Friday's Calvert County Invitational will offer a sneak peek at next month's Southern Maryland Athletic Conference championship, but for Calvert's Dervon Wallace and McDonough's Dean Lee, the meet will also be a chance to put a disappointing weekend behind them.
Lee, the All-Extra Runner of the Year, entered Saturday's Montgomery County Invitational knowing he would have to run the 400-meter dash faster than 50 seconds to have a chance to win. He did just that, clocking 49.98 seconds, but ran out of track trying to edge surprising Archbishop Carroll freshman Randy Lee.
"I told him I thought he had a chance to break 50, but if he didn't, I told him to shake the guy's hand who wins it," said McDonough Coach Mark Whidden.
At Friday's 15-school meet at Prince George's County Sports and Learning Complex, Lee will run the 300 and test himself in the 500 -- which he won for last year's 3A/2A indoor state championship -- against Calvert senior Peter Saunders. He then will see how much he has left for the 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
"Some kids find the strength when they get the baton in their hands," Whidden said. "He's been bringing it -- I think he has the possibility of being a double individual winner."
In the 55 dash, Wallace will take on Westlake junior Jared Fagan in a rematch of two of the SMAC's premier sprinters. Fagan (6.6 seconds) edged Wallace at last Friday's Frostbite Invitational at Hagerstown Community College. Wallace, who beat Fagan at the Dec. 13 Charles County Invitational, had run 6.49 in a preliminary heat Friday but had trouble getting out of the blocks in the final.
"Dervon's obviously kind of ticked about that," said Calvert Coach Gene Libby.
McDonough senior Bobby McAdams and Northern senior Delannie Spriggs also should challenge in the 55; Spriggs hopes to show his SMAC championship form in the high jump. McDonough senior Tim Minor will battle La Plata senior Kelli Sampson in the hurdles.
Leonardtown's Kelly Ennis will be pushed in the 55 by Westlake's Catherine Carter, JaQuay Evans and Nakia Allen, who finished 1-2-3 at Hagerstown. In addition, Carter, Kaneeka Ingram and Joanna Collins will try to repeat their performance from Friday's 300, in which they finished first, second and fourth, respectively.
Ennis may be the only one to test McDonough senior Aajah Showell in the long jump, as Showell has easily cleared 17 feet all year, including 17-3 in the Montgomery meet. But Showell should dominate the hurdles.
The boys' long jump could go to Northern junior Soloman Plater, who was fourth (19 feet 6.5 inches) at the Montgomery invitational. Leonardtown senior Casey Gillingham placed second in the high jump Saturday (5-4) after winning the pole vault (9-7).
The girls' shot put will pit Calvert senior Yasmin Edwards, the 3A outdoor champion, against Thomas Stone sophomore Amy Bilmanis, the 4A/3A indoor champion. The boys' competition will feature McDonough junior Sean Thompson, Northern junior Carlton Jackson and Westlake senior Alex Cianfichi taking on Patuxent senior Thomas Foley, who threw 54 feet 10 inches for third place in Montgomery.
The boys' distance events will once again come down to junior rivals Brian Isleib of Leonardtown, Ryan Murphy of Northern and Paul Travers of Patuxent. The girls' events will showcase Patuxent senior Susan Hendrick and Westlake junior Ashley Owen.