Thursday, June 21, 2007

2007 All-County Girls Track Team

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Raphael Talisman⁄The Gazette
The Star⁄Gazette All-County Girls’ Track Team includes: (front row, from left) Asha Ruth, Rachelle Wright, Marika Walker, Tasha Stanley, Takecia Jameson, Waquesha Canty and Deseree’ King; (back row, from left) Monica Mason, Saniel Atkinson, Shantae Boney, TaNisha Wells-Owens, Jasmyn Norris, Nicolle Franklin, Ashleigh Lee, Joycelyn Wheeler, Adenike Pedro and Dionna Hayes. Not pictured: Tameka Jameson.
Athletes of the Year

Takecia Jameson

The summation of Jameson’s spring was the photo of her crossing the finish line at the Penn Relays in April. Her maneuver in the closing meters of the 1,600-meter relay Championship of America race captured first place for Eleanor Roosevelt, which became the first American girls’ team to win two relay titles in the same year at the nation’s premier event. The University of Miami-bound senior followed by breaking the state finals’ record in the 300 hurdles (41.79 seconds), and winning the 200 (23.95) at the Class 4A meet. At the county finals, Jameson won the 100 (11.84 converted hand time), 400 (54.63 converted) and 100 hurdles (14.23).

Rachelle Wright

A three-time selection as the top field performer on the Star⁄Gazette indoor team, Wright finally gained top outdoor billing. She concluded her successful four-year career with the postseason Triple Crown in the shot put. At the state finals, Wright captured the 2A crown (41 feet, 10 inches) after finishing third in 2006. She regained the county title (39-3) this year. A five-time Star⁄Gazette first-team selection, Wright captured six county and three state shot put titles. She will attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on a track scholarship.

Coach of the Year

Desmond Dunham, Eleanor Roosevelt: Dunham, a Howard University grad, has guided Roosevelt to new heights. The Raiders became the first American girls’ team to win two Championship of America relay crowns in the same year at the Penn Relays, and the first county girls’ team to win at the prestigious Philadelphia meet since Central High in 1986. In the postseason, Roosevelt swept the county, South Region and state Class 4A titles, capping a school year that also saw Dunham guide the Raiders to cross country (4A) and indoor track (4A⁄3A) state championships.

First Team

Waquesha Canty, sprints, Charles H. Flowers: After being slowed by injury the past two seasons, Canty emerged among the county’s best. The senior won the state 4A 100 title and placed first at the South Region meet. Canty, who will attend Bethune-Cookman College, ran on the Jaguars’ county- and region-winning 400 relay team.

Dionna Hayes, sprints, Elizabeth Seton: Hayes was the driving force behind the Roadrunners’ push to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. The sophomore won the 100 and 200, and was part of the first-place 400 relay. Hayes won the 100 at the Pikesville, Southern Maryland and Victor Cahoon meets, and set the meet record in the 200 at Pikesville.

Tameka Jameson, sprints, Roosevelt: The Miami-bound senior concluded her four-year career with a second straight state 4A 400 crown, and was on the Raiders’ Championship of America title-winning 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams at the Penn Relays. An eight-time Star⁄Gazette first-teamer, Jameson captured five state and four county individual titles.

Deseree’ King, sprints, Oxon Hill: King was one of several underclassmen that made the Clippers a competitive entity on the county and state scene. The freshman was the runner-up in the 400 at the county, South Region and state 4A meets, and placed sixth in the 200 at the county finals. King individually collected 26 points for the Clippers, who finished third at the state meet.

Monica Mason, sprints, Bishop McNamara: Though McNamara wasn’t able to defend its WCAC crown, Mason kept the Mustangs near the top. The sophomore won her second straight 400 title and finished fourth in the 200. A two-time first-team pick, Mason claimed top honors in the 400 at the Virginia Military Institute meet.

TaNisha Wells-Owens, sprints, Largo: Wells-Owens emerged as the Lions’ top sprinter. The junior claimed the 100 and 200 at the 3A South Region meet after runner-up showings at the county finals. Wells-Owens was part of the 800 relay team that won county and state titles.

Nicolle Franklin, middle distance, Largo: Franklin, whose brother, Jerod, was a standout at Flowers, became a premier performer. The junior was the region champ in the 800, and runner-up at the county meet. Franklin, who placed fifth at the state finals, also ran on the Lions’ 3,200 relay that swept the postseason meets.

