All-anne Arundel County Indoor Track

March 07, 2003

BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Will Eden

Annapolis, sophomore After placing seventh in the 3,200 at last winter's Class 3A-2A state championships, Eden vowed to grab a gold medal in his next attempt. The distance runner proved to be as good as his word, capturing the 3,200 at the state meet in 9 minutes, 50.8 seconds. Throw in a second-place effort in the 1,600 (4:31.2), and it's not hard to see how the No. 2 Panthers finished second at the state championships. Eden was third in the 1,600 (4:33.2) and second in the 3,200 (9:56.5) at the Anne Arundel County championships. He added second-place outings in both long-distance events at the regional meet. Eden had started off the season focusing solely on the 3,200, but Annapolis coach Charles Gross asked the young runner to consider participating in the 1,600 - which is just five events before the 3,200. "We knew he was capable of winning the two-mile [race]," Gross said. "We didn't know he was capable of winning the two mile after running the mile."

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

Charles Gross

Annapolis

Assuming the helm of a program that swept the county, region and state championships can be a daunting task. It was a challenge that Gross, who had been an assistant coach with the Panthers since 1997 before taking up his first year as the head coach, relished. Gross was blessed with a wealth of talent that few coaches could match. With Chris Menendez and Derrick Wallace in the sprints, Eden and Jonathan Julian in the distance races, and Demario Harris and Cardray Moulden in the field events, Gross could afford to rest some of his athletes and still win meets. In fact, that's what happened at an Anne Arundel-Baltimore County meet in January when Annapolis topped a field of 12 despite leaving Eden, Julian and Menendez at home. "We didn't try to do anything at all, and we ended up winning," Gross said. "That meet really showed the depth of the team." Gross attributes much of the team's success to the athletes and his assistant coaches - Scott Eden (distance), Warren Brown (shot put and strength) and Mike Ballard (pole vault and unofficial assistant head coach).

THE BOYS TEAM

Will Brown

North County, senior

Germany's loss was the Knights' gain. Brown, who moved from the European nation last year, put an exclamation point on his first season of indoor track by winning the 55 dash at the county championships in 6.4 seconds. He was also third in the shot put with a toss of 42 feet, 3.75 inches.

Martin Dougherty

South River, senior

Dougherty made good on a second chance. After finishing second in the pole vault with a mark of 12 feet, 6 inches at the county championships to Severna Park's Brian Grubel, Dougherty went 12-6 again at the Class 4A-3A Central region meet to win the event. He bettered that mark by six inches and collected the Seahawks' first state crown in at least a decade, said coach Hugh Harris.

Brian Grubel

Severna Park, senior

Something as simple as adjusting his hands on the pole vault helped the two-time All-County pick gain more than three feet on his attempts. He cleared 14 feet at the county championships to take his third straight crown. Grubel - who rebounded from knee surgery suffered during an off-target pole vault last spring - won the Class 4A-3A East region meet with a mark of 13 feet.

Demario Harris

Annapolis, senior

Harris was the do-it-all competitor for the Panthers. He claimed a county title in the high jump by clearing 6 feet, finished second in the 55 hurdles by clocking in at 7.8 seconds and ran a leg of the second-place 800 relay team that finished in 1 minute, 33.0 seconds. Harris was first in the high jump (5-10) and fourth in the hurdles (7.8) at the Class 4A-3A East region meet.

Chris Hopkins

North County, senior

Hopkins broke a 7-year-old county record when he won the 300 in 35.5 seconds - a time that bettered the mark set by North County's Toney Fowlkes in 1996. Hopkins was fifth in the 500 (1 minute, 8.8 seconds) at the county championships. At the regional meet, he was second in the 300 (37.4) and fourth in the 500 (1:10.2). Coach Ed Harte said Hopkins' success has persuaded him to give up baseball for track this spring.

Anthony Littlejohn

Old Mill, junior

Coach Janet Liimatta calls Littlejohn "a distance runner with a sprinter's kick." That formula worked in his favor when Littlejohn burst past Broadneck's Andrew Younger in the final 150 meters to win the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 30.2 seconds at the county championships. Littlejohn successfully retained his county crown in the 800 by finishing in 2:04.1.

Andrew Peresta

Southern-AA, senior

Peresta rewrote two records at the county championships. First, his 1 minute, 6.5 seconds in the 500 eclipsed the 1:08.2 set by Meade's John Young last winter. Then, Peresta ran a leg on the 800 relay squad that clocked 1:32.2 - 0.5 seconds better than a mark established by Meade in 1988. Besides placing second in the 500 and 55 hurdles at the Class 2A-1A state meet, Peresta won the 500 at the East region championships.

Eugene Perry

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