Carroll's Randy Lee had more to think about than staying undefeated as a freshman at yesterday's D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association Invitational at the D.C. Armory.
His 4x200-meter relay team, which placed second to Wilson, was disqualified early in the meet because of an entry technicality, and the soft-spoken Guyana native was not happy about it. In addition, he had been knocked down crossing the finish line first at last weekend's Montgomery Invitational, so he was relieved to win yesterday's 500 meters in a comfortable 1 minute 9.85 seconds.
"This time I was saying, 'Get way ahead so I don't have a repeat of last week,' " said Lee, who ran the nation's fourth-fastest 400 meters (49.94) last weekend. "I had so much on my mind going into the race after we were disqualified . . . so I had to make up for it in my race."
Wilson's 4x200 relay team (Aaron Jackson, Marco Aguilar, Jamil Williams and Brandon Reed), which ran one of the top 15 times (1:32.62) in the nation last weekend, grabbed the lead on Aguilar's leg and won in 1:39.22. Douglas (1:40.85) was moved to second when Carroll was disqualified.
"We run against D.C. schools here, so it's friendly competition, but it won't be" in the DCIAA championship, Aguilar said. "We work hard in practice, we don't play around. We hate losing."
Aguilar, an All-Met as a junior, came back from a third-place finish in the 500 to capture the 300 meters (37.82) ahead of a surging Lee (37.85), who suffered his first loss in that distance.
The disqualification was about the only blemish for Carroll. Mike Thomas, the second leg on the 4x200 team, celebrated his 16th birthday by winning the 55-meter dash in 6.89 ahead of teammate Howard Bailey. Derrick Brinkley won the 1,000-meter dash in 2:45.00, and the 1,600 in 4:56.30. And Andrea Key won the shot put with a throw of 30 feet 10 inches.
Bowie shot-putter Leif Crago's winning throw of 56-1 not only landed beyond the padded area but was also the farthest throw in the meet's more than 30-year history. Last week, Crago threw 58-51/2, one of the top five tosses in the nation this season. He is coming off a groin injury and may have thrown farther if not for a slippery throwing circle.
"I was basically going against the distances that have already been thrown this year," Crago said. "It's a matter of getting that psyched, going for that number one throw."
Riverdale Baptist senior Jessica Neal dominated both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in 5:30.45 and 11:36.80, respectively, despite running the slower heat in the longer distance. Neal, who won the 800 and 1,500 events at this summer's AAU Junior Olympics, is in her first indoor season and ran the 3,200 for only the second time.
"I was a little nervous. . . . I didn't know if I was running the right pace," said Neal, who is aiming for a low-11-minute time. "I wish I had someone to run against [in the faster heat], because it would have caused me to run faster."
Douglass senior Latisha Brown's lead leg gave her 4x200 team the lead, and Shani Boone, Starema Flood and Dominique Langford pulled away from a charging Ballou team to prevail by two seconds in 1:53.60.
Ballou's Andria Smallwood took control early in the 500 and increased her lead over Wilson's Tiffany Green to win in 1:19.36. Anacostia junior Lakisha Gantt won the 55-meter hurdles in 9.97 over Dunbar's Agnes Chase. DuVal's Aaron James won the boys' 55 hurdles in 8.19.