Robinson, Cross lead Raiders romp

RICHMOND, VA -- Not since 1995 has a team other than Atlee won a boys or girls Capital District indoor track team title. And despite the performance of a small group of Armstrong girls, the pattern of Raiders dominance wasn't about to change Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Center.

Nick Robinson earned three individual titles - high jump, triple jump and 55-meter hurdles - to lead the Atlee boys, and Tiffany Cross won the 1,600 and 1,000 for the girls as the Raiders maintained their stranglehold on the district.

"The kids really fed off each other," said Atlee coach Jim Triemplar. "You always hope to get that."

Though hope was about all the girls team of less-than-10 at Armstrong had going for it, Malaika Pettes, with wins in the triple jump and 55 hurdles, younger sister Shoshana, the high jump winner (equaling, with Malaika, the meet record), and Michelle Cheatham, who won the 300, helped keep the score close.

But with unrivaled depth and nationally-ranked talent like Anna Bushkar, the 500 winner, and Kira Barcus, who broke her own meet record in Friday's pole vault (10-6), the Raiders were too much.

Len Terry, the long jump winner at 22-4½ in a spirited Friday competition with Robinson (21-10¼), Matt Miller, the shot put winner, Tim Papenfuse (pole vault), Renard Clark (55), Steven Baker (1,600), Anthony Easter (500), Jackie DeShazo (300) and Chris Clarke (3,200) quickly made it academic for the Atlee boys.

"People stepped up," said Robinson, who also ran legs on the Raiders' first-place 800 and 1,600 relays.

"This is a first step, and we didn't take it lightly."

The next step is next weekend's Central Region meet, and both Atlee teams are expected - and expect themselves -- to be in the hunt for team titles.

"The seniors will get together, and I'm sure we'll give the team a little pep talk," Robinson said. Once again, he added, "Everyone will have to step up."