Runners of the Year
Ernest CooperCooper was the only county runner this indoor season to gain the coveted triple-crown by winning the 55-meter hurdles in the county, 4A East Region and 4A state meets. The Henry A. Wise High senior’s success this winter followed up a strong 2007 outdoor campaign in which he became Wise’s first state champion in any sport (110 and 300 hurdles).
Leslie MurrayCounty coaches and athletes were buzzing about Murray’s versatility as he was solid in the 300- and 500-meters (county champ in 300 and 4A East Region champ in the 500). But as good a runner as Murray is, the High Point senior may be a better jumper. At the county championships, Murray broke Suitland grad Deyon Williams’ old mark of 22 feet, 4 inches in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 8-inches.
Coach of the Year
Darryl Hamilton, Largo: For the first time in his 14 years at Largo, Hamilton guided the Lions to a county indoor championship. In fact, the county title was the first for the program in more than two decades. Perhaps even more impressive was the fact that the Lions engineered the victory without winning a single event at the county championships. Largo picked up at least a point in nine of 14 events and went on to take fourth at the state 3A meet.
Daniel Edmunds, Eleanor Roosevelt: The senior had a breakout season in the 800, as he broke former Oxon Hill star Isaac Matthews’ county record in the event when he clocked a then-personal-best of 1 minute, 58.8 seconds. Edmunds was second at the 4A state meet and holds the state’s top time this season (1:56.32), according to RunningMaryland.com.
Carnegie Tirado, Largo: Most hurdlers could only wish to have success as early in a career as Tirado has. Tirado, a football player, had never practiced the hurdles until the 2007 Thanksgiving break. Yet the senior still claimed second place at the 3A state and county meets on top of winning the 3A West Region title in the 55 hurdles.
Cortney Mazyck, Suitland: The senior came out of nowhere in the hurdles to end the season. Through hard work and perseverance, Mazyck bounced back from not scoring in the 55 hurdles at the county championships to finish third at the 4A state meet while holding a state top-25 performance in the triple jump this season according to RunningMaryland.com.
Brandon Felder, Oxon Hill: The junior was one of the more consistent county runners this season, winning the 300 at the 4A East Region championships (37.71 seconds). He added a 35.27-second performance at the 4A state championship, less than a second behind the winner.
Michael Sesay, Eleanor Roosevelt: The Raiders would not have won the 4A East Region title without Sesay. The senior finished second at the 4A East championships in the 500. At the state 4A championships, Sesay had another solid overall performance when he finished third in the 500.
Dwayne Powell, Charles H. Flowers: The sophomore was a consistent force for the Jaguars. At the county championships, Powell took second in the long jump despite a leap of 22 feet, 1 inch that was three inches off of the county record that stood until this season. The effort was third-best in the state this season according to RunningMaryland.com.
V.J. DeFreitas, Charles H. Flowers: At the county championships, DeFreitas won the triple jump (42 feet, 6 inches) and held top 25 efforts in the state in the long and triple jumps. The senior also was part of the Jaguars’ state champion 1,600-relay team.
Brian Faherty, Eleanor Roosevelt: The junior was the best the county had to offer in the 3,200. He ran a personal-best time of 9 minutes, 51.83 seconds at the 4A state championships, capturing third place and holding a state top 20 time in the event.
Dennis Thomas, Bowie: Thomas came up just .13 seconds short of a triple crown in the 55 dash as he won the event at the 4A East region meet (6.67 seconds) and the state 4A championships (6.53). The senior holds a top-10 state time in the 55 dash.
Davin Meggett, Surrattsville: Meggett displayed his versatility this track season as he finished third in the 55 dash at the 1A state championships. But the senior didn’t stop on the track, as he took second in the shot put at the state championships and won that event at the county championships.
Lamaar Thomas, Friendly: Although the Ohio State University-bound senior settled for third in the 55 dash at the 3A meet, he still holds the third-fastest clocking in the state this season, along with the state’s top time in the 200 (22.43) set at the Howard County Winterfest.
Leroy Harmon, Henry A. Wise: The senior flew under the radar for the Pumas but saved some of his best performances for late in the season. After taking sixth in the high jump in the county championships, Harmon came out of nowhere to a second-place finish (6 feet) in the high jump at the 4A state championships, missing first place by just two inches.
Aaron Brooks, DeMatha: The senior’s throw of 53 feet, 9.25 inches in the shot put at the Maryland Run Walk Invitational was good enough for the third-best effort in the state this season. Brooks also won the event at the Private Schools Invitational at Georgetown Prep.
Corey Puffett, DeMatha: Puffett came through in the crunch for the Stags. The sophomore’s 9-minute, 53.43-second effort in the 3,200 at the Private Schools Invitational was his only race of the season, but good enough for the 14th fastest clocking in the state this winter.
Relays: Maurice Dukes,Denny Long and Derrick Williams, Roosevelt; Kareem Ali, Mike Rowland and Travis Waller, Flowers; Tavon Fitzgerald, Largo.
Sprints: Ade Adeokun, DuVal; Emmanual Noumossie, Bowie; Nigel Rios, Flowers.
Middle Distance: BenMcKenzie and William Dawson, Largo; Jovon Edwards, Roosevelt; Moussa Sy, Bladensburg.
Distance: Robert Patterson, DeMatha.
Jumps: Robert Moore, Largo.