Young Dante Myles showed why he's a national champion when he ran yesterday in the inaugural D.C. Atoms Track Club meet at H.D. Woodson High School.
Myles, who usually competes for the Chillum Striders, won the national AAU 200 meters in the boys' 9-10 category last month in Clearwater, Fla. Yesterday, he easily won his age group's 50 meters in 9.27 and 100 meters in 13.33 while running for the No. 14 Metropolitan Police Boys and Girls Club.
Reginald Johnson of the D.C. Atoms, who runs in the 13-14 division, has impressed local coaches with his ability in the middle distances.
Yesterday, Johnson finished his summer schedule by winning the 1,600 meters in 5:16. Johnson, who tired badly after the second lap, held off Kiernan Speight of the Cavalier Cavalette Track Club on the last lap. Speight was timed in 5:24.0.
Atoms Coach Tony Elliott praised Johnson's summer efforts. "He's one of the best milers in his age group in the city," Elliott said. And "he'll run any event that I tell him."
Last month, Johnson qualified for the national AAU meet with an 800-meter effort of 2:16.0, but the club couldn't raise enough money to send him to Clearwater.
Speight, like his teammates, hadn't run in a month. The Cavalier Cavalettes ended their season last month after the East Coast Invitational in Towson, but decided to compete here to support the D.C. Atoms program.
"A 5:24 is good when you haven't practiced in a month," said Speight's father, John, who is the vice president of the club.
Ursula Knight was another youngster who looked impressive after a month's layoff. She won the girls' 11-12 100 meters in 13.89. "I just wanted to get out of the blocks," she said.
She ran a 14.13 anchor leg in the 400-meter relay to lead the Camp Springs-based club to victory in 58.86. Shakira Smith, Danyell Carter and Octavia Adkins were the other team members.
"She was outstanding today and all the girls did well," said Coach Artina Campbell.
A portion of the entry fees for yesterday's meet will be donated to D.C. General Hospital to support boarder babies.