The West Potomac girls pulled out a big win over defending champion Lake Braddock and the West Springfield boys eked out the victory in a tight four team battle at the Patriot District championships which concluded this past Saturday at Episcopal High School's Flippin Field House.
West Potomac scored 127 points for a 15 point margin of victory with junior Kat Lee and senior Kelly Jemison most responsible for the win.
Kat Lee got things off on the right foot for the Wolverines on Friday evening with a win in the triple jump at a personal best and region leading distance of 37 feet, 11.75 inches. The always energetic junior came back the following morning to win the pole vault at 10-3 and followed that victory up later in the day with a second place in the 55 dash (7.53); fourth in the 55 hurdles (9.14) and fifth in the 300 dash (43.68).
Even though Lee did not score in the long jump where she is the region leader at 18-7, because of fouls on all of her attempts, she was still responsible for 34 of the Wolverines points.
Kelly Jemison also had a huge role as she played a part in 30 of West Potomac's points. On Friday evening, Jemison anchored the 4x800 relay squad which included juniors Brooke Regensburg and Elizabeth Heath along with freshman Kelsey Rosenburg, to victory in 9:39.25 with her 2:19 split.
On Saturday, Jemison broke open a tight race in the 1,600 which saw the lead pack maintain relatively slow splits of 1:23; 2:43 and 4:04 with a strong move at 300 meters to go, in winning convincingly at 5:19.30.
Jemison then came back in the 1,000 run and again used a strong move in the latter stages of the race and was able to hold off T.C. Williams sophomore Erika Weidman to win at 3:08.28 to Weidman's 3:08.80.
The other victory by West Potomac came from Elizabeth Heath as she led from start to finish in the 3,200 run to win easily in 11:23.02 and essentially seal the victory for the Wolverines with West Potomac ultimately outscoring Lake Braddock by 42-31 in the 1,000; 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Lake Braddock was a solid second with 112 points and almost had enough depth to pull out the victory but did not quite have enough firepower at the top as evidenced by managing just one first place finish among the fifteen events.
That win was in the 4x200 relay with the team comprised of juniors Zoie Seay, Melanie Akwule, Stephanie Lacasse and sophomore Katie Klatt at 1:50.92.
Melanie Akwule was the leading point scorer for the Bruins. Besides participating on the winning 4x200 relay, Akwule was also second in the triple jump (36-3) and posted a trio of third place finishes in the 55 hurdles (8.69); 55 dash (7.55) and long jump (16-5.5).
West Springfield finished third with 83 points by virtue of fine performances from senior Trish Friederich and junior Rosemary Barber. Friederich won the 300 dash in her seasonal best time of 42.41; finished second in the 55 hurdles at 8.60 and was part of the second place 4x800 relay team which included Barber along with senior Marie Hokenson and freshman Paige Kvartunas which ran 9:41.61.
Rosemary Barber captured the 500 dash by almost two full seconds in 1:19.14 and besides the 4x8 relay, was also the anchor of the winning 4x400 relay (4:13.08) which included sophomores Kara Lewis and Melani Fish along with freshman Emily Ellis.
T.C. Williams was a close fourth to West Springfield and received a standout performance from Tynita Butts. The Titans sophomore was a triple winner at the meet with victories in the high jump (5-3), long jump (18-0.75) and 55 dash (7.44) and with her third place finish in the 300 dash (43.49), was the leading point scorer at the championships with 36 points.
The other victories were posted by T.C. Williams senior Samella Koroma, who improved her region leading and seasonal best mark in the shot put (43-4.5) and by Hayfield junior Jasmine Jones, who set a new district meet record in the 55 hurdles (8.51) in addition to finishing second in the 300 dash (43.04).
The pre-meet predictions of the chase for the boys team title had everyone forecasting a very tight four team battle and the meet certainly lived up to expectations as West Springfield squeezed out the victory with 83 points, closely followed by runnerup South County with 82 points while Lake Braddock was third at 81.5 points and West Potomac fourth with 75.5 points.
