Mount Hebron has been awarded the People Tree Cup, given to the Howard County public school with the most success in league play.

Mount Hebron, which won or shared county titles in boys' soccer, field hockey, girls' lacrosse and baseball, finished with 168.5 points, one point ahead of Centennial.

A county title is worth 11 points, second place is 10 points, all the way down to the last-place finisher, awarded one point.

Mount Hebron last won the People Tree Cup in 2002.

"It was a bit of a surprise that we won because we didn't do as well during the winter season as we usually do," said Mount Hebron Athletic Director Mike Duffy. "But we really came back during the spring season, and to win shows how much hard work our coaches and our kids put in."

Glenelg finished third (164 points), and River Hill took fourth (155.5). Atholton was fifth (54.5), followed by Reservoir (44), Long Reach (41.5), Howard (40.5), Hammond and Wilde Lake (31), and Oakland Mills (24.5).

M&D Wins in Vail

A team from M&D's girls' club lacrosse program won the prestigious Vail Shootout in Colorado for the second consecutive year with a 10-9 victory over a team from Baltimore on June 28.

M&D Black 2006, composed mostly of rising seniors from Howard County, won six games to finish atop the 22-team field.

After winning five games by a combined score of 74-11, M&D Black 2006 played in the final against ROME 2006, most of whose players attend Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland schools.

Regulation play ended 7-7. M&D's Erica Baumgartner (Good Counsel), Jessica Sturgill (Centennial) and Janna Faulkner (Centennial) scored in overtime, and goalie Karen Nicolaus (Mount Hebron) stopped a breakaway in the final minute to secure the win, M&D Coach Scott Robinson said.

"It was huge to come in here and see the way our girls played in such a difficult atmosphere because they aren't used to this altitude," Robinson said. "The whole tournament we played with patience and poise and found a way to win."

Three M&D players -- defender Alex Mundy (Glenelg), midfielder Lauren Catalano (Centennial) and goalie Sara Beckstead (St. Mary's-Annapolis) -- were named to the all-tournament team.

Smith in Prestigious Meet

Atholton junior Alison Smith placed seventh in the 1,500-meter run at the recent USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Carson, Calif.

Smith was the second-youngest competitor in the 12-runner field, which was composed mainly of recent high school graduates and college runners.

All-Met Athlete of the Year Sarah Bowman, a recent graduate of Fauquier High School, won the race in 4 minutes 18.48 seconds.

Erin Bedell, a graduate of Plano West High in Texas, took second in 4:20.64, and Stanford sophomore Lauren Centrowitz, an All-Met at Broadneck, finished third in 4:25.11. Smith finished in 4:31.8.

"I had a great time, but I was kind of sad that I didn't come in the top six because I would have gotten a medal," Smith said. "I had a lot less experience than almost everybody else, so I was definitely pleased with the way I ran."

Smith said she will take a week off before beginning her training for fall. During the past 12 months, she won the 2A cross-country title, individual state titles in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs at the 2A/1A indoor championships and state titles in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the 2A outdoor championships.

"I'd like to think that I earned a break," Smith said. "I'll start running again next week to train for cross-country season."

Duffy Is Back

Mount Hebron's Mike Duffy is returning to coach the school wrestling team after a one-year break.

Duffy, also the school's athletic director, guided the Vikings from 1998 to 2004, a tenure highlighted by the 2002 season, the best year in school history. That season, the Vikings finished 18-0, winning the county dual meet, the 4A/3A North Region Dual Meet tournament and State Dual Meet tournament.

"I just missed it too much," Duffy said. "We needed a coach and thought it was a good time to come back."

Coaches for Golf

Golf coaches were named at most of the county schools shortly after the Board of Education approved the new varsity sport last month.

The coaches are: Ron Martin (Centennial), Bob Bowen (Glenelg), Mike Lerner (Hammond), Vince Parnell (Howard), Chuck Struhar (Long Reach), Rick Marquart (Marriott's Ridge), Ross Hannon (Mount Hebron), Jon Browne (Oakland Mills), David Dorn (Reservoir), Matt Graves (River Hill) and Lester Clay (Wilde Lake).

Atholton Athletic Director Chuck Fales said he will name his school's coach by the end of next week.