Bowie High School’s Janice George opened her mouth slightly and flared her nostrils as she glared over her shoulder at North Points’ Mercedes Tillman, seemingly bothered that the reigning All-Met first teamer would dare pass her.
Bowie and North Point were locked in a heated team struggle, and George and Lewis were locked in their own dual as they made the final turn of the 4x200-meter relay.
The race seemed to belong to Bowie, which entered with the top seed time. Really, Wednesday’s entire 4A East Region indoor track and field championship meet seemed to belong to Bowie, which won the meet last winter as a precursor to a longer run of success.
But here were Tillman and North Point challenging the status quo, leading for most of the meet and nearing another event victory.
George had to respond — and she did. The Bowie senior hit an extra gear and pulled ahead to help her team finish in 1 minute, 44.44 seconds, .16 seconds ahead of North Point.
The win was a major turning point for the Bowie girls, who took the team title with 100 points to North Point’s 97. The Bowie girls have now won five straight meets at the county, region or state level dating back to last spring.
“I was like, ‘Alright, this is going to be a battle,’” said George, who also won the 500-meter run. “’We have to finish, period. We have to win regionals.’ So, the last 20 meters, I was so angry. I was just like, ‘We’ve got to win. We’ve got to win.’”
Due to confusion surrounding an incomplete printout of team scores, Bowie actually thought it lost after finishing third in the 4x400-meter relay, the meet’s final event.
“I was about to cry,” said George, who ran the first leg of the 4x400. “I felt like it was on me, because I’m the senior of the team. I felt like I let them down.”
Lexus Ramsey ran the third leg and had similar thoughts as she sat alone near a wall after the race.
“I started crying after I handed off the baton,” Ramsey said. “I really thought we lost, because I did bad in the [4x400]. I mean, I did bad in the [4x200]. I did bad in the 300. And I did bad in the 55.”
The top four finishers in each event plus those who meet a pre-established mark advance to the state meet, and Ramsey qualified in all four her events. That’s why George tried to uplift everyone after the final race.
“All we’ve got to do is get there. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” George told her teammates before noticing Ramsey off to the side.
“C’mon, Lex. All we need to do is top four, and we’re there,” she said.
George believes she was just filling her role after the final race.
“Because I’m the oldest and they’re all young, I have to keep them going,” George said. “If I was mad, that wouldn’t be a good look for everyone. And as a senior, I know the school is watching me. You have to stay positive.”
It became much easier to stay positive once Bowie coach Rich Andrulonis learned of the scoring mixup and that his girls had actually won the meet. He hustled across the track, through the infield and across the other side of the track while the boys ran the 4x400 to share the good news with his team.
North Point won the boys meet with 80 points and Eleanor Roosevelt (72) and Oxon Hill (59) following.
High Point’s Mario Murray won the 300-meter dash on his 17th birthday. What did he have planned to celebrate?
“I just did it,” Murray said after defending his county crown in the event.
Henry A. Wise senior Antonio Harris also threw shot put in the meet after signing with Towson earlier in the day to play football. Harris had committed to Massachusetts 10 days ago before switching to Towson, but he wore UMass sweatpants before and after competing Wednesday. Did he wear them to his signing-day ceremony?
“Nahhh,” Harris said. “They’d kill me.”
Harris didn’t advance to the state meet, and he said it was partially due to not practicing as much lately while visiting colleges that were recruiting him.
“But it’s alright,” Harris said. “Football is my thing.”
1. Mercedes Tillman, North Point, 7.20A; 2. Lexus Ramsey, Bowie, 7.38A; 3. Crystal Godette, C.H. Flowers, 7.40A; 4. Briana Bailey, C.H. Flowers, 7.44A.
1. Mercedes Tillman, North Point, 40.32A; 2. Janice George, Bowie, 40.92A; 3. Aliah Cherry, North Point, 41.36A; 4. Lexus Ramsey, Bowie, 41.67.
1. Janice George, Bowie, 1:17.37A; 2. Taylor Williams, Bowie, 1:20.33A; 3. Imani Matthews, C.H. Flowers, 1:20.59; 4. Elise Allen, E. Roosevelt, 1:20.80.
1. Elise Allen, E. Roosevelt, 2:23.25A; 2. Heidi Reed, Leonardtown, 2:23.49A; 3. Imani Matthews, C.H. Flowers, 2:24.94A; 4. Sashane Williams, Bladensburg, 2:25.04A.
1. Heidi Reed, Leonardtown, 5:29.51; 2. Charde Barnes, Bowie, 5:33.80; 3. Gabrielle Leget, Leonardtown, 5:34.12; 4. Lauren Gibbs, North Point, 5:38.92.
