Dundalk Eagle High School Athletes of the Season: Winter 2014
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:20

Regional high jump champion, second in state (left) Kaitlin Isabell  SPHS indoor track, Won county high jump title, took second in state Lyndale Bethea PHS track


Outstanding Male Athlete

Lyndale Bethea, PHS track

Won county high jump title, took second in state

by Bill Gates

    Patapsco senior Lyndale Bethea achieved something last spring that hadn’t been done by a male Patapsco athlete since Jimmy Carter was president, Bert Jones quarterbacked the Baltimore Colts and “Iran Hostage Crisis” had yet to enter the national lexicon.
    Then he went out two months ago and did it again.
    Bethea, The Eagle’s Male Athlete of the Season for the winter, won the Baltimore County high jump championship, the first indoor track county title by a Patapsco athlete in something just short of forever.
    (That is, we haven’t been able to ascertain the last such instance.)
    When Bethea won the county track and field high jump title last spring, it was the first county track championship for a Pat-apsco male athlete since a Patriot won the discus title in 1978.
    A Patapsco athlete, period, hadn’t won a county track title since Raven Brown won the track and field girls shotput crown in 2005 and 2006.
    Which means Bethea has now won twice as many county track titles in the last nine months than Patapsco has won in the past 35 years.
    And the approaching outdoor season presents an opportunity to make it three.
    Bethea won the indoor title with a height of 6-foot-2, four inches better than runner-up Tyler Gee of Hereford.
    He was the only Pat-apsco athlete, and one of only two local athletes, to score points in the county boys indoor track championships.
    (The other was also a high jumper: Davon Ingram of Dundalk, who placed fifth.)
    Only one person jumped higher than Bethea at the Maryland indoor track state championships: Tanguy Bukasa of Frederick.
    Bukasa cleared 6-foot-4 to win the Class 3A state high jump title. Bethea finished second with a height of 6-foot-2.
    The high jump winners in Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 4A all did 6-foot-2, meaning Bethea would have had an opportunity to win all three of those classifications (through either having fewer misses or through a jump-off).
    Bethea also finished second at the Class 3A Central regional championships.
    In a rare lapse of consistency, Bethea only cleared 5-foot-10 in the regional finals.
    Tevin Bailey of Westminster won the regional title with a height of 6-foot-2.
    Bethea did come back to beat Bailey at the state championships, where the Owl jumper finished with a height of six feet.
    Bethea’s performance at the state championship bodes well for the outdoor season.
    He was one of the highest seeds at last year’s state tournament and had consistently cleared 6-foot-2 all season.
    But nerves got the better of him, and he finished sixth with a height of 5-foot-10.
    The winning height? Six-foot-two.
    Also receiving strong consideration for winter athlete of the season were Dundalk High basketball players sophomore Duron Ball and junior Darius Miller.
    Ball averaged 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. He scored 16 points against Lake Clifton and 31 points against Pikesville.
    Ball scored in double figures in 18 of 20 games. In the other two, he scored nine points.
    Miller averaged 17 points and four rebounds a game, scoring in double figures in 13 games and scoring over 20 points in seven games.
    Ball was named to the All-Baltimore County Division I third team, the first Owl to be selected to a postseason team in nine years.


Outstanding Female Athlete


Kaitlin Isabell, SPHS indoor track

Regional high jump champion, second in state 

by Bill Gates

    Even considering she is a high jumper, the bar is set extremely high for Sparrows Point senior Kaitlin Isabell.
    So high that even finishing second in the Maryland Class 1A state championships can be considered something of a letdown.
    So high that finishing fifth in the Baltimore County championships while competing against jumpers from much larger schools can be considered a downright disappointment.
    Isabell is still The Eagle’s Female Athlete of the Season for winter 2013-14, however.
    In addition to finishing second in the state and fifth in the county, Isabell won the Class 1A Central regional high jump title.
    Still, she came so close to bringing home another state gold medal to match the one she earned at the state track and field championships last spring.
    The Class 1A state title came down to a jump-off between Isabell and Crystal Parker of Central (Prince George’s County) after both girls cleared 4-10 and both missed at five feet.
    It was a familiar experience for Isabell. She won the state title last spring after defeating Boonsboro’s Maggie Sullivan in a jump-off.
    This one didn’t end as well. After both jumpers again missed at five feet, Parker cleared 4-foot-11 and Isabell missed.
    Five feet remains a barrier for Isabell, who has cleared it outdoors but has never reached that height during an indoor competition.
    Jumping indoors has its advantages, such as no wind to worry about, but it presents other challenges.
    “It’s louder, and you’re jumping in a smaller area, which is destracting,” Isabell said. “It may be windy while jumping outdoors, but you can easily block out your surroundings.”
    The footing is also different. The state meet was held at the Prince George’s County Sports Complex, where the footing is similar to outdoors, but the Baltimore County championships are held on the somewhat less sure footing of the 5th Regiment Armory in Baltimore.
    “It does not have any grip at all,” Isabell said.
    But she still cleared 4-foot-10 at the county championship meet, the third-best height overall.
    The winner, from Randallstown, cleared 5-2, while the second-place finisher from Perry Hall cleared five feet.
    Isabell was one of four jumpers to make 4-10, with number of misses leaving her tied for fifth.
    “Placing fifth in the county was tough to swallow, knowing I don’t settle for anything less than first,” she said. “I am just going to prepare myself to go up against the bigger schools again in the outdoor season.
    “Coming from a smaller school, I see the county championships being a bigger challenge.”
    Isabell will also have the motivation of chasing the five-foot level; the only time she has cleared it in competition was at last spring’s track and field championships.
    “I want to start clearing five feet in consecutive meets,” said Isabell, who stands around 5-foot-3.
    This is the third time Isabell has been honored as The Eagle’s Athlete of the Season, following last winter and spring 2013.
    The last three-time athlete of the season was Christie Trionfo of Dundalk High for girls lacrosse (1999-2001).
    Also considered for winter athlete of the season were Ebonee Knight and Shalom Omo-Osagie of the Patapsco girls basketball team.
    They helped the Patriots reach 10 wins for the first time since 2003-04.