Tasha Stanley, middle distance, Roosevelt: Stanley’s tenacity paid dividends at the Penn Relays. Her rally in the closing meters of the 3,200 relay gave Roosevelt its’ long-awaited first title. She also ran the third leg on the 1,600 relay. The junior, who won the county 200 and region 800, narrowly missed a second straight state title in the 800, placing second.

Marika Walker, distance, Roosevelt: The Star⁄Gazette’s top cross country and indoor track performer, Walker finished the year on a high note. The senior won her second straight state 4A crown in the 3,200, and was on the Raiders’ Championship of America 3,200 relay team at the Penn Relays. A four-time Star⁄Gazette first-teamer, Walker is headed to North Carolina State.

Jasmyn Norris, hurdles, Largo: The senior was one of several ingredients in the Lions’ state 3A title run. Norris claimed the state crown in the 300 hurdles and was first in the 3A South meet. Norris, who will next compete for Eastern Kentucky, was part of Largo’s county- and state-title winning 800 relay team.

Saniel Atkinson, jumps, McNamara: Atkinson was again the county’s premier jumper, claiming WCAC crowns in the high and triple jumps. The sophomore placed first in the high jump at the Carolyn Legard and Benjamin Banneker meets, and won the long jump at Banneker. Atkinson has made the Star⁄Gazette first-team in her first four track seasons.

Shantae Boney, jumps, Largo: A repeat first-team pick, Boney successfully defended her county high jump crown and won the region title. The sophomore missed a postseason sweep with a second-place finish at the state meet, but had first-place showings at the Freddie Hendricks and Southern Maryland invitationals. Boney also ran on the Lions’ region-winning 1,600 relay.

Adenike Pedro, jumps, Seton: Pedro was among several underclassmen who came up big for the WCAC champs. The freshman won the long jump at the league finals, and ran on the first-place 400 relay team. Pedro won the long jump at the All-American, Pikesville and Southern Maryland meets.

Asha Ruth, jumps, Bowie: A basketball player, Ruth is starting to find a niche in track. The sophomore was the second straight Bulldog to win the long jump at the county finals, and was the state 4A runner-up. Ruth placed fourth at the South Region meet.

Ashleigh Lee, throws, Largo: Lee won her second straight county discus title, garnering the meet’s outstanding girls’ field athlete honors. The senior was region runner-up in the shot put and discus, and scored in both at the state finals. The East Carolina University recruit placed second in the shot put at the Southern Maryland Invitational.

Joycelyn Wheeler, throws, Largo: Last spring’s Star⁄Gazette Field Athlete of the Year, Wheeler had another strong postseason. The senior won the state 3A shot put crown, following her 4A title last year, and was third in the discus. Wheeler claimed shot put titles at the Southern Maryland and Hendricks meets.

Second Team

Sprints: Doris Anyanwu, Roosevelt; Ambrosia Iwugo, Seton; Sherreka Jackson, Flowers; Brija Johnson, Grace Brethren; Jasmyn Jones, Friendly; Montaynise Mclauchlin, Potomac; Cearha Miller, Oxon Hill. Middle distance: Eunice Jones, Central and Jasmine Walker, Largo. Distance: Tyreka Arrington, Roosevelt; Kiana Martinez, Oxon Hill; Denise Smith, Flowers; Anika Stark, Bowie. Hurdles: Candace Bond, Seton; Imani Colbert, Flowers; Nsia Frenche, McNamara and Selena Haggins, Central. Jumps: Vernetta Biggs and DaReshia Sistare, Oxon Hill; Sasha DaCosta, DuVal; Lorraine Graham, Flowers; Kiersten LaRoche, McNamara; Jacia Montgomery, Roosevelt; Tarah Mustaf, Bowie. Relays: Coryn Hurrington and Monique Reed, Flowers; Ayanna Adams, Ashlee Lindsey, Tonica Vickerie and Demarah Wilson, Largo; Chantel Lipkins and Teika Robinson, Seton; Richana Gaskins, Christian Hickson, Dominique Lockhart, Sherri Newman, Zawadi Rowe and Brittany View, Roosevelt. Throws: Brittney Brown, Danielle Brinkley and Kayla Tucker, Seton; Sherrita Hall, Potomac; Adrienne Hayes, Oxon Hill; Margaret Ngami, McNamara.

All-county teams are selected by the Star⁄Gazette sports staff based on athletes’ performances and nominations from coaches. Staff writer Derek Toney compiled the information on this page.