Despite the lack of a modern indoor track facility, the Interhigh has produced a number of all-America performers.
The latest is William Lumpkin of Anacostia, the defending national champion in the 500 meters (1:04.2). Lumpkin established the mark in last year's finals of the Patriot Prep Invitational at George Mason University.
While Lumpkin is the premier returning track star, H.D. Woodson High should win both the boys and girls indoor track titles.
The Woodson boys team has newcomers Stacey Smith and Anthony Mimms along with veteran Kevin Wiley to dominate the middle distance events. The Warriors girls have top runners in Monique Blazio and Antoinette Gillis. Coach Lionell Russell can also count on steady performances from Reginald Allen and Lushia Taliaferro.
Spingarn has the veterans for the middle distance and long distance races. Coach Bruce Williams will rely on the Bell brothers, Darnell and Dennis, Eric Roane and Carlos Gill.
Ballou's Joe Scott, the league's most valuable runner in cross country, McKinley's Arthur Brown and Wilson's Adrian Miller should challenge in the middle distance races.
In the girls competition, sophomores Michelle Johnson and Kito Jones will help Coolidge, along with Rhonda Doy, Tina Wright and Rhonda Majors in the middle distance races.
Dunbar could surprise. The Crimson Tide didn't run indoor track last year, and yet may have enough talent to sweep the middle distance races. First-year Coach Fletcher Tinsley has Tina Johnson, Leslie Coney, Bridgette Kilkenny and Jackie McCalop returning, but Tammy Humbles will be lost for the indoor season with a twisted knee.
Ballou's Doris Grooms, the most valuable Interhigh girls cross country runner, and Anacostia's Cynthia Battle will also compete in the middle distance events.
Since all-Americas Lynda Tolbert of Ballou and Gracie Brown of McKinley have graduated, the sprints are wide-open this winter. Woodson's Stephanie Wilkins could be the favorite in the 55-meter dash. Ballou will have Charlene Taylor and Linda Johnson in the sprints.
Dunbar has newcomer Darlene Stackhouse, a standout junior high performer. Wilson has transfer Shawnique Hill from Brooklyn. She recorded a time of 24.9 seconds in the 200 meters last year.