West Springfield was led by senior Mike Spooner, who was involved in 30 of the points for the Spartans. Spooner split 1:58 in the 4x800 relay as he and fellow seniors Anthony Trueheart, Alex Martis and Leo Walker established a new meet record of 8:13.09.
Spooner then followed that up with a comfortable win in the 1,600 run at 4:21.05 and also won the 3,200 run at 9:29.71.
Although coming into that race as the heavy favorite and West Springfield undoubtedly needing a win by Spooner in the 3,200 to have a shot at the victory, Spooner actually fell into second place with 300 meters to go after Brad Kenimer of T.C. Williams made a very smart tactical move on Episcopal's narrow backstretch; essentially boxing Spooner in and then easily passing Spooner as he was coming up on a ready to be lapped runner.
Spooner was able to rebound from Kenimer's move; caught the T.C. junior with 200 meters to go and picked up the pace thereafter enroute to a sub 60 second final 400 meters.
West Springfield also received a huge lift in the first completed event that carried them through the whole meet after senior Andrew Hurst, who came in as just the number seven seed in the triple jump at 37-11, improved his seasonal best by almost three feet to post an upset victory at 40-10.
Second place South County gave it a real go at trying to claim the district title in only their second year. The Stallions held a slight lead for most of the meet which they did not relinqush until the 3,200 run.
South County's lone event winner was senior Chris Bartholemew as he posted a seasonal best of 6-4 to claim the high jump.
The Stallions were able to hang tough the entire meet with runnerup finishes in the 1,000 run from senior Jeff Miller (2:38.95); the 55 hurdles from junior Alvin Hayes; senior Donald Hawkins in the long jump (20-2.5); the triple jump with senior Nobel Iyebote (40-7.5) and with second place finishes in all three relays, although the runnerup finish in the 4x400 was extra tough on South County because West Springfield had a five point lead going into that final event and finished fourth.
Lake Braddock actually aided the Spartans' cause as they won the 4x400 relay to come within a couple of points of the outright team title.
Junior Chris Letson anchored the 4x400 squad, which also included seniors David Watson and Scott Taylor along with junior Ryan Howick in 3:33.64 and Letson was one of the top stars of the meet as he was also the winner of the 500 dash (1:08.58) and 300 dash (36.84).
West Potomac remained a factor the whole meet although they posted just one victory; the 55 hurdles as junior Chris Newkirk greatly improved on his seasonal best time with a win at 7.86.
The Wolverines did pull in second place finishes from senior Arthur Williams in the 55 dash (6.74); senior Neal Hardie in the 300 dash (37.81); Rashon Colbert in the 500 dash (1:09.43) and senior John Jordan in the shot put (46-10).
However, West Potomac's failure to score any points in the 4x200 relay, in which they came in with the fastest time but were the team most victimized by the bumping and grinding that always happens in indoor sprint relays and is even more exacerbated by Flippin's tight track, certainly hurt their chances at the top spot.
That 4x200 relay win actually went to Annandale, as they easily won the slower seeded section in a time fast enough to take the overall victory in 1:37.96 with the quartet of seniors Brandon Williams, Reid Runolfson and Peter Flint along with sophomore John McErlean and the Atoms also had the pole vault winner with senior Alvin Siv clearing 13-0.
The other boys winners were T.C. Williams senior Ricardo Simons in the shot put at 47-11.75; Hayfield senior Jordan Brooks the long jump winner (20-3.75); R.E. Lee senior Josef Tessema, running all alone out of the slower seeded section of the 1,000 looked very smooth in posting the fastest time at 2:34.46 and Lee senior Sean Holston, running in only the 55 dash at this meet before preparing for the 55; 500; 300 triple at the region and state meets, just missed his meet record of 6.45 with a posting of 6.47 on the Episcopal track; where no spikes are allowed.