In the face of a daunting task at the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference track and field championships Saturday, Bishop McNamara sophomore Joseph Chapman displayed little fear.
Facing two of the area's best in the 800 meters -- Carroll's Randy Lee and Oniell Barnabay -- Chapman stayed at the front of the pack the whole way before finally trailing off at the end. He finished third in 2 minutes 2.45 seconds.
Lee (2:01.14) and Barnabay finished first and second, respectively. They were both part of the Lions' 4x800 relay that won the Championship of America at the Penn Relays; Lee, a sophomore, ran a 1:51 split over 800 meters to lead Carroll to that win.
"I knew we were going up against the best," Chapman said. "I knew what they did at the Penn Relays, but I didn't let that bother me."
The WCAC meet was the last of the season for Chapman and his senior teammates, Omari Daughtridge and Nicholas Gordon. The three have been among Prince George's County's best distance runners this season, and all three had good performances Saturday.
Chapman was the runner-up in the 3,200 (10:10.46), finishing behind Good Counsel standout Drew Abernethy. Chapman's third-place honors in the 800 came just a few hours after he was disqualified for a false start in the 1,600.
Gordon was fourth in the 1,600 (4:37.82) and sixth in the 3,200. Daughtridge was ninth in the 3,200 and seventh in the 1,600 before retiring for the day because of an injury to the bottom of his foot.
Chapman, who played for the Mustangs' soccer team, joined the distance squad this winter to stay in shape. Under the tutelage of Daughtridge and Gordon, both four-year varsity runners, Chapman slowly became a strong athlete on the track.
Chapman has been a welcome part of the Mustangs' distance team, Gordon and Daughtridge said.
"It's been great to have a group like this to run together," Gordon said. "We definitely push each other."
Seton Second in Girls' Division
Elizabeth Seton took second overall in the WCAC girls' championship, and DeMatha was second among the boys.
Seton had 90 points, not enough to overcome Good Counsel, which got 40 of its 117 points from junior Katie Rogus. Seton's Alicia Clement won the 200 (25.65 seconds) and 400 (58.55), and she was part of the winning 4x200 relay team (1:45.78). Seton also won the 4x800 relay.
Bishop McNamara's Akilah Mayo won the 100 (12.59) and was part of the winning 4x100 relay (51.18). The Mustangs were fifth with 48 points.
DeMatha was paced by a great performance from All-Met Dominic Berger. He won the 110 hurdles in 13.91 seconds, then moments later beat Gonzaga speedster Douglas Dutch in the 100. Berger was also champion in the 300 hurdles and third in the long jump.
"I didn't think about who I was running against," Berger said of his win over Dutch. "I was just trying to run the best race I could."