F.I.T. Invitational Preview

The 11th Annual Friends of Indoor Track Invitational appears to have brought together, once again, many of the top athletes from around the area as they continue their hoped for improvement heading into the new year.
The meet was held for quite a few years as a relay only meet at George Mason University with very good success; but has now evolved into a regular track and field championship event format at the extremely nice venue at the Prince George\'s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland with the same continued success.
Approximately 1,150 athletes representing forty six high schools will partake on the 200 meter unbanked six lane track in the hopes of eliciting some post Christmas cheer as they try to build up some momentum before heading into the brunt of the indoor schedule.
Following is a preview of some of the outstanding athletes, among the numerous competitors, who should bear watching.


In the sprinting events, the top notch draw at this meet, and at most meets in which she competes is Bethel senior Francena McCorory. The All American speedster and multiple Va. AAA state champion is entered as the top seed in the 55 meter, 500 meter and 300 meter dashes.
McCorory is the defending state indoor titleist in both the 55 dash and 300 dash who is also capable of putting down a time among the national leaders in the 500 dash as well.
McCorory has already shown that she is in excellent early season form after recording a sub 39 second time in the 300 dash and an extremely crowd pleasing mid 23 second anchor on Bethel\'s 4x200 relay at the GMU Invite earlier this month.
Other top sprinters entered include Bethel junior Crystal Carrington, Centreville sophomore Brittini Finch and Buffalo Gap senior Angela Jenkins in the 55 dash; Bethel junior Essynce Roberts and George C. Marshall junior Jacqueline Hargrove in the 300 dash and the 500 dash has a talented trio of juniors entered in Eleanor Roosevelt\'s Takeisha Jameson, Centreville\'s Cate Tisinger and Tiara Swindell of Kecoughtan, who was the third place finisher in the 400 dash at the Va. AAA state outdoor meet last June.

In the distance events, the 1,000 run will have Eleanor Roosevelt junior Tameka Jameson, the defending Md. state 4A 800 champ, as the favorite in a fairly deep event which also features Northern Region outdoor 800 champ Tasia Potasinski of Westfield, Jefferson\'s Stephany Reaves, Yorktown freshman Andrea Oaxaca and the Lake Braddock duo of Erin Klein and Shelley Presley.
The 1,600 run should have juniors Sara Weber of Washington-Lee and Marla Belizaire of Kekoughtan along with Robinson senior Jennifer Hovland aiming for the AAA state automatic state qualifier of 5:17.13 while the 3,200 run favorite will be W.T. Woodson\'s Sarah Hadiji, the defending Northern Region outdoor 3,200 titleist who was also the AAA state runnerup in cross country early last month.

The 55 meter hurdles also has a strong favorite in Menchville junior Kali Watkins, who won the 100 meter outdoor version at the AAA meet last June with Deep Creek junior Chantil Harvey also poised for a strong performance.
The relays have Menchville looking very strong in the 4x200 after a win at GMU with Bethel and E. Roosevelt also always in the mix. The 4x400 fight to the finish could also find Menchville, Bethel and Roosevelt as the teams to beat while the 4x800 should see Roosevelt as tough to overtake if both Takeisha and Tamesha Jameson line up, with Westfield and West Potomac also expected to field strong squads.

In the field events, the long jump looks strong with entrants including Centreville\'s Brittini Finch, the No. Region outdoor champ; Va. A state champ Angela Jenkins of Buffalo Gap and two other AAA outdoor all state performers in Hayfield senior Nakeisha Wineglass and West Potomac sophomore Kat Lee.
Hayfield\'s Wineglass is also entered in the triple jump, in which she is the defending indoor state titleist, along with state A outdoor runnerup Jenkins of Buffalo Gap and Centreville\'s Finch.
In the high jump, Deep Creek will try and put a double whammy on the field with junior Jonee Artis, the AAA outdoor winner and her teammate, sophomore Ashley Gatling who was right behind Artis as the AAA outdoor runnerup, leading the field.
The shot put top seed is junior Christy Robinson of Patuxent, who is the defending Md. 4A outdoor champ and who was also the state runnerup in the discus, with T.C. Williams junior Samella Koroma and Westfield senior Aimee Kodat looking to push Robinson and also the state auto qualifier of 36-11.25.
The pole vault spot at the top should have a strong Northern Region flavor with AAA indoor champ Anna Noguchi looking to fend off seniors Nicole Kazuba of Chantilly and Centreville\'s Dana Comber.


In the sprinting events, the 55 dash top seed is Aaron Anderson of Bishop McNamara, who is coming off a victory in that event from the George Mason Invite from a couple of weeks ago, with top times also looking to be posted by juniors Brandon Williams of Centreville and R.E. Lee\'s Sean Holston, the Northern Region 100 dash runnerup from the past outdoor season.
McNamara\'s Anderson is also entered in the 300 dash with three of the other top entrants also hailing from private schools in Jeremy Samuels and Michael Lemon of DeMatha along with Willie Harris of Episcopal.
The meet record in the 500 dash of 1:06.23 should be put to to a strong test with Hayfield senior Chris Richardson, the Northern Region indoor 500 champ and state outdoor 400 dash runnerup, matched up against Geoffrey Daley of DeMatha.
The individual distance races have Herndon\'s Abe Daganchew, third outdoors in the 800 run and the anchor on both of Herndon\'s indoor and outdoor state champion 4x800 meter relays, as the runner to beat with the Eleanor Roosevelt duo of Kelli Thibou and Mikias Gelagle also among the top seeds.
In the 1,600 run Dwight Parker of Woodlawn comes in with the top seeded time with Herndon\'s Ermin Mujezinovic also one of the top entries while the 3,200 run has West Springfield\'s Mike Spooner, the AAA cross country runnerup, looking towards the state auto qualifying time of 9:42.95 and possibly the meet record of 9:37.48.

The meet record in the 55 hurdles of 7.85 could also fall with DeMatha\'s Geoffrey Daley, Willie Harris of Episcopal and senior Jamal Crowelle from Centreville ready to quickly traverse the barriers.
The seed times appear to have DeMatha set to field a strong quartet in the 4x200 relay with Bethel and possibly Suitland giving chase. The 4x400 relay has Archbishop John Carroll, E. Roosevelt, Bethel and Menchville all feeling like they are capable of sub 3:30 early season clockings and the 4x800 has Eleanor Roosevelt as the favorite, if they load up, with Hayfield and George Marshall also contenders.

Field event action in the long jump looks wide open with Centreville juniors Brandon Williams and Brandon Davis along with Ed Baldwin of Edison looking for a positive leap towards the new year. The triple jump top seed is senior Justin Payne of Woodlawn, who was fourth at the 4A state outdoor meet, with Centreville\'s Crowelle and West Potomac senior Antwane Minter, the No. Region outdoor winner, also among the top seeds.
The boys shot put has Edison senior Devan Clark as the prohibitive favorite with his toss of 53-9 at the recent GMU Invite marking him more than five feet ahead of the next highest seeded contestant.
The high jump has senior Aaron Johnson of Oxon Hill, the Md. state 4A outdoor runnerup, as the one to beat and the pole vault features seniors Chad Cochran of Westfield, the No.Region outdoor winner, against Concorde District counterpart Dominic Lauchengco of Chantilly and Yorktown\'s Will Harris, a transfer from Texas with solid credentials who will be vaulting in competition for the first time this season.