Sidwell Friends sweeps first DCSAA cross-country championships
By Carl Little,
Sidwell Friends junior Megan Wilson won the inaugural D.C. State Athletic Association cross-country championship, sprinting to an almost two-minute victory and leading the Quakers to the team title Saturday in Southeast.
Wilson, who only joined the cross-country team in September after switching from volleyball, put the field away early and burned through the hilly 5-kilometer course at Fort Dupont Park in 20 minutes 44 seconds. Dunbar’s London Freeland, the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association championship two weeks ago, was runner-up in 22:30.
“It was kind of interesting to be running in D.C. for the first time,” Wilson said. “It was a very different course and we’re definitely happy we went.”
The DCSAA formed in January and one of its chief missions, according to statewide director of athletics Clark Ray, was to bring together D.C. public, charter and private schools in order to crown a true city champion.
It took a step toward that end on Saturday, attracting 10 girls’ schools and almost 40 individuals. Sidwell Friends coasted, taking its place atop the podium ahead of Wilson and Washington Latin and accepting the championship trophy directly from Mayor Vincent Gray.
Sidwell Friends also won the boys’ meet ahead of Wilson and Coolidge.
Theodore Roosevelt junior Abdur-Rahman Kelly won the individual title in 17:56. He was just one second faster than Noah Howard of Wilson.
It was the same margin of victory that Kelly used to defeat Howard at the DCIAA championships. On Saturday, the pair dropped the rest of the field at the two-mile mark and then ran side by side for the next mile before sprinting to the finish.
Kelly said he was excited to race on Saturday, not only against his usual competition but also against some of the best the entire city has to offer.
“I felt like there was going to be more competition outside the DCIAA,” Kelly said. “If you want to be the best you got to beat the best. I think I got a lot more proving to do though.”