Izudin Mehmedovic

Izudin Mehmedovic, Winter Track Performer of the Year (Sun photo by Doug Kapustin / March 24, 2002)

BOYS PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

Izudin Mehmedovic

Oakland Mills, senior

The ultimate team player, willing to run in pain, Izudin Mehmedovic epitomizes what high school sports is all about. "He'd run any event you asked him to," said coach Sam Singleton, whose Scorpions won their fourth straight state indoor championship.

Mehmedovic, nicknamed "The Bosnian Flash," won three individual events at the state 2A-1A championships despite a sore foot, and also ran an outstanding 1:54 anchor leg on a second-place 3,200 relay team.

He won the 3,200 meters in 10:00.9, the 1,600 meters in a 2A-1A state record 4:28.5 and the 800 meters in 2:03.1. Because of his sore foot, his state times were all slower than his gold medal regional times of 9:57.5 in the 3,200, 4:25.0 in the 1,600 and 1:58.0 in the 800.

Mehmedovic won the 3,200 at the Howard County championships in 9:57.5, and was second to Shane Stroup in the 1,600 at 4:19.4.

"Sometimes you have to tell him not to work so hard," Singleton said. "He's the epitome of hard work pays off."

COACH OF THE YEAR

Mike Ballard

Annapolis

Mike Ballard put Annapolis track on the map. He led the Annapolis boys team to its first modern-day county, region and state track championships. Just three years ago, he led the Annapolis girls team to its first county title. The 1985 Annapolis graduate accomplished this season's triple title win by juggling just eight boys who scored in nine different events in most meets.

The Panthers won the county championship by 45 points over runner-up Meade and then captured a regional title by 51 points over Gwynn Park. They won the 3A-2A state title by nine points over Gwynn Park, with Mike Brown winning two gold medals, and the rest of the team taking home two silver medals, two bronze medals and a fourth place.

"It was a great feeling to win the state championship, to say the least," Ballard said.

FIRST TEAM

Chris Barksdale

Oakland Mills, senior

The two-time All-Howard County sprinter won the 2A-1A state championship in the 300 meters with a third-best overall state meet time of 34.9 seconds, his fastest time ever.

Although the 300 was his best event, his third-place state finish in the 55 meters in 6.64 seconds also earned points for the Scorpions. He was part of the state champion 1,600-meter relay team as well, giving him two gold medals and a bronze at the state meet.