Suitland High senior Deyon Williams's responsibilities as a varsity football and basketball player leave him with little time to practice the high jump, long jump and hurdling.
But last night at the Prince George's County Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, Williams showed no signs of rust. The 6-foot-3 Williams won the 55-yard hurdles, the high jump and the long jump, breaking the meet's long jump record on his first attempt with a leap of 23 feet 2 inches.
"I really don't have much time to practice," he said. "What I've been doing is coming out here and jumping off basic talent. My jumping ability and my running ability."
Williams won the long jump final with a leap of 22-9, the high jump final by clearing 6-2 and the 55 hurdles by clocking a time of 7.51 seconds. His performance helped Suitland win its second boys' team title in a row. The Rams compiled 114 points to top Oxon Hill (68). C.H. Flowers finished third with 55.
"We feel good about our accomplishments," said Suitland Coach Troy Shockley. "This is probably the best track and field county in the metro area."
Largo won the girls' team title with 136 points, knocking off defending champion Eleanor Roosevelt (82). Oxon Hill finished third with 55.
"We scored in every event," Largo Coach Darryl Hamilton said. "We don't just have track runners, we really have a track and field team."
Williams was not the only athlete to topple a meet record. Largo senior Leif Crago defended his shot put title, but not without a scare from Potomac's Fred Ballenger.
Crago, the defending state indoor shot put champion, broke the county meet record in preliminaries with a put of 55-7.5. His new mark did not stand for long, however, as Ballenger registered 56-8. Crago responded in the finals with a 58-0.25 to take the title.
"It was an awakening," Crago said of Ballenger's put. "It was actually good to have some competition."
Crago was named the boys' most valuable field performer of the meet. Perhaps the finest performance of the evening, however, belonged to Oxon Hill's Isaac Matthews. Last season at the county meet, Matthews won the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races but didn't attempt the 800, his best event.
"I didn't get to run it, I was too tired," Matthews said. "That was one of my goals today, to run all three."
Matthews far exceeded his goals. He defended his 1,600 and 3,200 titles, breaking his meet record in the 3,200 with a time of 10:45.58. He won the 800 in a meet-record time of 1:59.55 and was named the boys' most valuable track performer.
Roosevelt's Tiandra Ponteen was named the girls' most valuable track performer. Ponteen won the 300 and 500 in times of 39.35 and 1:16.60, respectively. Suitland's Elizabeth Jackson, who won the triple jump with a 37-00.50 that broke her meet record, was the top field performer.
F. Heights Gets Coach
Fairmont Heights has hired its third girls' basketball coach in three months, as Bill Hughes has replaced Gary Beidleman, who left this month to take a job in New York.
Hughes had been with the school's junior varsity boys' team. Beidleman replaced Barbara Tyner, who stepped down in November after 16 seasons.
Staff writer Jon Gallo contributed to this report.