by Matt Palmer
After a long, internal struggle, Andrew Revelle has embraced that is he is a runner. That's very bad news for Howard County competition.
The 2005 boys cross country Runner of the Year recently decided that he would give up his decade-long love of basketball and, for the first time, run indoor track. Revelle is coming off a dominating cross country season that saw him win the county, Class 2A South Region and the state title.
It was the second straight year Revelle won a region and state title. If he were to win next year, he would tie Centennial great Pat Rodrigues as the only Howard County runner to win three consecutive state titles.
"That would be pretty special if I were able to do that," Revelle said.
The Atholton junior has become the county's premier distance runner. He was the county's top runner from the start of the season to the end. He won the Howard County Striders Invitational in September and never stopped. His state finals time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds on the difficult course at Hereford High was more than 40 seconds better than his sophomore season time (17:26).
"I had a great season and I accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish," Revelle said.
In years past, Revelle ran cross country in the fall and played on Atholton's basketball teams during the winter. In the spring, he would join the outdoor track team where he's also a state champion miler.
While many of his friends were playing basketball, Revelle had to start thinking about what would be in his future. Basketball became the odd sport out.
"I've been playing since I was 5 years old, and I invested a lot time into basketball. I couldn't really make the decision, so I wrote out my feelings," Revelle said.
He arrived at the fact that if he is going to take his running to the collegiate level, he needed to run throughout the year.
"I think it's going to be exciting," Revelle said of the freshness of indoor track to him. "I was talking to Alison Smith and told her I don't really have an indoor uniform yet."
In the meantime, Revelle has one more cross country season, with the goal of helping his team win a state title, after finishing second the last two years. The Raiders should do it with leadership from their star and a stellar returning cast.
"Andrew has not only improved as an athlete, but I have also seen a lot of growth and maturity in him. He has become a true leader of our team," coach Beth DeFrances said.
Named to the All-County First Team are:
Brian Allen, Reservoir, junior. Allen was a steady influence for the Gators. He was 11th in the county meet, eighth in the Class 2A South meet and 12th in the state meet.
"Brian worked amazingly hard and definitely had a good year," coach Phil Rogers said.
J.P. Allera, Wilde Lake, junior. "J.P. was our rock. He's got a great work ethic and improved dramatically from last year," coach Whitty Bass said.
The lone holdover from 2004 season, Allera helped lead his team to a surprise county, region and Class 3A state championship as he finished third in the county and the state.
Andrew Bank, River Hill, senior. With last year's Runner of the Year, Sergiy Zubko, out with injuries, Bank was the Hawks' team leader. He exhausted himself with extra running, but refocused thanks to coach Earl Lauer's help. He was 10th in the county and ninth in Class 3A state meet.
"Andrew basically came on in the second half of the season," Lauer said.
Graham Bazell, Atholton, freshman. The newcomer had loads of external and internal expectations and fully delivered. He came in fourth in the county and second in the Class 2A state meet.
"I am really looking forward to the next three years with him," coach Beth DeFrances said.
Travis Boccher, Wilde Lake, senior. "Travis was the great surprise," coach Whitty Bass said. The first-year runner became one of the best in the county and the state as well. He finished second in the county and second at the Class 3A state meet and helped assure the Wildecats the state title.
Devon Gillett, Hammond, junior. The transfer from Anne Arundel County made his presence known with a standout year. He placed sixth in the county, second in the region and fourth in the Class 2A state meet.
What made this junior shine?
"Probably his determination and willingness to improve," said coach Rich Corkran.
Reggie King, Atholton, senior. Coach Beth DeFrances described King as a "terrific athlete," and one who "will be sorely missed."
King was a constant for the Raiders as they made big strides on the running scene. His seventh-place finish in the county would have been enough, but he cemented his status on the team when he finished sixth in Class 2A state meet.
Derek Lange, Wilde Lake, sophomore. "I'm excited about future potential," coach Whitty Bass said of Lange, who came in 12th in the state. In addition, he was fifth in the county meet and helped Wilde Lake earn county and state titles.
Dustin Yourstone, Centennial, senior. "He's certainly got a great work ethic," coach Al Dodds said of the county's eighth-place finisher. Yourstone placed fourth in the 3A East meet and finished 24th at the state meet.
E-mail Matt Palmer at mpalmer@patuxent.