The young and the restless came together at Gallaudet College's stadium yesterday in the sixth annual Hershey National track and field youth program for the District.
Keith Turner wore the look of a happy big leaguer. He had just chucked a softball 232 feet, by far the longest of the day for the 13-14 age group. Two hours later, he would win the 200 meters in 25.02. His gold chain flashed in the bright sun.
"I do everything well," Turner, who is going into 10th grade at H.D. Woodson High, said without a trace of cockiness. "I play center field, pitcher, been doing gymnastics for four years, track. On that throw, I could feel it (the pain). Now," he shrugged his shoulders, "I'm feeling better."
The most versatile athlete in the meet may have been 10-year-old Demetrius Crawley, who won the 50 meters (7.3), tied for first in the standing long jump (6-5), and took seconds in the 100 (14.4), the 200 (30.06), and the softball throw (118 feet).
"I feel okay," he said with a shy smile.
The top overall athlete was 10-year-old Star Hood, who won the 50 (7.7), the 100 (14.6), and the 200 (30.6), and placed second in the long jump (5-11).
Hood attends Savoy Elementary School and has been running for only one year. "I like running shorter distances," she said.
Rory Carpenter, 10, wasn't sure that he had won the 200. "I did?" he asked. "It was pretty close." Carpenter, a runner for five years, enters the sixth grade at Ardmore Elementary in the fall.
Crawley ran over to Carpenter after the 200. "Nice win," he said softly.
The two walked slowly away. New friends, perhaps. Fun in the sun on a Sunday. "That's what we're here for," said Henry deGraffired, the meet coordinator. "Now, we'll all really have some fun." He nodded toward the waiting cooler. The volunteers smiled.