MDRUNNERS.COM First Team All-State 2006 Countdown: Runner of the Year

The 2006 Male and Female Runner of the Year, also No. 1 picks for First Team All-State, are listed below.


Girls Runner of the Year 2006
Alison Smith, Senior
Championships: Howard County -- #1 | 2A South -- #1 | 2A State -- #1
Four years of racing, although at times plagued by injury and circumstance, adds Atholton senior Alison Smith's name to a list of the best runners ever to race in Maryland. As she ends a high school racing career that can easily be compared to that of Broadneck's Lauren Centrowitz, she leaves with 10 championship titles - among them 4 Howard County titles, 3 Region 2A-East titles and 3 2A-State titles. Alison Smith ran to the front of the pack as a sophomore and never let go.

Smith began her senior season with an entry in the Howard County Invitational, but she was unable to finish that race due to an injury that would take her out for a large portion of the season. Recognition of Alison Smith slid to a halt, just as sophomore Kristen Malloy (Hereford, 'Runner-Up' of the Year) was running unbelievable races, including a performance at Bull Run that only implied Malloy to be unbeatable in the state. After a transition race at the Run From the Lion's Den, Alison Smith returned to attention with a totally unexpected performance at the Manhattan Invitational, beating Eleanor Roosevelt's top two girls Marika Walker and Teshika Rivers, who at the time were ranked second and fourth in the state.

She confirmed her return as one of the state's best with strong wins at county and region championships, leaving no doubt that the athlete was more prepared for the state meet than she had ever been. Fate would have it that the reigning 2A champion would have to face the state's top ranked athlete in order to grab the title one last time - Kristen Malloy. Going into the race opinion was split on who would take the race - Alison Smith had her impeccable championship record and experience, while Malloy had the course record and home course advantage. Whether Kristen Malloy just had a bad day, or Alison Smith just too strong, Smith took the race.

Alison Smith is Maryland State's 2006 Runner of the Year.

FIRST-TEAM ALL STATERunner of the Year"Runner-Up" of the YearNo. 3No. 4No. 5No. 6No. 7
Alison Smith, Senior
Kristen Malloy, Sophomore
Marika Walker, Senior
Eleanor Roosevelt
Katie Hursey, Senior
North Carroll
Morgane Gay, Junior
Walt Whitman
Elizabeth McCarter, Senior
Mount Hebron
Cara Harrison, Senior
Quince Orchard

Boy's Runner of the Year 2006

Matthew Centrowitz, Senior
Championships: Anne Arundel County -- #1 | Region 4A East -- #1 | 4A State -- #1
Matthew Gerald Centrowitz is undefeated in cross country championship races; he has taken titles in all 8 that he has entered in. Beginning with his unexpected wins as a sophomore - defeating Will Eden (Annapolis) to win his first county championship (and stop Eden from becoming AA's first ever three-time winner), and going on to defeat race-favorite Andrew Jesien (Walter Johnson) for a first state championship. Since his first championship-sweep in 2004, Matthew Centrowitz did not lose to a single Maryland athlete in two full seasons.

He will graduate this year with a simple label: undefeatable.

Although his school entered a good number of races this season, Centrowitz only competed in three, missing out on big invitationals such as Barnhardt and Bull Run. It should be viewed as a favor to those race's eventual winners. Of the races he did run, nobody ever came within 30 seconds of him - usually second place finishers were much further behind.

Centrowitz is Anne Arundel County's only male three time winner, repeating a feat his older sister acchomplished in 2003.

Matthew's seventh championship race and win gave him his first chance to break 15:00 in his career; he ran a 14:38.0 at the Region 4A East Finals.

The athlete headed into the state final hoping to break a well circumvented course record of 16:00 that he came within one second of as a junior. A combination of unseasonably warm weather and a trip-up in the last 500m of the course, he ended his Maryland cross country career with a dissapointing 16:02, but as a triple state champion. He leaves holding two of the top five Hereford times.

Matthew Centrowitz's last hoorah in cross country, with a little luck, will not be at the Footlocker Northeast Regional. Centrowitz hopes to become Maryland's first male qualifier in the race this Saturday, gaining an invite to compete in the National Championships in San Diego.

Matthew Centrowitz is Maryland State's 2006 Runner of the Year.

FIRST-TEAM ALL STATERunner of the Year"Runner-Up" of the YearNo. 3No. 4No. 5No. 6No. 7
Matthew Centrowitz, Senior
Robert Wetzel, Senior
Archibishop Spalding
Andrew Revelle, Senior
Erik Anderson, Senior
Archibishop Curley
Christopher Moen, Junior
Walter Johnson
Dwight Parker, Senior
Kelli Thibou, Senior
Eleanor Roosevelt