As the Douglass girls' track and field team continues to thrive, Coach Rick Johnson gives a lot of the credit to the leadership of junior Starema Flood.
"She's an outstanding runner and the leader of the team," Johnson said. "With strong leadership from Star, the rest of the team steps up."
That was the case Saturday at the Maryland 3A East Region championships, where Flood won the 400 and 800 meters and sparked the Eagles to a second-place team finish. The team, made up largely of freshmen and sophomores, finished with 122 points; Long Reach won with 132.
Flood ran the 400 in 58.18 seconds and followed that up with a time of 2 minutes 26.09 seconds in the 800. She was also second in the 300 hurdles (44.94 seconds).
In the 400, Flood was followed by sophomore teammates Robyn Chapman (second) and Sandi Aoygo (fifth), and in the 800, sophomore Nicole Collins finished fourth. In the 300 hurdles, Flood was second, followed immediately by freshman Vanessa Lamison, and she sparked a 4x800-meter relay team to victory.
"I push myself a lot more so that I can be an example for the rest of the team," Flood said.
The Eagles boys used the leadership of senior Justin McKenzie to win the team crown at the meet, held at Reservoir High in Fulton. McKenzie won the 400 and 800 and was part of winning 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
Both McKenzie and Flood said they benefited from facing tough 4A competition at the Prince George's County meet, held the week before. The Douglass boys tied for fourth, and the girls were fifth at the county meet on May 15; both teams had the top finish among the county's 3A and 2A schools.
"Either way, competition is competition. I don't mind" facing the best in the county, Flood said. "My coach always reminds me, to be the best, you've got to beat the best."
Roosevelt Girls Edge Largo in 4A South
Eleanor Roosevelt and Largo went down to the wire again at the 4A South Region girls' track and field meet at C.H. Flowers, and Roosevelt again came out on top. Led by wins from Tameka Jameson (800), Andrea Wright (1,600) and Jennifer Redman (3,200), the Raiders scored 155, ahead of Largo's 142. Flowers was third with 122.
Jameson (2:18.33), Wright and Tunisia Milner took the top three spots in the 800; Wright (5:15.39) and Redman took the top two 1,600 spots; and Redman (12:10.10) and Nada Pirela were the top two in the 3,200.
Largo stayed close by dominating the sprints. Lions sophomore Michaylin Golladay won the 100 (11.9), 200 (24.39) and long jump, and senior Sirdonea Davis won the 400 and triple jump.
Roosevelt defeated Largo by four points at the county meet, and the two teams look poised for one final showdown at the state meet. Golladay and Davis will be the top seeds at the state competition in the five events they combined to win at the regional level.
The Suitland boys triumphed with 148 points, well ahead of Roosevelt's 112. All-Met senior Travis Bowman won the 200 (21.65) and 400 (47.0), and will be the top seed in the state meet in both events.
DuVal Boys Third, Friendly Girls Fourth
In the 2A South Region meet, held simultaneous to the 3A East meet at Reservoir, DuVal's boys finished third, and Friendly's girls finished fourth to lead county competition.
DuVal seniors Aaron James and Dayo Pedro finished first and second, respectively, in the boys' 100-meter hurdles, and the Tigers' 4x100 and 4x200 relays took first place as well. Central senior Emmanuel Freeland finished second behind Southern senior A.J. Lee in both the 100 and 200, and Fairmont Heights edged DuVal in the 4x400 relay.
The Friendly girls were led by Alexis Booker, who cruised to wins in the 100 and 200. Central senior Selena Haggins won the long jump as the Falcons finished sixth with 50 points. DuVal's Cynthia Wright won the triple jump.