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Indoor track: Gonzaga, Seton win Private & Independent Schools Invitational

By Carl Little,

Weekend track meets last for what feels like an eternity, 10 hours or more inside muggy gymnasiums. So Kiah Seymour was happy when Saturday’s Private & Independent Schools Invitational wrapped up half as quickly as usual.

Accepting that pleasure meant enduring the pain. With just 28 schools in attendance, a small collection by area track standards, the Archbishop Carroll senior was on a severely condensed schedule. She didn’t get nearly the recovery time between events she would have liked but still powered to three overwhelming victories inside Georgetown Prep’s Handley Center in North Bethesda.

“This isn’t my first time at this meet so I knew what I had to do,” Seymour, an outdoor track All-Met last year, said. “It’s just important to do a good cool down and stretch between races so I don’t pull [a muscle].”

Elizabeth Seton pulled out the girls’ team victory just ahead of Bishop McNamara. Carroll was third behind Seymour and senior Jade Woodridge, its best finish at this meet in more than seven years.

Gonzaga won its fourth straight boys’ title by a narrow margin over host Georgetown Prep. McNamara was third.

Seymour was fresh when she won the hurdles over Elizabeth Seton’s Taylor Tucker. She froze the clock in a personal-best 8.20 seconds despite annihilating the fourth and fifth barriers with her 5-foot-10 frame.

The 17-year-old lined up in the 500 less than an hour later. She started tying up late, but had such a big lead over the field that it hardly mattered. Seymour crossed in 1:18.69. Tucker was runner-up in 1:20.84.

About 30 minutes later, Seymour somehow summoned the strength to run a record in the 300. She won by more than two seconds, finishing in 39.53.

Elizabeth Seton got a big boost from its sprinters and jumpers. Chelsie Stevens won the 55. Alyse Williams was second in the 300. Diamond Fair was the long jump champion by more than a foot with a personal-best 17 feet 5.75 inches. Williams and Fair both contributed on the Roadrunners’ winning 4x200 relay team.

McNamara was brilliant in the field. Brielyn Rogers went an area-leading 38-9.25 to win the triple jump; Christina Solomon set a personal record by four inches in the high jump, winning with 5-6.

Riverdale Baptist’s Christopher Tate was one of Saturday’s top male performers. The senior streaked to victory in the 500 (1:06.21) before winning the 300 (35.05).

Georgetown Prep’s Joey Chapin won the 1,600 over Gonzaga’s Mike Crozier in 4:25.08. Crozier turned the tables in the 3,200, winning over Chapin in 9:46.67.

Eagles senior Rajee Dunbar helped key Gonzaga’s win, but his two second-place finishes were by the scantest of margins. He was second in both the 55 and 300 by less than .02 of a second.

At least he got to taste victory in between. Dunbar stretched out a meet-record 22-3 in the long jump and won by more than two feet.

“It’s a competitive sport,” Dunbar said while shaking his head. “Sometimes you just come up short. I might be mad, but I congratulate them and bounce back next week.”

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