All-metro Boys Track And Field

June 07, 2006

PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Matthew Centrowitz

Broadneck

The high school season may have ended, but Centrowitz's season continues. With his focus on the Nike Outdoor Nationals later this month in North Carolina, the junior downplayed any notion of taking a respite from training. "I don't think there's time for a break," Centrowitz said several minutes after capturing the Class 4A state crown in the 3,200 last month. "I can take a break later in the summer. I'm not completely happy yet."

That motivation to get better is what sets Centrowitz apart from other area track athletes and landed him this spring's Performer of the Year award. What began as a quiet season for him quickly reversed field when Centrowitz won the 3,000 at the Penn Relays in April. Against a field that included nationally ranked runners, Centrowitz registered a winning time of 8 minutes, 20.09 seconds, which is the third-fastest time recorded in that event in Penn Relays history and the second-fastest in the country, according to dyestat.com.

At the Anne Arundel County championships, Centrowitz easily captured the 1,600 in 4:25.34 before turning his attention to the 3,200. He took that event at the Class 4A East regional meet in 9:23.2 and at the state championships in 9:13.68. Centrowitz, the Anne Arundel County Performer of the Year, is making his second consecutive appearance on the All-Metro team. For the school year, he was named to the All-Metro teams in cross country and indoor track, earning Performer of the Year honors in cross country.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Gene Hoffman

Archbishop Curley

Moments after the Friars learned they had won the school's first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association title in outdoor track, senior Dominic Devaud revealed that the team was driven to win the trophy, which was renamed for Hoffman this spring. "We won it for him," Devaud said. "It's awesome."

Hoffman has inspired that kind of passion and loyalty since he began coaching at Archbishop Curley in 1975. Hoffman, a former hurdler and jumper at Curley, has been dispensing coaching advice to the Friars and athletes such as McDonogh senior Keith Brown Jr. and Western senior Theresa Lewis as a coach on the Ed Waters Track Club.

Yet despite Curley's resume of three MIAA group-meet championships in indoor track and a dual-meet title in outdoor track, the school's cupboard for the season-ending championship meet was bare.

That all changed last month when the Friars leapfrogged 2005 titlist Gilman, Mount St. Joseph and McDonogh - three teams that had defeated Curley during the regular season - to bring home the Gene Hoffman Cup.

FIRST TEAM

Jason Allen

Mount Hebron

The senior became only one of three metro-area athletes to capture two gold medals in individual events at the state championships. Allen claimed Class 3A victories in the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) and long jump (23-4 1/2 ).

With that mark in the long jump, Allen became the only area athlete to leap past the 23-foot barrier. Also second in the triple jump at the state meet, Allen took both the high jump (6-0) and long jump (22-4 3/4 ) at the Howard County championships. He will continue his career at Maryland.

Zach Brown

Wilde Lake

The junior won two state titles. At the Class 3A level, Brown collected victories in the 100 (10.67 seconds) and 200 (21.52). Both times are the fastest registered by an area athlete this spring, and his time in the 100 was the best posted in all four classifications at the state championships.

Brown's win in the 200 capped a sweep of that event at the Howard County (22.59) and East regional (22.13) events. He also walked away from the county championships with the crown in the 100 (11.13).

Roosevelt Cooper

Mervo

The senior may have finished third in the 400 at the Class 3A state championships, but his time of 49.18 seconds is the fastest recorded by an area athlete this spring. Cooper, who is ranked fourth in the 100, dominated both events through the Baltimore City and North regional levels.

He claimed the 100 (11.06) and 400 (50.44) at the city championships before doing the same in the 100 (11.05) and 400 (51.12) at the regional meet. Cooper's best showing in the 100 occurred at the Pikesville Track Classic when he won the event in 10.83 seconds.

Dominic Devaud

Archbishop Curley

The senior was the catalyst in the Friars' drive to their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association crown. Devaud grabbed a gold medal in the 300 intermediate hurdles at the championship meet, winning in 39.48 seconds - the second-fastest time by an area athlete this spring.

Devaud, who will run at UMBC, placed second in the 110 high hurdles and the pole vault. The Baltimore City Performer of the Year in indoor track this past winter cleared 14 feet in the pole vault several times.

Jason Gross

McDonogh

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