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Woodson, Ballou fare well at relays

(Published April 19, 1999)

By DAVID COSTELLO

Special to The Common Denominator

Watch out Philly, here comes the competition!

Ballou boys and H.D. Woodson girls outdoor track runners punched through hat-nabbing wind gusts April 14 for strong finishes at the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association’s 30th annual Marc Jenkins Relays.

The two teams competed against 22 other high schools — some from as far away as New Jersey – giving coaches and athletes the opportunity to scope out competition for the upcoming April 22-24 Penn Relays national tournament at the University of Pennsylvania.

"This meet is a good way to see how you stack up for the Penn relays," said Ballou coach Noel Cyrus, whose boys won the 4-by-400 and 4-by-800-meter relays.

"Our times were slow because of the wind," he added, "but no excuses. We’re going to go out there and let it all hang out."

Ballou Knights Ricardo Iracks, Max Walker, Solomon Patrick and Antonio Gray edged out Largo High School in the 4-by-800 by 0.6 seconds, posting a time of 8 minutes, 14.4 seconds.

Later in the events at Spingarn High School, the same team ran to their second victory of the evening during the 4-by-400, posting a three second lead over Suitland.

The wins validated Coach Cyrus’ prediction in March that national 500-meter record holder Antonio Gray and mile specialist Ricardo Iracks would continue the Knights’ dominating presence.

Not to be outdone by Ballou, H.D. Woodson girls runners Remini Kemper, Tysha Colone, Je’Tonya Goban and Jessica Jennings took first in the sprint medley, beating Eleanor Roosevelt with a time of 1:48.2.

In the 4-by-200, the lady Knights followed Eleanor Roosevelt over the finish line 1.2 seconds later than the winning 1:42.9. The H.D. Woodson girls also placed second behind Roosevelt in the 4-by-100.

For the upcoming event, the D.C. teams will travel to Philadelphia to compete against other East Coast teams as well as top runners from California, the Caribbean and Jamaica.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator