As athletic directors go, Jason Gordon may very well be the most spoiled in the state of Maryland. Last year, the Henry A. Wise High School football team won a state title. A few weeks ago, the boys’ basketball team claimed another. It has gotten to the point that, on Friday night for a boys’ basketball all-star game, he said, somewhat in jest, that county and region championships are no longer enough.
Now, as the snow is giving way to grass and winter becomes spring, Gordon has two more legitimate contenders not just for county and region championships, but a few more state banners. The boys’ track team has been an annual threat to win, so it’s not much of a surprise that Brenen Garrett and the Pumas are back as one of the top boys’ teams in Maryland, but the girls haven’t always been on that elite level.
And then Saturday, Wise’s season-opening track meet, hosted annually at the Upper Marlboro school, rolled around, and the girls’ sprint core impressed. In the 200 meters, India Griffin, Alicia Colson, and Dayonna Dixon went one-two-three in times of 26.65, 26.85, and 27.04 seconds, respectively, which were good for the current top three times run by any athlete in the state. The next closest competitor hailing from a school not named Wise was Kemi Maye of Archbishop Carroll — .80 seconds behind.
“Oh yeah,” said Fardan Carter, the Wise coach who oversees both programs though focuses on the boys. “Our girls are looking real good right now.”
Kayla Truesdel added another gold in the 400 (1 minute, .52 seconds), teamed up with Griffin, Dixon and Rachel Dickerson to claim the 400-relay by a full second (51.79), and then joined Colson, Griffin and Katiera Sharp to add another win in the 1,600-relay (4:05.50) by 13 seconds.
“We’re expecting big things,” girls’ coach Gideon Tinch said. “It’s a great start. With no injuries, if everybody stays healthy, we should be pretty good.”
Other notables at the meet included Garrett and a host of Pumas. Garrett swept the 100 (11.06), 200 (22.28) and 400 (49.37), though it was Eleanor Roosevelt who ran a blistering — for this early in the season — 3:27.79 in the 1,600-relay and a 43.86 in the 400-relay to finish first in both. Also contributing from Roosevelt was Banks Agaruwa, who won the shot put with a toss of 48 feet, 6.50 inches, and took second behind Wise’s James Watts in the discus.
Central Invitational, 9:30 a.m., Saturday
How they rank
1. Frederick Douglass
4. Oxon Hill
5. Henry A. Wise
1. Elizabeth Seton
4. Henry A. Wise
5. Bishop McNamara