1. Rachel Labatt, Leonardtown, 12:50.56; 2. Hannah Sweet, Leonardtown, 12:56.49; 3. Teghan Simonton, North Point, 13:31.17; 4. Maggie Yuan, E. Roosevelt, 14:04.12.
Girls 55 Hurdles
1. Jori Cook, E. Roosevelt, 8.39A; 2. Danielle Wright, Oxon Hill, 8.76A; 3. Laura Shaner, Leonardtown, 8.83A; 4. Lena Allen, Wise, 9.50.
Girls 4x200 Relay
1. Bowie 1:44.44A; 2. North Point 1:44.60A; 3. Henry A. Wise 1:47.10A; 4. Leonardtown 1:47.90A.
Girls 4x400 Relay
1. North Point 4:02.48A; 2. Leonardtown 4:05.16A; 3. Bowie 4:06.98A; 4. Henry A. Wise 4:09.70A.
Girls 4x800 Relay
1. North Point 10:14.42; 2. Parkdale 10:17.00; 3. C.H. Flowers 10:17.25; 4. Bladensburg 10:19.11.
Girls High Jump
1. Danielle Baker, North Point, 5-02A; 2. Kenyatta Louis, Bowie, 4-10A; 3. Danielle Wright, Oxon Hill, 4-08; 4. Donica Morris, Wise, 4-06.
Girls Shot Put
1. Antonella Taylor, Bowie, 42-06A; 2. Jasmyn Hall, Suitland, 34-10.50A; 3. Kayla Harley, C.H. Flowers, 33-04.50A; 4. Nicovia Carter, Wise, 31-03.25.
1. Denzel Hill, North Point, 6.63A; 2. Joel Thomas, Wise, 6.65A; 3. Kenneth Scott-Kelow, Wise, 6.72A; 4. Robert Wigfall, Suitland, 6.73A.
1. Mario Murray, High Point, 36.43A; 2. Brandon Brown, Suitland, 36.61A; 3. David George, Oxon Hill, 36.72A; 4. Juwuan Brown, E. Roosevelt, 36.82A.
1. Michael Adeshoga, Northwestern-PG, 1:07.28A; 2. Rami Phillips, Oxon Hill, 1:09.09; 3. Martrell Royal, Bowie, 1:10.29; 4. Damon Watson-Willis, Laurel, 1:10.36.
1. Will Liebler, Leonardtown, 2:03.13A; 2. Michael Adeshoga, Northwestern-PG, 2:04.04; 3. Patrick Jones, North Point, 2:05.34; 4. Ike Olumese, Oxon Hill, 2:05.35.
1. Joshua Wilkins, Bowie, 4:38.39; 2. Patrick Jones, North Point, 4:42.18; 3. Ryan LeTerouea, E. Roosevelt, 4:47.72; 4. Abel Estifanos, Northwestern-PG, 4:48.13.
1. Joshua Wilkins, Bowie, 10:09.43; 2. Tyler Perdue, North Point, 10:24.58; 3. Christopher Jones, North Point, 10:24.77; 4. Abel Estifanos, Northwestern-PG, 10:35.52.
Boys 55 Hurdles
1. Andrew Carter, E. Roosevelt, 7.88A; 2. Todd Sampson, Oxon Hill, 7.90A; 3. Paris Vaughn, Wise, 7.91A; 4. Devon Gutrick, North Point, 8.10A.
Boys 4x200 Relay
1. North Point 1:32.60A; 2. Bowie 1:33.57A; 3. Henry A. Wise 1:33.81A; 4. Suitland 1:34.05A.
Boys 4x400 Relay
1. C.H. Flowers 3:31.20A; 2. Eleanor Roosevelt 3:31.22A; 3. Suitland 3:31.81A; 4. Bowie 3:32.62A.
Boys 4x800 Relay
1. Oxon Hill 8:14.35A; 2. North Point 8:17.47A; 3. Leonardtown 8:29.81; 4. Eleanor Roosevelt 8:31.98.
Boys High Jump
1. Spencer Johnson, Oxon Hill, 6-00A; 2. Erick Jenkins, Duval, 5-10A; 3. ChalilB. Cheavor, E. Roosevelt, 5-10A; 4. Chey Harris, North Point, 5-08.
Boys Pole Vault
1. Paris Vaughn, Wise, 12-00A.
Boys Shot Put
1. Daltyn Earl, Leonardtown, 49-04A; 2. Banks Agaruwa, E. Roosevelt,
46-07.50A; 3. Jaylon Powell, E. Roosevelt, 46-06.25A; 4. Daquan Gordon, C.H. Flowers, 45-02.25A.