Athletes of the year:
Mikias GelagleThe Star/Gazette Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, Gelagle was a record-setter this winter. The Arizona State University-bound senior won the county, region and state titles in the 3,200. At the county finals, Gelagle broke a 20-year old mark in the 1,600-meter run with a clocking of4 minutes, 32.4 seconds (hand time), and placed first in the 3,200 (9:45.5). He claimed both events (4:45.6 in 1,600 and 10:18.5 in 3,200) at the East Region meet. In a thrilling photo finish at the state finals, Gelagle edged Woodlawn’s Dwight Parker. Gelagle is the first athlete named the Star/Gazette’s cross country and indoor track performer of the year in the same academic year.
Aaron JohnsonThe Star/Gazette Indoor Field Athlete of the Year, Johnson began the winter season on the Oxon Hill basketball team, but ended it on the infield at the Wayne K. Curry Sports Complex with a part of state track history. Johnson tied the 1980 mark of 6 feet, 9 inches in the high jump at the state Class 4A/3A finals, adding the state title to his county and region crowns. The6-foot-6 Johnson, who quit the Clippers’ basketball team at the beginning of the year, equaled the county finals’ mark (6-8) and won the East Region title (6-6).
Coach of the Year
Austin B. Gibbs, Forestville: Gibbs guided Forestville to its first state indoor title, winning the Class 2A/1A championship. After finishing second to Fairmont Heights for the 3A/2A title at the county finals, the Knights throttled the field at the East Region meet. With no field performers, Forestville capitalized on its runners with Chris Anderson winning the 500 and 800 meters, Wayne Moten capturing the 300 and a first-place finish in the 1,600 relay.
Aaron Anderson, McNamara, Sr., Sprints: Anderson emerged as one of the nation’s top sprinters this winter. His 6.41 in the 55 dash at the DCIAA Invitational, currently ranks 10th nationally according track Web site Dyestat.com. Anderson posted a first-place finish at George Mason (6.5), and was runner-up at the Montgomery County Invitational (6.52).
Adrian Arthur, Bowie, Sr., Sprints: Arthur discovered success this winter after giving up basketball. He won the county (6.57) and East Region (6.68) before finishing second at the state 4A/3A meet (6.5) in the 55 meters. Arthur was the lead leg on the Bulldogs’ state and region championship 800 relay squad.
Wayne Moten, Forestville, Sr., Sprints: Moten was a main cog in the Knights’ surge to the state 2A/1A championship. He won the 300 (35.89) at the state finals, and was a part of the winning 1,600 relay. Moten, who placed fifth in the 55, won the region 55 and 300 titles.
Jaumale Sykes, DeMatha, Sr., Sprints: Sykes helped the Stags remain one of the county’s best relay units. His 34.46 in the 300 at the Virginia Tech Invitational is No. 1 in the state and third nationally. Sykes, who ranks first statewide in the 400 (48.53 at the Kentucky Invitational), is part of the 1,600 relay that ran the No. 1 time in the country (3:16.39 at New Balance Games in New York City).
Chris Anderson, Forestville, Sr., MiddleDistance: Anderson capped a Triple Crown season in the 800 (2:00.52) at the state 2A/1A finals, and placed first in the 500 (1:08.27). Anderson swept both (1:07.8 in 500; 2:06.7 in 800) at the region meet, following a first-place showing in the 800 (2:01.2) and second in the 1,600 (4:34.8) at the county finals.
Marcus Dickerson, Flowers, Sr., MiddleDistance: Dickerson was finally able to put forth a championship effort at the state 4A/3A meet, winning the 500 in a state-best 1:05.67. He was the runner-up at the East Region meet (1:10.1) and third at the county finals (1:07.2). Dickerson finished fourth at the Hispanic Games in New York and Howard County Invitational.
Cedric Draper, Friendly, Jr., MiddleDistance: One of three state championship performers in the 500, Draper clocked 1:07.39 at the 3A/2A finals. He won the event at the East Region meet (1:08.33) and was fourth at the county finals. Draper also claimed the county title in the long jump (6.29 meters).
