Once again, Prince George's County high school girls track and field had another spectacular display.
Rob Ostermaier/The Gazette
The 2001 All-Star/Gazette Girls Outdoor Track and Field Team poses at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover. Counter clockwise from top left, they include: Keiona Frenche, Laurel; April Butler, Gwynn Park; Tiffany Nesfield, Flowers; Track Performer of the Year India Ransom, Largo; Antoinette Gorham, Roosevelt; Tyishua Johnson, Seton; Denise Cruse, Seton; Angela Bowling, Bladensburg; Naudia Falconer, Seton; Kendra Burk, Suitland; Field Performer of the Year Ashley Horn, Potomac; Krista Brown, Central; Ryann Holmes, Largo; Coach of the Year Darryl Hamilton, Largo; N'Kelle Anderson, Largo and Crystal Anyanwu, High Point. Inset: Romona Modeste, Roosevelt. Not pictured: Tatiana Roper, Laurel and Donna Wright, Suitland.
Largo girls kept the state Class 4A title in the county's hands for the 12th consecutive year while Seton left the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference in its dust once again with a fourth straight championship.
Several county public athletes had the distinction of winning individual titles at the county, region and state level. The Star/Gazette pays homage to those athletes and others with its 2001 Girls Outdoor Track and Field team.
Coach of the Year
A track year that started with Hamilton losing his best friend, Seton head coach Carlos Alexander, ended with his Lions squad finding redemption with their first state championship since 1996.
With his most talented and deepest team, Hamilton challenged the Lions to use last year's state finals' disappointment as a springboard for 2001. Largo hit the ground running and didn't let anything distract it, winning the county, 4A South Region and state titles. The Lions also won the West Potomac and the T.C. Williams Invitational meets in northern Virginia, and placed sixth in the Championship of America 400 relay final at the Penn Relay Carnival in Philadelphia.
Hamilton has won four state outdoor championships, including back-to-back titles at Bladensburg in 1990 and 1991.
Track Performer of the Year
At the state championship meet at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Ransom said she wasn't completely back after missing the indoor campaign because of a hip injury. It's a frightening thought considering what she accomplished during the spring.
At the county championship meet at the Sports Complex in May, Ransom won the 100 (11.96 seconds) and 200-meter (24.26) dashes and the long jump (17 feet, one inch), helping Largo to its second straight title. She went on to win the "triple crown" in the sprint events and placed second in the long jump at the state 4A meet as Largo claimed the championship.
Ransom, who was a part of the 400 relay squad that placed sixth in the Championship of America finals at the Penn Relays, garnered first in the 100 at West Potomac and second in the 200, and was third in the 100 at T.C. Williams.
Field Performer of the Year
The Star/Gazette's top field performer during the indoor campaign, Horn was better this spring. For the second consecutive season, Horn swept the county (42-1), 2A South Region (40-1) and state 2A (40-8.5) competitions. She also placed second in the discus at the county and region competition.
Horn, who's headed to Morgan State University on a track scholarship, claimed first (42-10) in the shot put at the Glenelg Invitational in Howard County.
Anderson's emergence in her final varsity season was one of the keys to Largo's sweep to the state title. She won the triple crown in the triple jump event and placed second (36-9.25) at T.C. Williams. At the 4A South Region meet, Anderson won the triple (35-3.5) and long jump (16-8.5) competitions and was second in the long jump at the county championships.
High Point, Soph.
Unable to claim the county title, Anyanwu came back to win the 4A South Region and state 4A titles. After a third-place finish at the county meet, Anyanwu held off rival Keiona Frenche of Laurel at the region meet, and at UMBC for her second straight state championship. She also placed third (2:18.48) at T.C. Williams.
Bowling (45.53) won her second straight 3A state championship in the 300 hurdles, edging Jessica Dunton (45.57) from Charles County's LaPlata High. She was third (46.8) at the 3A East Region competition.
Brown was a big reason why Central again placed in the top three at the state 2A championships. The junior won the 100 competition (12.84), besting Flowers' Tiffany Nesfield and was a member of the Falcons' 1,600 relay squad that won the state title. Brown was third (12.7) in the 100 at the 2A South Region meet.
One of nine underclassmen on the first team, Burk won the county discus championship (111-8) before placing second (101-11) at the 4A South Region meet. At the state 4A finals, Burk was the county's highest finisher at third (110-9).
Gwynn Park, Sr.
Butler had a remarkable senior campaign winning six individual state titles during the track campaign. She won the "triple crown" in the 300 hurdles and claimed first in the 200 (25.78) and 400 (57.0) at the state 2A competition. Butler won the three state 3A/2A indoor titles this past winter, earning All-Star/Gazette Track Performer of the Year honors.
Cruse was the outstanding performer at the WCAC championship meet at the Sports Complex, winning the 100 (12.42) and 400 (55.96) events for the second straight year. She won the 400 (56.8) at the Maryland Private School Championships and was second (25.2) in the 200. At T.C. Williams, Cruse placed second (57.1) in the 400 and third (25.24) in the 200.
Falconer was an important clog in a talented Seton team that won its fourth consecutive WCAC championship during the spring. The senior placed won the 800 title (2:22.19) at the WCAC finals, and was a leg on the winning 400-relay team. Falconer was second in the 800 (2:25.8) at the Glenelg Invitational and fourth (2:31.1) at the Maryland Private School Championships.
A first-team All-Star/Gazette selection for all three running campaigns this past school year, Frenche won her second consecutive county championship (2:17.6). She placed second to High Point's Crystal Anyanwu at the region (2:19.4) and state (2:19.05) competitions.
Another county standout headed to the Southeastern Conference, the University of Tennessee-bound Gorham swept the 400 during the spring postseason, repeating as state 4A champ with a time of 55.14. She was the opening leg of the Raiders' 1,600 relay team that claimed the state 4A title and placed sixth in the Championship of America finals at the Penn Relays.
Holmes was arguably the county's best all-around distance runner. The George Mason University-bound Holmes won the county and region title in the 1,600 and 3,200 events. At the state 4A meet, Holmes was fourth (11:46.3) in the 3,200, fifth (2:20.45) in the 800 and sixth (5:22.3) in the 1,600. She was also a leg on the Lions' 3,200 relay team that won the county and the region title.
Johnson was the county's best all-around jumper, placing second (16-5.5) in the long jump at the WCAC finals to go with a first-place showing in the triple jump (36-1) and third (51-8) in the high jump. The junior claimed the long (17-6.5) and triple jump (35-4) at the Maryland Private Schools Championships.
Modeste established herself as next in the long line of Roosevelt standouts, winning the state 100 (15.09) and 300 (44.53) hurdles championship. She won the 100 hurdles (14.7) at the 4A South Region after placing second (14.52) to Nesfield at the county meet. Modeste was also a leg on the Raiders' sixth-place 1,600 relay team at the Penn Relays.
Nesfield capped an impressive debut varsity season with a state 2A title in the 100 hurdles (14.77) and was second (12.97) in the 100. The precocious freshman set the county record in the 100 hurdles (14.03) and was South Region champ in the 100 hurdles (14.4) and 100 dash (12.3).
The Spartans continued their hold on the pole vault title, thanks to Roper who won the county event (7-9) before placing sixth (7-6) at the state 4A finals. Roper also placed second (5-3) in the high jump at the South Region meet.
Wright missed having a "triple crown" campaign in the high jump, placing second (4-10) at the state 4A finals. She claimed first at the county (5-2) and South Region (5-6) meet, and was second (5-0) at the Woodlawn Invitational in Baltimore County.