Friday, Feb. 8, 2008

2003 All-County Girls’ Indoor Track Team: Roosevelt, Largo lead county girls squad

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Tiandra Ponteen, Roosevelt

Seemingly every time Tiandra Ponteen stepped on the track this winter, something amazing happened. The senior is the Star⁄Gazette Female Indoor Track Runner of the Year. Her triumphs in the 300 and 500 meter competitions at the state Class 4A⁄3A finals were the final salvo in a brilliant season for the University of Florida-bound performer.

She shattered the state record in the 300 (39.19 seconds) previously held by former Roosevelt and University of Texas standout Suziann Reid (40.14). Ponteen collected the ‘‘Triple Crown” in the event and missed another sweep in the 500 after finishing second (1:16.7) at the East Region meet.

‘‘In college, she can definitely be an Olympic caliber athlete,” said Roosevelt coach LarryColbert, whose team won its state-record 12th championship. ‘‘She has that mentality and is willing to put in the effort to meet her goals.”

A first-team all-county selection last winter, Ponteen set the meet record in the 300 (37.85) at the Virginia Tech Invitational and the 500 (1:13.88) at the Metro Run & Walk Invitational at the Sports Complex.

Both marks are currently ranked second in the nation. She also won the 200 (25.07) at the Metro meet. At the county finals, Ponteen took the 300 (39.35) and 500 (1:16.6), and was named the meet’s outstanding female track performer. She is set to perform at next weekend’s Nike Invitational at the Sports Complex where she’s the defending 400 champ.

Quiteelia Boyd, Laurel

Despite several distractions this season, Star⁄Gazette Female Indoor Field Performer of the Year Quiteelia Boyd remained steadfast and won her second consecutive county shot put championship at 35 feet, 4 inches. The lefthander placed second (35-5) at the East Region competition before claiming third (35-6.25) at the state 4A⁄3A finals.

With standouts like Keiona Frenche (now at Jacksonville University) andSimone Baptiste (East Carolina) graduating, and Tatiana Roper transferring, Boyd was the lone veteran on a young Spartan team this winter. The team also had a new coach in Corey Harris, who replaced longtime headman Lou Warren. Boyd’s victory accounted for Laurel’s points at the county championships.

As a sophomore last year, she won the county title in the shot put (34-2.25) and was runner-up at the East Region and state finals, earning Star⁄Gazette first-team accolades. Boyd was also second in the pole vault at the county championships.

Boyd followed that with an appearance on the Star⁄Gazette All-County outdoor squad last spring after winning shot put competition at the county finals. She will be busy during the spring, performing the shot put and playing softball. Boyd was a second-team all-county pick in softball last year.

Girls Coach of the Year

Larry Colbert, Roosevelt — After being outdistanced by rival Largo at the county championships, some thought the Greenbelt school didn’t have enough to win a state title. They were wrong. Colbert and the Raiders regrouped and maintained their state Class 4A⁄3A championship.

Roosevelt won the East Region title at the Fifth Regiment Armory before holding off Largo, which bested it by 54 points at the county finals, 62-58, for its third consecutive championship and state-record 12th.

The First Team

Crystal Anyanwu, Roosevelt, Sr., Middle Distance — Anyanwu formed arguably the best 1-2 combo in the state with Tiandra Ponteen. She captured her second straight county and state championship in the 800, helping the Raiders to the state 4A⁄3A title. Anyanwu also claimed first in the event (2:13.84) at the Hispanic Games at the New York City Armory.

Shani Boone, Douglass, Sr., Sprints — The Eagles’ charge at the state 3A⁄2A title wouldn’t been possible without Boone. She placed second in the 55 and 300 events and was a leg on the title-winning 800 relay squad (class-record 1:46.53). Boone, who took the East Region title in the 55 (7.4) and 300 (42.3), was runner-up in the 300 at the county finals.

Sirdonea Davis, Largo, Jr., Middle Distance — Davis was one of several talented underclassmen who helped Largo to the county title this season. She was runner-up in the 500 and 800 at the county finals before earning top honors in the 500 at the East Region meet (1:16.52). Davis, who won the 500 at the Fork Union (Va.) Invitational (1:17.88), was third at the state 4A⁄3A finals.

