PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
For additional perspective on how talented Grigoriev is, consider that her record-setting discus throw of 160 feet, 5 inches at the Penn Relays in April was just 5 feet less than the winning mark among the collegiate throwers. At times, it seemed that Grigoriev was performing on a higher different level than her high school competition.
The senior set state records in the discus and shot put at the Class 2A state championships. Her discus heave of 155-10 shattered the previous mark of 151-6 established in 1992 by Mattie Cymek of Chesapeake-AA. With that toss, Grigoriev joined Cymek as the only participants to break the 150-foot barrier. Grigoriev then threw the shot put 44-1 1/4 , which eclipsed the 1981 record of 43-10 set by Carolyn Brown of Woodlawn.
She swept both events on the Howard County and West region levels. At the county championships, she broke her own records in the discus and shot put. Her throw of 152-7 in the discus was 17 inches farther than her previous mark, while her shot-put heave of 43-2 was better by 2-11.
Grigoriev, who captured her third straight state crown in the discus and her second consecutive title in the shot put, graduated as one of the most decorated athletes in track and field history. She walked away with eight indoor and outdoor state championships and ownership of three state records - the shot put and discus in outdoor competition and the shot put in indoor competition.
Grigoriev, who has entertained visions of competing in the Olympics since she was 8, will continue her track and field career on a partial scholarship at Kansas State, which has pledged to train her as a heptathlete.
COACHES OF THE YEAR
Keri Hymen and Jay Umholtz
Without a single senior on their roster, the Knights - only in their second year as a varsity program - made their first statement with a 31-point victory at the Carroll Invitational that included 2002 Class 2A state champion Glenelg and eight-time Carroll County titlist Westminster. After placing fourth at the Central Maryland Conference championships behind Frederick County powers Thomas Johnson, Frederick and Urbana, Century bounced back in emphatic fashion, toppling Westminster by 32 points to claim the school's first county title.
Blessed with the county Performer of the Year in sophomore jumper Teresa Yannone and an emerging sprinter in junior Stephanie Dickerson, the Knights stayed in The Sun's top-10 poll for seven weeks and posted the best finish among area teams at the Class 2A West region meet with a third-place showing. Although Century faltered somewhat at the state championships with a tie for 16th and Umholtz has resigned to focus on his full-time occupation as an attorney, the team's youth and energy suggest that the Knights will be a force next season.
C. Milton Wright
The sophomore not only took the 1,600-meter race at the Class 4A state championships, but her time of 5 minutes, 6.5 seconds was the fastest in the event among any classification. Buck, who placed fourth in the 1,600 at last season's state meet, also was second in the 3,200 in a school-record time of 11:08.86.
Buck's performance may have been a surprise since she was third in the 1,600 and second in the 3,200 at the East region meet. But Buck won gold medals in the 1,600 (5:12.95) and the 3,200 (11:30) and a silver at the Harford County championships.
Buck was named the Harford County Performer of the Year.
Forced to miss the second day of the Class 4A state championships because of an injured ankle, Centrowitz grabbed a gold medal when she won the 3,200-meter race in 10 minutes, 57.95 seconds. Not only was the time the fastest posted among runners in any classification, but it also beat last year's winning time by 59.17 seconds.
Centrowitz also ran a leg of the 3,200-relay squad that placed second. Centrowitz, who swept the 800 and 3,200 at the Anne Arundel County and East region levels, was the Anne Arundel County Performer of the Year.
The senior won the 100 high hurdles at the Class 3A state championships in 14.42 seconds - a time that erased the previous 3A record of 14.54 set in 1986 by Jackie McKendree of Charles County's McDonough. It was the second time in as many springs that Curtis had won the gold medal in that event at the state meet.
Curtis, who finished second in the 100-meter dash and the 300 intermediate hurdles, swept the 100 high hurdles at the Howard County and East region levels. Curtis, who also took the 300 intermediate hurdles (45.19) at the county championships, will run at Pennsylvania next year.
Mount de Sales