All-metro Indoor Track

March 21, 2005

BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Tristram Thomas

McDonogh

With two All-Metro Runner of the Year honors in cross country on his resume, Thomas clinched his first Performer of the Year award in indoor track with his dominance in distance runs in the metro area.

The senior did not lose a single event to a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rival this winter, capping his untainted campaign by collecting MIAA crowns in the 800 (2 minutes, 4.52 seconds), 1,600 (4:28.39) and 3,200 (10:01.36).

Those victories helped the No. 2 Eagles grab the MIAA championship and end No. 4 Mount St. Joseph's nine-year reign atop the conference.

Thomas, who won the 3,200 in 9:53.7 at the Frostbite Invite, made a national splash in the same event at the Virginia Tech Invitational. His winning time of 9:23.36 not only is a school record, but it also ranks 15th nationally, according to Dyestat.com.

Thomas, the Baltimore County Performer of the Year, is making his third consecutive appearance on the All-Metro team.

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

Phil Johnson Glenelg

Before the indoor track season began, few observers gave the Gladiators much thought.

After all, when a team graduates a two-time state champion in Drew Graybeal and a leader in Dan Sagmiller from a squad that placed second at the Class 2A-1A state championships last year, one would expect a drop-off. Johnson, however, never believed that theory, and his confidence rubbed off on the athletes.

The first step toward silencing the critics began at the Howard County championships, where Glenelg held off Mount Hebron to repeat as county champion.

The Gladiators continued their run at the Class 2A-1A East regional meet, winning that competition for the second straight season. Finally, No. 5 Glenelg stamped its season by capturing the state crown, the school's first sine 1992.

BOYS FINAL POLL

1. Old Mill

2. McDonogh

3. Arch. Curley

4. Mt. St. Joseph

5. Glenelg

6. Broadneck

7. Winters Mill

8. Mount Hebron

9. Centennial

10. Howard

Other teams considered: Digital Harbor, Gilman, North Carroll, Oakland Mills, Southern.

GIRLS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Devon WilliamsTowson Catholic

Williams, whose opportunities to run in high-profile out-of-state meets were limited by sanctioning issues, reminded observers that quality is better than quantity.

Williams, who set a U.S. record when she clocked in at 1 minute, 11.53 seconds in the 500 last winter, shaved .09 seconds off that mark at the Metropolitan Athletics Congress Holiday Classic to set a new national mark.

The sophomore's time of 1:31.05 in the 600 at the MAC Record Assault Challenge ranks as the second-fastest time registered by a U.S. high school athlete this season, according to Dyestat.com.

Williams' times of 38.64 seconds in the 300 at the 168th Street Invitational and 54.67 seconds in the 400 at the University of Kentucky High School Invitational rank second and fourth in the nation, respectively.

The two-time All-Metro Performer of the Year captured the 300 in 39.55 seconds and the 1,600 in 5:23.9 at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championships.

GIRLS COACHES OF THE YEAR

Dave Fender and Jimmy Grant Fallston

The Cougars faced a number of obstacles this season. First, Harford County does not recognize indoor track as a varsity sport, and therefore does not fund indoor programs. The lack of recognition discouraged many athletes from joining the team.

And parents - the support staff of any athletic program - traditionally didn't get involved. While the first hurdle remained, the latter two became nonexistent, as Fender (right, top) and Grant enjoyed their largest turnout of athletes (11 girls) and parents.

The turning point occurred when Fallston won the Clear Spring Invitational - its first multi-team meet victory since 1983. Buoyed by that performance, the Cougars swept the Class 3A-2A West regional and state championships to walk away with the school's first indoor track titles.

GIRLS FINAL POLL

1. Western

2. Mount de Sales

3. McDonogh

4. Fallston

5. Mervo

6. Edmondson

7. Atholton

8. Reservoir

9. Winters Mill

10. Long Reach

Other teams considered: Dulaney, Glenelg, Mount Hebron, Perry Hall, Towson Catholic.

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