Kelli Thibou, Roosevelt, Jr., Middle Distance: A part of a small contingent, Thibou came up huge for the state 4A/3A champs. He won the 800 in a state-record 1:57.18, and was the runner-up in the 500 (1:05.76). Thibou, who claimed top honors in the 800 at the East Region meet (2:06.8), was the county runner-up in the 500 (1:07.1).
Eric Tyler, Douglass, Sr., Middle Distance: Tyler nearly had a Triple Crown season for the Eagles. He finished third (1:05.85) at the state 4A/3A finals after first-place showings at the county (1:06.2) and East Region (1:09.3) competitions. Tyler, who placed first in the 500 at the DCIAA Invitational (1:06.38), won the 400 (50.93) at the Howard County Invitational.
Camal Pugh, Oxon Hill, Sr., Hurdles: Pugh accomplished an unusual feat, winning state titles in different classifications. He placed first in the 55 hurdles (7.64) at the state 4A/3A finals after winning the 3A/2A championship last year at Gwynn Park. A repeat first-team selection, Pugh was the runner-up at the region meet (8.07) and Howard County Invitational (7.92).
Garrett Summers, Fairmont Heights, Sr., Hurdles: After placing second at last year’s state 2A/1A championships, Summers finally got top honors, easily winning in 7.75 seconds. He won the region title (7.79) and was the runner-up (7.74) to two-time champ Flowers’ Brett Brown at the county finals. Summers, who helped Fairmont Heights to the county 3A/2A title, was the county runner-up in the triple jump (43-3) and was fifth at the Montgomery County Invitational.
Damel Goddard, Bowie, Jr., Triple Jump: Goodard played a key role in the Bulldogs’ top-five finishes at the state 4A/3A and East Region meets. He won the county title in the triple jump (44-5) and was sixth in the long jump. Goodard was the second leg on the Bulldogs’ 800 relay squad that claimed top honors at region and states.
Phillip Taylor, Gwynn Park, Sr., Shot Put: Known for his football exploits, Taylor has been the county’s best shot putter the last two winters. He capped a Triple Crown season with a state-best 54-3.25 at the state 3A/2A finals, and won the region title (51-7). Taylor, who’s headed to play football at Penn State this fall, won the county title (50-2) for the second year in a row.
Relays: Jason Randall and Dennis Thomas, Bowie; David Joel and Mike Washington, Central; Michael Cooper, Geoffrey Daley, Jeremy Samuels and Sean Suber, DeMatha; Tim Butler, Ola Kololafe and Darren Williams, DuVal; Joseph Adams, Darnzell Harris and Derrick Wright, Forestville; Adrian Browne, Daniel Edmund, Donald Lockhart and Malcolm Womack, Roosevelt. Sprints: Craig Gaddy, Bladensburg; Alonzo Hunter, Fairmont Heights; David Lipford, Largo; Quintin McCree and Nathaniel Ricks, Gwynn Park; Jason Powell, Roosevelt; Maurice Powell, Central; Nathaniel Ricks, Gwynn Park. Middle Distance: Mohammed Fofana, Bowie; Jerod Franklin, Flowers; Ibraham Kamara and Bpaaki Vandi, Central; Michael Lemon, DeMatha; Travis McLean, Fairmont Heights; Walter Morton, DuVal. Distance: Andre McDonald, Oxon Hill; Asteway Ribbiso, Forestville. Hurdles: Brett Brown, Flowers; Legonn Haskins, Douglass; Stephan Marshall, Forestville. Jumps: Warren Gray and Sean Johnson Oxon Hill; William Johnson, Gwynn Park; Leslie Murray, High Point; Matthew Robertson, Flowers. Shot put: Howard Abegesah, High Point; Stacey Adams, Potomac; Ashford Bembry and Antonio Logan-El, Forestville; Robert Moore, Flowers. Pole vault: Johnathan Collins, Douglass; Keenan Fenwick, Flowers.