Colonial Forge's Jerome Miller has moved to a different school nearly every year since fourth grade, but he made a memorable homecoming yesterday at the Montgomery County Invitational at the Prince George's County Sportsplex.
The junior, who won last year's Maryland 4A outdoor championship in the high jump while at Springbrook, was victorious yesterday in the triple jump (43 feet 10 inches) and defended his meet title in the high jump (6-8). The runner-up in both events was Miller's twin brother Jason, who is Jerome's primary competition in many meets.
"I thought I was going to lose to my brother in the triple jump," said Jerome, who just missed clearing 6-10 in the high jump. "I was a little too hyped up. . . . I had to calm down."
A professional demeanor comes naturally for the twins, whose father is a submarine officer in the Navy. They started their high school careers at Western Branch and spent a year at Springbrook but hope to spend their final two years winning championships for Coach Mark Doherty.
"They adapt well. . . . They're quiet, humble and when it comes to practice and meets, they're all business," Doherty said. "This is a nice homecoming for them. When we pulled up today, their faces lit up. They got to see some familiar faces and get some better competition than in our district."
Paint Branch junior Toni Aluko tripled, setting meet records in the high jump (5-6), long jump (17-3) and triple jump (35-9).
"I thought I'd be okay in the high jump and long jump, but I didn't know about the triple," said Aluko, whose previous best jump was 35-7. "I told my coach all week that I wanted the meet records in all three, so I focused on that."
Potomac (Va.) swept the 55-meter dash in dazzling fashion. Senior Joseph Robinson ran the fastest time in the nation this season, clocking 6.34 seconds to beat Bullis senior Robert Woodard (6.47). Sophomore Kharya Brown won in 7.24, five-hundredths of a second faster than Largo senior Natalie McKenzie.
Wilson's 4x200 relay team (Aaron Jackson, Marco Aguilar, Jamil Williams and Brandon Reed) won in 1 minute 32.62 seconds on the strength of Reed's anchor leg, but it was Aguilar who put the Tigers in position to overtake C.H. Flowers.
Walter Johnson's 4x800 relay team (Ashley St. Denis, Shawna Truelove, Anna Chavis and Leigh Rivlin) overcame a shaky start and won in 9:48.16, passing Largo on the anchor leg. West Springfield (Tim Kwak, Steve Tobin, John Cook and Jeff Day) won the boys' 4x800 (8:04.2).
Bowie's Leif Crago dominated the shot put with a throw of 58-51/2, as did Gar-Field's Tiffany Evans (44-4).
Gar-Field got victories in the long jump from junior Terry Jackson (20-63/4) and in the 55 hurdles, where senior Afua Amponsah ran 8.25 seconds to beat C.H. Flowers's Tiffany Nesfield by five-tenths of a second.