Bowie senior Joshua Wilkins knew he’d need conserve some energy for the end of his 3200-meter race.
After winning the 1,600 meters early on Saturday at the Montgomery Invitational at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, Wilkins was looking for another distance win once the 5 o’clock hour rolled around.
Wilkins stayed with the front pack and in third place for most of the 3,200. With one lap to go, Wilkins made his move and burst into first place, capturing his second win of the day with a time of 9 minutes 29.88 seconds.
“If I took the lead [early], I think I would have burned out,” Wilkins said. “It was a nice pace and I was able to handle it.”
Wilkins, who holds offers from the University of Tampa and Northwestern State, said he began to feel fatigue set in with about four laps to go.
“I won’t lie, I had a bit of a struggle,” Wilkins said. “I just had to hold on and hope they didn’t leave me coming toward two laps to go.”
Wilkins passed Poolesville’s Chase Weaverling on the final lap, who was running his first 3200 since his cross-country season ended in December. Weaverling finished second with a 9:30.88.
“I was definitely a little rusty with the distance but it wasn’t too bad,” Weaverling said. “But 9:30, that’s definitely better than where I was last year at this time of the season.”
Wilson’s Deonna Diggs set a time for the rest of the region to catch in the 55 hurdles with an 8.25. Diggs surprised herself with her new personal best, which ranks as the fastest in the area so far this season.
“To PR that much, I’ve been waiting and waiting,” Diggs said. “To be able to do this, I’m really proud of myself.”
The girls’ 500 featured the same top three from last year’s Montgomery Invitational. Rounding the final turn in third place, Dunbar’s London Freeland, who has verbally committed to run track at Tennessee, relied on her kick to sprint past McDonogh’s Sidney Hayes and Western Tech’s Sharon Dorsey. In a photo finish, Freeland (1:16.43) out-leaned Hayes to win by two-hundredths of a second.
Freeland didn’t realize she won until watching a recording her mother made from the stands.
“We played it in slow motion and you could see my torso was over before she crossed [the finish-line],” Freeland said.
Elizabeth Seton’s Javonne Antoine posted a meet-best 39 feet 4 inches in the girls’ triple jump. Though she won the event, she was hoping to reach the 40-feet mark she accomplished last week at the Hispanic Games in New York (40-0.75). Antoine, who’s considering offers from N.C. State, Michigan State and Central Florida, is still chasing her personal best of 40-1.5, set last year at the New Balance Indoor Nationals meet.
“I want to jump 41 even,” she said. “I’m working on my last phase, keeping my knees up, and on my speed.”