In a rain-filled spring, it was business as usual in county high school boys' track. Suitland enjoyed one of the finest seasons in recent memory with a convincing sweep of the county, region and state 4A championships. DeMatha regained its place atop the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.
Several teams and athletes made their presence felt at meets, from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. Here is the 2003 Star/Gazette All-County Boys' Track and Field Team:
Robert Duru, Sr., Suitland, sprints: Slowed by injuries in the first half of the spring, Duru returned in time to help the Rams' title assault. He was the runner-up to teammate Sergé McGill at the county, region and state championships. Duru, who is headed to Georgetown, placed third in the 100-meter dash at the state meet after runner-up spots in the county and region.
Jamell Lane, Fr., Suitland, sprints: McGill said of Lane, "He's not a freshman, he's an exception." Lane capped a remarkable initial varsity campaign, winning the 100 (11.04 seconds) at the state finals to claim the triple crown in the event. He was also part of the Rams' county and region title-winning 400 relay squad. Lane was fourth in the state in the 200.
Anthony Wiseman, So.,
DeMatha, sprints: Wiseman is regarded as one of the country's top sprinters. He captured his second straight WCAC 200 championship (21.87) and won the 100 (10.82). His winning 10.53 in the 100 at the Morgan State Invitational was tops in the state and among the top 25 nationally. Wiseman was a member of the Stags' 400 title-winning relay team.
Aaron Marshall, Sr., Bladensburg, middle distance: After winning the state 3A/2A indoor 400 title last winter, Marshall won the county 400 outdoor championship (48.11) and was third in the 100 at the Falcon Invitational. Marshall's triumph at the county meet helped Bladensburg capture most improved team honors. His college choices include Delaware State, Morgan State and UMBC.
Yaphet Cross, Jr., Suitland,
middle distance: Cross claimed the county (1:57.9) and 4A South Region (2:00.1) championship in the 800 before placing fifth at the state 4A finals. He is a two-time Star/Gazette All-County outdoor first-team pick and was the opening leg of the Rams' region title-winning 1,600 relay.
Daryl Young, Sr., Flowers,
middle distance: The Springdale school's first male to win an individual state title (4A/3A indoor 400 last winter), Young was the runner-up in the 400 at the 4A finals. He claimed the region championship (48.4) after placing second at the county meet. Young was part of the 1,600 relay squad that claimed the county title. He will attend Morgan State this fall.
Isaac Matthews, Sr., Oxon Hill, distance: Last winter's Star/Gazette Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, Matthews was dominant at the county outdoor finals, winning the 1,600 (4:38.5) and 3,200 (10:38.5). Headed to UMBC, Matthews was runner-up at the region and state 4A championships in the 800. He is a two-time first-team outdoor selection.
John Slonaker, Jr., Bowie,
distance: Slonaker was the runner-up to Matthews in the 3,200 at the county championships before taking top honors at the regional meet (10:38). He was the county's top finisher in the 3,200 (10:33.96) at the state finals. Slonaker placed second in the 1,500 at the Capital Beltway Classic.
Dominic Berger, Jr., DeMatha, hurdles: A member of the Stags' 400 relay team that placed third in the Championship of America finals at the Penn Relays, Berger captured the 110 hurdles title (14.6) at the WCAC championships. He placed first in the event (14.14) at Southern Track Classic in Dinwiddle, Va. Berger was the runner-up in the 300 hurdles at the WCAC finals.
Josh Wilson, Sr., DeMatha,
hurdles: Wilson successfully defended his 300 hurdles title (38.58) at the WCAC championships, helping the Hyattsville school to another title. He was the runner-up in the 110 hurdles and placed fourth in the 200. Wilson earned runner-up spots at the Northern Virginia Invitational (400 hurdles) and Southern Track Classic (300 hurdles). Next stop for Wilson is the University of Maryland where he has a football scholarship.
Déyon Williams, Sr., Suitland, high jump: Williams' versatility was a vital asset on the state's top team. He was the runner-up in the high jump at the state finals, one of three second-place finishes (110 and 300 hurdles) and placed third in the long jump. Williams captured top honors in the aforementioned four events at the regional meet after three victories at the county finals. Williams, is headed to Virginia on a football scholarship.
Thomas Dunn, Sr., Northwestern, long jump: The state 4A runner-up in the long jump, Dunn won the competition at the Gator Invitational (21-2.75), the Morgan State Invitational (22-5.5) and the Scuderi Challenge (20-9). He was also one of the county's top middle distance runners, placing second in the county and third regionally in the 800. Dunn was second in the triple jump at the Gator Invitational and third in the county.
William Lewis, Sr., Suitland, triple jump: Though many runners spearheaded the Rams' stampede to the state championship, Lewis was a major contributor in the field events. He placed fourth in the triple jump at the state meet after claiming the region title (44-3.5). At the county championships, Lewis, headed to North Carolina Central, was second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump.
Fred Ballenger, Sr., Potomac, shot put/discus: Ballenger claimed two-thirds of the discus triple crown, winning the state 2A competition (165-8). Only a record performance by Bowie's Leif Crago at the county finals denied Ballenger, who swept the throwing events at the 2A South Region meet. Ballenger won the shot put at three invitational meets. He'll perform in football and track for Morgan State next season.
Marlon Powell, Sr., DeMatha, shot put: Powell has been the dominant thrower in the WCAC the last several seasons. He claimed his third consecutive shot put title (52-5) and won the discus (151-7), helping the Stags reclaim the conference crown. He swept the shot put (49-3.5) and discus (159-11.5) at the T.C. Williams Invitational. Powell is headed to Murray State where he will be part of the football and track teams.
Sprints: Travis Bowman, Suitland; Michael Bynoe, Forestville; LeTroy Corprew, Suitland; Andrew Cox, Riverdale Baptist; Therrian Davis, Roosevelt; Emmanuel Freeland, Fairmont Heights; Paul Hall, DeMatha; Alondzo Turner, Bladensburg. Middle distance/distance: Jacob Anderson, Flowers; Afolabi Aromire, Flowers; Matthew Boyd, DuVal; Devin Franklin, Suitland; Sean Hawkins, Central; D'vone Jackson, Roosevelt; Romaine McCoy, Central; Justin McKenzie, Douglass; Allen Nash, Bowie; Ryan Richardson, Suitland; Edward Smith, DeMatha; Sunday Umoh, Flowers.
Hurdles: James Adams, Central; Keith Anderson, High Point; Quinton Brown, Douglass; Anthony Cuff, Flowers; Aaron James, DuVal; Pierre Martin, Gwynn Park; Darnell Moore, Suitland; Derrick Morton, Suitland; Mike Simmons, Oxon Hill; Demetrius Simon, McNamara.
Relays: Johnny McCain and William Scott, Central; Cortez Adams, Evan Lessa and Greg Thompson, Douglass; Kevin Davis and Durrell Wooten, Flowers; Antwan Butler, Rashid Byrd, Ezekiel King and Eric Westbrooks, Potomac; Joe Alexander and Patrick Smalls, Suitland. Jumpers: Tremont Baker, Oxon Hill; Darrius Butler, Oxon Hill; Brian Burtis, Bowie; Jamaal Connally, Northwestern; Martell McDuffy, McNamara; Brandon Smalls, Surrattsville. Throwers: Amerik Watson, High Point; Derrick Williams, Gwynn Park.