Ballou's Barrington Nash and H.D. Woodson's Lushia Taliaferro took advantage of a shortened course last week to finish in a dead-heat, and tie for first place in the Ballou developmental cross country meet at Kenilworth Park.
Meet officials had decided to cut 150 yards off the course in order to avoid interference with a police investigation that was being conducted in the area.
Fifteen minutes before the start of the meet police had found a body of an elderly man in a creek beside the Kenilworth course. According to police foul play was not involved.
Long after the squad cars had left, Ballou's Michael Williamson and H.D. Woodson's Tim Moore were neck and neck after the halfway point in the race. Behind them were Nash in third place and Taliaferro in fourth.
Thinking that they were running the regular distant since the police had departed, Moore and Williamson ran past the cut-in point toward the finish line. Neither Nash nor Taliaferro missed the cut-in point.
Nash had the lead coming toward the finish line, but Taliaferro caught him there (18:31.0). Moore recovered to finish third (18:42.0) and Williamson (18:51.0) followed behind in fourth. Both complained, when they finished, that the two finishers cut the course. Meet officials convened and said the decision stood.
"It's hard to say (about winning). I know he came past me and I started running with him," said Nash. "I knew he was coming, I felt him coming."
"I don't know, but it was a close race. I think I won because I came in the chute (finish line) first. I started using form at the end. I was thinking about catching him (down the stretch)," said Taliaferro.
Taliaferro, a sophomore, won the Youth Games 800 meters this summer.
Despite the loss, Moore and Williamson appear to be the best among Interhigh boys. Moore won the Woodson meet two weeks ago and Williamson came in second.
"It's going to be Williamson and (me) all the way. I know he's strong and he knows I'm strong. When it comes down to the last 100 yards, he won't be there," said Moore.
"Tim and I," said Williamson, "have been racing each other since last year. We are good friends, but when we race may the best man win. I'm a stronger frontrunner than kicker. I have to dig down deep and try my hardest to beat him."
Woodson won its second straight meet with 34 1/2 points, Ballou finished second with 36 1/2 and Wilson came in third with 65.
The Dunbar girls won their second straight meet with 31 points, Wilson came in second (75) and Anacostia third (104).
Dunbar's Jackie McCalop won her second straight meet, coming from behind to do it. She trailed Woodson's Lisa Milner after the two-mile mark, but passed her to win in 17:18.0. Milner came in second (17:29.0) and Tina Johnson of Dunbar (17:53.0) was third.
"She passed me when my knees started hurting," said McCalop. "I wanted to win and I didn't want her to win, so I picked up my rhythm. I thought it would be easy like the last time."
Said Milner: "I just started tighting up. I felt it in my legs. I just ran better than last time."