All-metro Track

June 04, 2008

Girls Performer of the Year

Torrie Saunders Annapolis

Saunders has been a key cog on Annpolis' team throughout her career, but the senior often was in the shadow of teammate Jessica Tongue. This season, Saunders raised her game and helped the Panthers win the Anne Arundel County title and finish a close second in the Class 3A state meet.

Saunders played a huge role at the state meet, winning the triple jump (37 geet, 4.75 inches) and 300 hurdles (44.49 seconds) and running on the victorious 400 relay team.

Although she was an accomplished performer before this spring, she had never won an individual state title. "It made all the work worth it," Saunders said.




The dynamic sprinter made the already tough Meade team that much better when he transferred from Glen Burnie this school year. He's been nationally ranked as sprinter the past few years, and he played a big role in the top-ranked Mustangs' run to a second consecutive outdoor state title.

Murdock, a senior who is headed to Clemson, finished second in the 100 and 200 in the Class 3A state competition, losing in close finishes to Westlake speedster Devon Smith both times. But Murdock bounced back with a victory in the 400 (47.51 seconds) and ran on the second-place 800 relay team.

Coach Nigel Holder said Murdock needed some time to adjust to Meade's way of doing things, but once he settled in, Murdock took off and was a huge asset for the Mustangs.

Girls coach of the year Earl Lauer River Hill

Using a no-nonsense approach, Lauer helped turn the Hawks around this season. He took over after River Hill finished 11th in Howard County last year, guiding the Hawks to the county title this spring and a second-place finish in the state in Class 2A.

The talent was there, as River Hill won the state title in cross country last fall, but Lauer worked hard at getting other athletes to join the track team. He also helped strong young runners like Anna Demaree develop.

With runners such as Demaree and Katie Harman, plus other talented athletes returning, the Hawks could be the team to beat again next spring.

Boys coach of the year Shedrick Elliott Western Tech

The Wolverines were far from a track power when Elliott became a coach at Western Tech in 2006, but the program changed dramatically under him.

A former high school track star himself, Elliott developed a talented group of athletes and had them scoring points in a number of ways.

Elliott made no secret of the fact that he thought his team had the talent to do big things this spring, and he carefully pointed them toward peaking at the right time. That strategy paid off, as the Wolverines captured the Baltimore County, regional and state titles with little trouble. In fact, they nearly pulled off a sweep at the state meet, but the girls came up a few points short.

The Wolverines will lose top runner Jermol Dix after this year, but Elliott has laid the foundation for a lot of good things in the next few years.

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