran only two events at the county championships to rest for the Millrose Games, which was two days later. Stroup was one of nine runners selected to run the prestigious high school mile, and finished eighth (4:24.18). He also competed at the Virginia Tech Invitational, and had personal-best times in the 1,600 (4:16.62) and 500 (1:05.8). "He's matured physically this season," said Wright, "and works so hard. He pushes the other kids, too. He's a great kid." Stroup is scheduled to run this weekend at the Nike Indoor Classic at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.

Coach of the Year

Sam Singleton, Oakland Mills: A head coach since 1993, Singleton's teams have won five indoor state titles as well as seven outdoor state championships. This is the third straight year Singleton has earned this award and fourth time in the last five years. "This team is special. This is probably the best team I've had in the last five or six years," said Singleton, whose team earned titles in the county, region and Class 2A-1A state meets. "These kids work very hard. They had a lot they wanted to accomplish and I think they did in most cases. It's just nice to see them jell together." Singleton said he tries to keep his athletes "in shape and healthy," and tells them "to work hard in practice and that the meets are fun." The message has gotten through.

The team

Chris Barksdale, Oakland Mills, junior: At the county, Barksdale was on the winning 800-relay team and had second-place finishes in the 55 dash (6.7) and 300 (36.30). He finished third in both the 55 dash (6.6) and 300 (37.7) and was on the victorious 800-relay team at the 2A-1A Central regional. Barksdale had fourth-place finishes at the 2A-1A state meet in the 55 dash (6.73) and 300 (35.70) and was on the second-place 800-relay team.

Ryan Blackwell, Howard, senior: A repeat All-County selection, Blackwell won the 55 high hurdles (7.60) at the county meet for the second straight year. He also had first-place finishes at the 3A-2A West regional (7.7) and the 3A-2A state (7.80) meets.

Justin Ferguson, Howard, senior: Earns All-County honors for the second straight year after winning the county pole vault title (13-03) in back-to-back seasons. He finished third (12-02) at the 3A-2A West regional and tied for seventh (11-0) at the 3A-2A state championship.

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