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Tigers sweep track championships

(Published February 11, 2002)

By BRIAN BRADFORD

Staff Writer

Wilson Senior High School swept the boys and girls DCIAA Indoor Track and Field Championships (Wed. Feb. 6)last week. The girls’ team, who lost last year’s championship by one point, edged out Dunbar in the final race of the day to win their crown. Wilson’s boys cruised to victory as defending champion Ballou fell 19 points behind the Tigers.

Dunbar’s girls stayed close to Wilson by finishing second in races that Wilson won and finishing in first place in the races Wilson didn’t win. Dunbar got a big day out of their middle-distance runners and surprised the Tigers. Wilson got a boost when Lasette Baylor won the standing triple jump, besting Dunbar’s April Shephard on the last attempt with a 23-foot, 1-inch jump.

"We knew they would get a good performance out of Yanira (Ephraim) and April (Shephard), but they surprised us by winning the 4 by 200 meter relay. We had been winning that event all year," said Jenkins.

Most of the runners on Wilson’s track team have been training under Jenkins and boys coach Jimmie Green for some time now. Jenkins and Green also team up to coach Deal Junior High’s track and field teams.

"That is the key to our success," says Jenkins. "We get a chance to work with them while they are young and develop their interest as well as their ability."

At Deal Junior High the practices are a lot less demanding. The team practices two or three times a week, doing a moderated version of the varsity high school team’s workout. "We want them to have their best races in high school and in college," said Jenkins. "Once they reach high school they have made up their minds that this is what they want to do and they go about training seriously then."

The girls’ outdoor season looks to be as close or closer than the indoor championships. "Dunbar ... will pose a bigger threat, and also Anacostia. Right now, Anacostia’s girls are going between basketball and track. In the spring they’ll be going between softball and track. Softball is less demanding and track will be their main sport, making them a bigger threat in the outdoor season," Jenkins said.

In the field events

Jason Allen of Coolidge won the boys shot put. Allen, a senior headed to Penn State next fall on a track scholarship, threw 46 feet to take first place.

Vernon Davis won the boys high jump event. There was a three-way tie between Davis, Ramzi Thomas of Spingarn and Donald Wilson of Anacostia. All three cleared the height of 5 feet 8 inches, but Davis took the least amount of chances to get over.

Kendra Williams of Anacostia won the girls high jump when she cleared the height of 4 foot 8. Despite narrowly edging out the competition, Williams said she had no doubt she would win the high jump. "I came here prepared to win. My best competition was myself," Williams said.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator