St. Albans distance runner Tai Dinger felt wind in his face and footsteps behind him.
He shrugged off the breeze, and ran away from his nearest pursuers by setting a personal record time of 4 minutes 17.51 seconds in the 1,600 meter run at the Draper Invitational on Saturday. Dinger also won the 3,200 (9:23.16) Friday to give him co-Male Athlete of the Meet honors.
McDonogh of Baltimore swept first-place honors for the boys (113.6 points) and girls (124). Georgetown Day (83) and St. Albans (68.6) were the next two for the boys; for the girls, Georgetown Visitation placed second and Wilson third.
It was a warm day at St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes School in Alexandria, but also one with a stiff breeze.
Regardless, Dinger and Coach Jim Ehrenhaft wanted to be out front the whole race.
“I only really noticed on the third lap. It may have been a small factor but it didn’t play that big of a role,” Dinger said. “I was running all out for the entire race, but I always feel more motivated if I feel footsteps right behind me.”
Said Ehrenhaft: “He had a plan, and being out front was going to allow him to run how he wanted. He improved his time by another second, and that was the idea today.”
McDonogh’s Andrew Robinson shared Athlete of the Meet honors with Dinger after he won the discus (136 feet 2 inches) and shot put (49-10).
Teammate Lakin Hatcher took two events as well, winning the 100 (12.36) and 200 (25.03).
The 200 time was very close to a personal best of 24.9, but given the conditions and the busy day she had, also running in the 4x100, she was optimistic.
“I’m hoping that it meant I can get it down later on this season,” Hatcher said. “I was a little bit tired, my legs were going, but it felt pretty good overall.”
Deonna Diggs dominated for Wilson, winning a meet-high three events: the triple jump (33-6.5), 100 hurdles (14.89) and 300 hurdles (46.55).
Sidwell Friends athlete Megan Wilson provided a late afternoon highlight, breaking Erin Sicher’s 15-year-old meet record in the 800 (2:13.40) with a 2:12.36.