Liz McCarter

Mount Hebron’s Liz McCarter won state titles in the 800- and 3,200-meter races to cap an outstanding high school career. (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin / February 16, 2006)

Performer of the Year: Liz McCarter, Mount Hebron

The senior has been one of the area's top distance runners throughout her high school career, and she went out on a winning note.

McCarter is one of the few distance runners who finds success in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters - three races that require different skills. She swept all three at the Howard County and Class 3A East regional meets by wide margins.

The Syracuse-bound McCarter helped the Vikings finish second in the state with victories in the 800 and the 3,200. She also led the 1,600 for much of the race before North Carroll's Katie Hursey caught her in the final 50 meters. Still, McCarter broke five minutes (4 minutes, 59.27 seconds) and bounced back later to win the 800 by beating Hursey, her Syracuse teammate next year.
Co-Coaches of the Year: Shedrick Elliott and Melissa Mikula, Western Tech

Elliott and Mikula got the most out of the team this season at a school that still doesn't have a track on campus.

They took over the program a few weeks before practice began and worked hard to give the girls direction. The indoor team had struggled at times during the winter, but things went smoothly this spring.

Elliott, who does not teach at the school, ran or the Wolverines earlier this decade and still holds several school records in track. Mikula stepped up from being an assistant to work with Elliott and assistant Amy Horvitz.

The team finished third in the Class 1A state meet after taking the North regional title.
First team

Kellie Christian, Catonsville

The sophomore has developed into one of the area's better runners. She won the Class 3A state championship in the 400 with the best time of any of the four classes that day. Christian also took third in the 200.

She won the 400 in the regional meet and finished third in the 200.

Jameice DeCoster, McDonogh

One of the area's most versatile performers, DeCoster played a big role in top-ranked McDonogh winning the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland championship this spring.

DeCoster, an All-Metro pick in the indoor season, won the 100 and 200 at the IAAM outdoor meet. The sophomore also helped on relays and figures to be one of the metro area's best sprinters next year.

Alyce Harrell, Long Reach

Harrell gave Long Reach a boost with her work in the field events. She took the triple jump, shot put and discus at the Howard County meet.

The senior won the discus and the triple jump in the regional meet, beating defending state champion Shannel Shivers of Aberdeen in the former. Harrell then took second in the discus and won the triple jump in Class 3A at the state meet.

Jess Huber, North Carroll

Huber developed into a top pole vaulter, giving a balanced North Carroll team more punch.

Huber won the event in the Carroll County, Class 3A West and state meets. The junior had some of the area's best vaults all season long and remained consistent.

Katie Hursey, North Carroll

She again had a strong season in the distance races, capping the campaign with a memorable win over future Syracuse teammate Liz McCarter of Mount Hebron to win the 1,600 in Class 3A at the state meet.

Hursey trailed the entire race and rallied in the final half-lap to overtake McCarter and win in 4 minutes, 57.44 seconds. The senior also won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 at the Carroll County meet, and captured the same three races at the Class 3A West regional.

Kristen Malloy, Hereford

The sophomore followed strong seasons in cross country and indoor track with an outstanding performance outdoors. She was named to All-Metro teams in all three sports.

Malloy won the Class 2A state title in the 3,200. She gained a measure of revenge in that race, beating Elyse Borisko of Howard by more than 27 seconds. Borisko had beaten her in the cross country state title meet last fall. Malloy also won the 1,600 and 3,200 in the Baltimore County and regional meets.

Alyssa McClure, Digital Harbor

Despite being a freshman, McClure played a big role in helping the Rams win the Class 1A state title. She finished second in both the 100 and 200, leading a balanced attack that gave Digital Harbor the title. McClure also took second in the 100 and third in the 200 at the city meet before winning both in the regional.

Michelle Newman, Eastern Tech

Newman did a little bit of everything for the Mavericks this season. The junior developed into perhaps the state's top performer in the triple jump.

Her winning leap of 40 feet, 5 inches at the Baltimore County championships was the best mark in the metro area. She later went on to win the regional, as well as the Class 2A triple and long jumps at the state meet. She took second in the 200 at states as well.

Chante Sandiford, McDonogh

The senior picked up where she left off after a strong indoor season in which she also received All-Metro honors.

Sandiford and teammate Jamiece DeCoster played a big role in McDonogh easily winning the IAAM title meet. Sandiford won both the shot put and discus at the meet and was solid all season long.

Torrie Saunders, Annapolis

An All-Metro pick in the winter, the junior continued her strong work in the hurdles this spring.

Saunders took third in the 100 and 300 hurdles in Class 3A at the state meet. That came after she swept both events at the Anne Arundel County and regional meets.

Shannel Shivers, Aberdeen

The senior never came near a track until 10th grade, when she decided to try shot put and discus after an attempt at hurdling didn't work out. It was a very good move. Shivers, who won the state title last year in the shot put and took second in the discus, had another nearly perfect season this year.

She never lost in the shot put until finishing second in Class 3A at the state meet. Shivers also was perfect in the discus until Long Reach's Alyce Harrell beat her in the East regional final - but she beat Harrell to win the state crown a week later.

Alison Smith, Atholton

Smith finished her Atholton career in style this spring, winning a pair of state championships and solidifying her standing as one of the area's top distance runners. She captured the 1,600 in Class 2A at the state meet, breaking five minutes at 4:58.83, and also won the 800 after receiving a controversial disqualification last year.

The senior had taken second in the Howard County meet behind Mount Hebron's Liz McCarter in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. But she rebounded to win the 800 and 1,600 regional titles.

Jessica Tongue, Annapolis

She's become one of the area's best sprinters during this school year, combining with Torrie Saunders to give Annapolis plenty of points throughout the season. Tongue (11.82) nipped Funmi Alabi (11.83) of Long Reach to win the 100 in Class 3A at the state meet.

The junior also took second in the 200, just behind champion Letecia Wright of Western. In addition, Tongue won the 100 and 200 in the Anne Arundel County and regional meets.

Letecia Wright, Western

The Ohio State-bound senior again was one of the area's top sprinters. The Performer of the Year indoors, Wright gave the Doves more punch outdoors.

She helped on relays and had some of the area's top performances in a nearly perfect season. Wright won the 100, 200 and 100 hurdles at the city and Class 3A North regional meets. She ended her Western career by setting a class record in the 200 at the state meet. Wright also won the 100 hurdles.
Second team

Name, School, Class

Sarah Bailey C.M. Wright Junior

Erin Brooks Seton Keough Junior

Lauren Campbell Western Tech Junior

Jenna Cimino Hereford Soph.

Eryn Donaldson Mount Hebron Fresh.

Kristen Haley Mount Hebron Senior

Jocelyn Henline Marriotts Ridge Junior

Uju Ofoche Parkville Soph.

Tyshia Oliver R.F. Lewis Junior

Maketa Ruffin New Town Senior

Jessica Stadler Perry Hall Senior

Erika Stasakova John Carroll Junior

Brooke Staton McDonogh Senior

Alex Tanner Bryn Mawr Senior

Note // Teams selected by Jeff Seidel after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Final Poll No., School
1. McDonogh
2. Mount Hebron
3. Western
4. Aberdeen
5. Seton Keough
No. School
6. North Carroll
7. Digital Harbor
8. Hereford
9. Annapolis
10. Howard

Other teams considered // Atholton, Hammond, Long Reach, Meade, Western Tech.