Michalyin Golladay, Largo, Fr., Sprints — Golladay may be destined to be the next outstanding sprinter out of the Lions program. She edged teammate Natalie McKenzie for the county 55 title (7.14) before switching positions at the state finals. Golladay also was runner-up at the East Region meet.

Elizabeth Jackson, Suitland, Sr., Triple Jump — The triple jump isn’t contested at the state and regional meets, but Jackson left her mark on the county this winter. She broke her own county mark (37 feet, 0.5 inches) and rank in the top 10 nationally (38-3.5 at Virginia Tech Invitational). Jackson placed sixth in the shot put at the county finals after was third in the shot put at the county and East Region finals.

Jovann Jones, Largo, So., Distance — Another promising Largo underclassmen, Jones won the 3,200 county championship (13:05.24). She placed fourth in the 1,600 at the East Region meet but failed to place at the state finals. Jones was a leg on the Lions’ 3,200 relay team that won the county and region titles.

Jerrie Kumulah, Bowie, Sr., Long Jump —Kumulah won the long jump event at the county finals (17-4.5), falling an inch off the county mark. She tied for third in the triple jump at the county meet, and also placed third in both events at the Prince George’s Invitational. Kumulah was fourth in the long jump at the Friends of Indoor Track meet.

Natalie McKenzie, Largo, Sr., Sprints — McKenzie’s senior leadership came through for the Lions at the state 4A⁄3A championships, winning the 55 dash (7.18) as they were runner-up to Roosevelt. She placed second at the county finals and was fourth at East Regionals. McKenzie took top honors in the dash event (7.34) at the Fork Union (Va.) Invitational.

Jessica Neal, Riverdale Baptist, Sr.,Distance — After making a splash last spring, Neal continued being a factor in the winter. Competing for the first time indoors, she won the 1,600 (5:30.45) and 3,200 (11:36.8) at the DCIAA Invitational. Neal, a first-team all-county outdoor pick last spring, took the 1,500 (5:09.4) and 3,000 (11:23.6) at the National Guard Meet.

Tiffany Nesfield, Flowers, Jr., Hurdles —Nesfield redeemed herself with a vengeance this season, taking the ‘‘Triple Crown” in the 55 hurdles. She won the three postseason finals by an average of .30 seconds, posting a season-best 8.15 (10th nationally) at the state 4A⁄3A finals. Nesfield, runner-up at the Metro Run & Walk Holiday Invitational, is making her third straight appearance on the Star⁄Gazette All-County indoor first team.

Kafi Pollard, Roosevelt, Sr., Middle Distance — While Tiandra Ponteen and Crystal Anyanwu garnered most of the attention, Pollard was just as important in leading Roosevelt to the state championship this season. She claimed the county 800 title (2:27.28) and was runner-up at the East Region meet. Pollard placed fifth in the 800 at the state finals and was also fourth in the 1,600 at the county championships.

Tatiana Roper, Flowers, Sr., High Jump — A change in scenery didn’t affect Roper. Last year’s Star⁄Gazette top indoor field performer at Laurel, Roper transferred to Flowers, where she tied for second at the East Region (5-2) and state championship (5-2) meets. She’s making her second appearance on the county team after winning the high jump and pole vault title at the county finals last winter.

Second Team

Sprints: Jennifer Geter, Central; Nathandra John, Roosevelt; Tylisha McCall and Dominique Payne, Potomac; Monique Meadows, Bladensburg; Dawn Spencer, Fairmont Heights

Middle Distance: Yolanda Barber, Suitland; Starema Flood, Douglass; Tobie Hamilton and Tiffany McPhatter, Central; Vanessa Sassa, Largo

Distance: Tashae Croxton, Largo; Stephanie Gunter, Oxon Hill; Kristi Ruele, Roosevelt; Marquita Watson, DuVal

Hurdles: DeAnna Daniel, Oxon Hill; Angelique Henderson, Largo; Andrea Pinkey-Hawkins, Gwynn Park

Field: Erica Belton, Bowie; Nicole Collins, Douglass; Tiffon Moss, Potomac; Kristina Stevens, Oxon Hill

Relays: Ambria Alexander, Dara Jones, Shanice Pratt and Shannon Wade, Flowers; Patricia Anyanwu and Wanakee Jackson, Roosevelt; Kamillah Bossett and Darshal Smith, Largo; Princess Harris, Central; Quana Hogan and Sacreia Osborne, Potomac.