The 4x200-meter relay team of Afolabi Aromire, Darryl Young, Anthony Cuff and George Bailey was only missing masks from its super-hero-style appearance at Sunday's Nike Indoor Championships.
The four C.H. Flowers sprinters entered the meet, one of two unofficial national championships, wearing sleek black-and-blue uniforms and dubbing themselves the "Fantastic Four." The moniker was a reference to the athletes who started the three-year-old school's program as well as a way to comply with state sanctioning.
The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association sent a memo to coaches after the Feb. 24 and 25 state championships reiterating its guideline against athletes representing their schools outside of state-sanctioned seasons. The indoor season ended with the state championships; the outdoor season does not begin until March 29.
"When the school first opened, my friend [Cuff] and I were at the track, and he said, 'Four people -- Fantastic Four, why not?' " Young said. "And we didn't want to risk [violating the guideline]."
The four came out of a slow heat to place third in 1 minute 30.92 seconds. Trenton Central (N.J.) and Glenville (Ohio) were first (1:30.10) and second (1:30.54), respectively, out of the fastest heat.
"Third in the nation sounds pretty good to me," Young said.
Aromire, Cuff and Young then teamed with Eric Lawson -- the combination that won the 4A/3A state championship for C.H. Flowers -- to place fifth (3:23.21) in the 4x400 relay, again out of a slower heat than the teams finishing ahead of them. Vineland (N.J.) won in 3:19.21.
Stags' Wiseman 2nd in 200
DeMatha sophomore Anthony Wiseman was second in the 200 at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in New York over the weekend. Wiseman's time (21.64) was the third-fastest in the nation this indoor season.
"I was exhausted and starting to cramp up, and I thought, 'Am I going to make it?' " said Wiseman, who also made it to the 60-meter semifinals. "But I stayed with [first-place] Reginald Witherspoon until the last 15 meters, and he just pulled away."
Wiseman also ran the lead leg on DeMatha's third-place 4x200 relay (1:28.33). Joshua Wilson and Dominic Berger ran the middle legs, and Kai Roper, a sophomore, kept the team in third with his anchor leg. The team had finished first at the Feb. 1 Microtel Invitational at Virginia Tech before being disqualified for a lane violation.
"We were trying to have fun, but we were also trying to make up for Virginia Tech," Wiseman said. "Kai stepped in for us, and we knew he could hold it down. It was a great experience." . .
The Largo team of Michayla Golladay, Vanessa Sessa, Natalie McKenzie and Sirdonea Davis combined to finish fifth in the girls' 4x200 relay (1:40.33).