Central High's LaKisha Barnaby said one of her goals this outdoor season, as a senior, was to lead by example. She did just that last weekend at the state championships.
Barnaby won the 100 meters, 300 hurdles, 100 hurdles and ran a leg on the winning 4x200 relay to lead the Falcons to a second-place finish at the three-day meet at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Despite Barnaby's efforts, this was the second straight year Central was runner-up to Long Reach. The Lightning's winning margin was 106-74.
Barnaby is "a leader . . . not only through her performance on the track, where she rises to the occasion, but her dedication and her time with the younger kids, teaching them things, is why she is an overall leader," Central Coach Ed Bowie said.
Barnaby, who will run for Mississippi State next year, sparked the 4x200 relay team to victory Thursday before having a sensational Saturday.
She won the 100 hurdles in 14.4 seconds. Less than a half-hour later, she claimed the 100 for the first time in her career. It was the second time she had run the race (she finished third in the regionals).
Winning the 100 "surprised me, too," Barnaby said. "I just concentrated on my start and concentrated on my race and whatever happened, happened--I knew I was fast but I was not sure if I was going to come out even with [Long Reach's All-Met Teyarnte Carter] in the blocks."
Said Bowie, "It was our moral victory of the day."
Barnaby finished in 11.9 seconds, two-tenths of a second faster than Carter. She ended the day with another impressive victory in the 300 hurdles, winning by 2.11 seconds in 44.15.
Barnaby's day ended an outdoor season in which she was named Prince George's County's most valuable track athlete after winning the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles. She received the Falcon Award, which goes to the Capitol Heights school's top female athlete, for the second straight year.
"I know [my teammates] look up to me," Barnaby said. "If you are going to run track, you have to be considerate of your teammates as well. I know a lot of seniors who get lazy, so I wanted to take it to the end."
Barnaby was one of three county athletes to win four events.
Northwestern senior James Graham, who has verbally committed to Georgetown, set a meet record in the 300 hurdles in 36.51 seconds and combined with Ali Najjar, Dwayne Thomas and Robert Wingate-Robinson to set a meet record in the 4x400 relay in 3:12.05.
Graham also won the 110 hurdles (14.0) and the 400 (47.32), helping the Wildcats win their first Maryland 4A boys team title in school history, 94-72, over Eleanor Roosevelt, which captured the 4A South regional title over Northwestern.
"We deserve the [team title], we have been working hard," Graham said. "It all comes to those who wait."
Douglass senior Andrea Pressley also won four events, capturing individual titles in the 200 (24.93), 400 (56.68) and the 100 hurdles (14.8) and running a leg on the winning 4x400 relay team (4:00.05).
Pressley helped the Eagles win their third straight Maryland 3A girls team title, 91-52, over Walter Johnson.
Eleanor Roosevelt All-Met senior Jessica DeFreitas helped the Raiders win their eighth title in nine years by winning three events and placing second in the 200. The Greenbelt school defeated Western, 89-64.
DeFreitas won the 100 (11.8), long jump (19 feet 2 1/2 inches) and the triple jump (39-9 1/2) and took second (24.75) to Western's Toni Jefferson (24.74) in the 200.
CAPTION: Northwestern's James Graham leaves challengers behind to clinch 300-meter hurdles in meet-record 36.51 seconds.