BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Few athletes made a bigger splash on the track scene than Coleman. A cross country runner during the fall, Coleman's versatility ranged from the 500 to the 1,600. Proficient enough to win the 1,600 at the Baltimore City (4 minutes, 45.3 seconds) and Class 3A-2A Central Region (4:38.8) championships, Coleman's primary event was the 800. He proved that in January when he won the 800 at the Montgomery Invitational in a school-record 1:55.93.
Not only did that time shatter the previous meet record of 2:00.05 set last winter, but the time is the 22nd-fastest mark recorded by a high school athlete in the country, according to Dyestat.com. Although Coleman placed second in the 800 behind teammate Brandon Lynch at the city championships, Coleman rebounded to take gold in the 800 at the region (2:02.2) and state (2:00.79) meets. He also finished second in the 500 (1:06.10) and third in the 1,600 (in a school-record 4:33.48) at the state meet.
Edmondson coach Amili Lumumba said Coleman benefited from practicing with Lynch and learning from Mustangs coach Garfield Thompson, a 1997 state champ in the 800. "He couldn't have gone wrong absorbing that kind of knowledge," Lumumba said.
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
Thompson's selection to succeed longtime Mustangs coach Freddie Hendricks shouldn't have come as a surprise. Thompson, a 1997 alum, was a three-time All-Metro middle-distance runner who was a Class 4A state champion in the 800 during his senior year. So perhaps it's no coincidence that Mervo - under Thompson's guidance and direction - captured a Class 3A-2A state crown last month, the school's first since 1997.
Blessed with the middle-distance talent of Julius Coleman and Brandon Lynch, Thompson also worked with sprinters Orlando Brown, Roosevelt Cooper, Brandon Eaton and Steve Ladson to gain crucial points as members of the sprint relay squads.
The No. 3 Mustangs grabbed their sixth consecutive city title - and ninth in the past 10 years - and their seventh regional championship in the past nine seasons despite the graduation of more than a dozen runners. "To me, there wasn't any pressure," Thompson said. "They did what I asked them to do, and they succeeded."
Mount St. Joseph, senior
The top-ranked Gaels collected their seventh straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association title due, in part, to Adams' unusual ability to compete in the high jump and the 3,200 relay. Adams, who boasts a personal-best mark of 6 feet, 2 inches in the high jump, cleared 6 feet to win his second consecutive MIAA crown. He was first in the high jump in four league meets.
Bias provided double - sometimes triple - duty for the No. 9 Warriors. Bias won the 55 hurdles at the Baltimore County (7.9 seconds) and Class 4A-3A Central Region (7.6 seconds) championships before stumbling in a semifinal at the state meet. His best event was the high jump, where he swept the county (6 feet, 2 inches), region (6 feet) and state (6 feet, 2 inches) championships.
Mount St. Joseph, senior
A member of the team's 1,600-relay corps that placed fifth at the MIAA championships, Burnett made his living in the 500, where he lost just once to conference rivals. His winning time of 1:08.3 in the 500 at the championship meet was his best mark this season. Burnett also finished third in the 800 at the Kutztown Invitational.
Archbishop Curley, junior
Daniels, who dabbled in the 55 during the regular season, traded a pair of wins in the 55 hurdles with Calvert Hall's George Panniell before placing second in the event at the MIAA championships. With Daniels, the team won the 800 relay in 1:34.6 and the 1,600 relay in 3:33 at the championship meet.
Henry's participation in four events paced the Warriors to a county-record 11th crown. Besides placing second in the 500, Henry took the county title in the 800 with a time of 2:06.6. His speed and stamina convinced Woodlawn coach Mark Pryor to use him in the 800 and 1,600 relays, where the squads registered winning times of 3:47.6 and 8:53.2, respectively.
Limited by his participation on the Eagles' basketball team, Heyward-Bey focused most of his attention on the 55, where he could utilize the speed that made him a dangerous wide receiver in the fall. Victorious in the 55 in two regular-season meets, Heyward-Bey's crowning achievement took place at the MIAA championships, where he won the 55 in 6.2 seconds.
Calvert Hall, senior
Since opening the indoor season with a mark of 12 feet in the pole vault at an MIAA dual meet, Hritz never faltered against conference rivals as he picked up victories in four straight regular-season meets. Hritz added the finishing touch at the MIAA championships by clearing 12 feet, 6 inches to take the crown.