Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Bowie hurdlers shoot for state meet

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Raphael Talisman⁄The Bowie Star
While the rest of the county may not have been aware, Bowie juniors Casandra Bolden and Adrienne Tolson knew they could be a dominant tandem in the 55-meter hurdles.

The two have placed in the top three in virtually every meet and invitational they have participated in this season. On Jan. 24 at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Bolden finished first and Tolson took second in the county championship meet. They hope to carry over their momentum to 4A East Region championships, set for Tuesday at the Baltimore Armory.

‘‘They both have been doing tremendous this season,” Bulldogs’ coach Rick Andrulonis said. ‘‘They’re both juniors and both have put in a lot of hard work to get to where they are this season. I’m so proud of them.”

Bowie’s quartet of Tosin Babatundi, Dennis Thomas, Cyrus Britt and Emanuel Noumossie combined to win the boys’ 800 relay at the county championships and are taking aim at a spot in the state championships.

DuVal senior Ade Adeokun could be a sleeper contender in the 55 dash, as he finished second at the county championships.

Lawson dominating the dash

Henry A. Wise High senior Krystin Lawson has been dominating the55-meter dash this indoor track season. By far the most challenging experience she’s faced this winter has not come on the track.

‘‘It’s crazy, it’s so many schools that have been offering me scholarships that I don’t know where I want to go,” Lawson said.

While she’s still undecided about college, Lawson is hoping to win on both the state and national levels. The first step in that process comes Tuesday at the 4A East Region Championships.

Lawson is hoping to draw an invitation to the Nike Indoor Nationals to compete in the 60 and 200 dashes. In order to reach those goals, she said that success in an often-overlooked nuance of sprinting is essential.

‘‘My main goal is to get out of the blocks better,” Lawson said. ‘‘It’s of big importance that I do, especially in the 55, where you can win or lose your race. I’m not good in getting out of the blocks, but fortunately I can make up for that. It’s not easy and the whole strategy is a piece of work.”

Lawson said that her recovery from a broken foot she suffered last year is basically an afterthought, as she said the foot is about 80 percent and ‘‘is doing fine.”

Meanwhile, Wise’s Ernest Cooper is gunning for a state title in the 55 hurdles. He says the key to success at the regional meet hinges upon his performance in his first run of the day.

‘‘If I do good in my first race, run a good time, that changes the whole day,” Cooper said. ‘‘The key is going to be running your race and just run hard and don’t think about anything else.”

Raiders take it in stride

This week may be one of the few times that you will ever hear Eleanor Roosevelt High School track and field coach Desmond Dunham say that he does not care about something associated with track.

‘‘I really don’t care too much about what times our athletes run or where they place,” Dunham said, as his team prepares for Tuesday’s 4A East Region Championships at the Baltimore Armory. ‘‘We just want to qualify as many of our runners as possible for the state championships.”

Raiders’ senior Daniel Edmunds could probably care less about how he places or what time he runs as he is coming off a career week. At the county championships on Jan. 24, Edmunds set a new meet record in the 800 meters and followed that performance with a second-place finish (1 minute, 56.3 seconds) at the Virginia Tech Invitational last weekend.

Dunham attributed Edmunds’ improvement to the senior’s willingness to think and train out of the box.

‘‘Cross country provided a strength base. I definitely have opened up to that and that has definitely given me the base that I need,” Edmunds said. ‘‘The weight room as well. I used to hate the weight room, but lifting has definitely helped me.”

E-mail Terron Hampton at thampton@gazette.net.