A big grin appeared on the face of Stonewall Jackson junior Thelma Breeze-Alt soon after she crossed the finish line in the 100-meter dash preliminaries Friday afternoon at Todd Stadium. By winning her heat in 12.24 seconds, Breeze-Alt was one of the top eight runners in the state and had earned a spot in yesterday's championship.
"Well, this year my times have dropped from [12.6 seconds] to where now I'm at about 12 flat," Breeze-Alt said. "So it's all a little bit of a shock to me that I've done this."
In an area full of strong sprinters, Breeze-Alt has established herself during the postseason as one of the best. Her time Friday was third best among all runners, and it came just a week after she had finished second in the 100 at the Northwestern Region meet.
"I've been doing good training with my coach [Deon Taylor], and my times have kept dropping," Breeze-Alt said.
Breeze-Alt was one of several Prince William County athletes to qualify for yesterday's sprint finals. Her Stonewall teammates, senior Chris Garrett and junior Jared Simmons qualified for the boys' 100 final. [For coverage of yesterday's events, see Sports, Section E.]
Potomac senior Mike Vann qualified third in both the 100 and 200 meters, the best performance among Washington area boys.
"Coach [Steve] Petrosky has been telling me all year that I was able to do this, so I've been working hard," Vann said. "Today I was feeling really relaxed. I was just trying to do the best I could."
Potomac seniors Fallon Hutcherson and Candace Robinson qualified in the 200, and Woodbridge senior Letosia Rivers made the finals of the 300 hurdles.
Several field-event finals were held Friday. Woodbridge junior Ariene Jenkins finished third in the shot put with a throw of 38 feet 93/4 inches. Woodbridge sophomore Brittni Dixon was sixth in the long jump (17 feet 6 inches).