Members of the Brooke Point High School boys and girls track teams will conclude the school's finest season by competing for the first time at the outdoor national championships this weekend in Raleigh, N.C.
Potomac and Gar-Field also will send athletes who have met qualifying standards to the meet, which is Friday and Saturday at N.C. State University.
Brooke Point sophomores Keosha Sanders (100 meters, 100 hurdles) and Shalonda Bowles (triple jump) will compete on the girls side. Three Black-Hawk boys also have qualified in individual events: senior Philip Agee in the pole vault; junior Jason Fludd in the triple jump; and junior Byron Dunham in the 100 and 200. Dunham also will join seniors Jermaine Kendall, Jason Ross and Eric Braxton on Brooke Point's 4x100 relay.
"They are looking forward to it," Brooke Point Coach J.C. Hall said. "Keosha and Phil competed at indoor nationals, but for everybody else this will be their first time, and they are pretty excited about that."
The Black-Hawks, the Commonwealth District boys and girls champions, are coming off their best finishes at last weekend's Virginia AAA championships at Norfolk State. The boys placed fifth overall, with 27 points, and the girls tied for 11th, with 17 points. Only teams from Potomac, Bethel, Centreville and Mount Vernon combined to score more points.
Brooke Point's boys placed second to Potomac in the 4x100, with a time of 42.15 seconds. Agee tied for second in the pole vault (13 feet 6 inches). Dunham was fifth in the 100 (11.05) and eighth in the 200 (23.65). Fludd placed fifth in the triple jump (46-5), and Kendall finished sixth in the 300 hurdles (40.28).
For the girls, Sanders took second in the 100 hurdles (14.65), and classmate Rachel McIntosh finished seventh (15.84). Bowles placed sixth in the triple jump (36-9). Sophomore Colleen Connell placed fifth in the 1,600, in 5 minutes 10.38 seconds, just missing the national-qualifying time of 5:09.
The Potomac boys, who captured their first outdoor state title last weekend, will concentrate on the 4x100 and 4x200 relays at the national championships. The Panthers are aiming to break 41 seconds and 1:25, respectively, in those races.
Potomac gained all-American honors at the meet two years ago by placing sixth in the 4x100. Senior All-Met Michael Newell, junior Rico Lloyd and senior Phil Acosta will join either senior Jeff Foy or senior Ed Simms on the relay. Foy helped the Panthers set the meet record at the Penn Relays in April, and Simms helped Potomac break a 14-year meet record at the state championships.
Foy and Simms "are both very good, so it is a nice problem to have," Potomac Coach Bill Stearns said. "But it is going to be tough to decide which one will run. Either way, we will do well."
Foy, Simms, Newell and Lloyd will make up the 4x200 relay. Lloyd won the 200 at the state meet. Newell won the 100 and is entered in that event at nationals, but he may not compete so that he is rested for the relays.
Potomac senior Andrea Etheridge, who placed sixth in the 300 hurdles at the state meet, will be the Panthers' lone female participant. She will run in the 400 hurdles.
Gar-Field junior Sheena Johnson, the All-Met girls athlete of the year, will be one of the favorites in the 100 and 400 hurdles. She won the 100 and 300 hurdles at the state meet despite reinjuring her left ankle en route to placing second in the triple jump. Juniors Kira Sims (pole vault) and Takeitha Jordan (high jump) also will compete for the Indians, who placed second overall at the state meet.
CAPTION: Junior Byron Dunham, left, and sophomore Keosha Sanders, Brooke Point High School track standouts, will to compete in the national championships in Raleigh, N.C.