People often confuse Tiandra Ponteen and Nathandra John. The Eleanor Roosevelt speedsters look alike, talk alike and more importantly, run alike -- at least they did at yesterday's Maryland 4A/3A East Region indoor track meet at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.
Ponteen and John finished first and second, respectively, in the girls' 300 meters -- a finish indicative of the Raiders' convincing region championship, 98-78.3 over runner-up Largo. Severna Park placed third with 40.3 points.
Suitland won the boys' title with 75 points, C.H. Flowers finished second with 59 points and Thomas Johnson finished third with 38.
"We weren't expecting to win it as a team," said Ponteen, whose team also won the Prince George's County championship on Jan. 23. "Largo had so many girls in this. We did an excellent job."
Ponteen had many reasons to be proud. The senior, who ran the third-fastest girls' high school 300 with a 37.85-second finish at Virginia Tech on Feb. 1, won the 300 (39.29) and 55 (7.01 seconds), finished second in the 500 and ran on Roosevelt's championship 4x200 relay team.
But perhaps her favorite moment was turning around at the end of the 300 to see John right behind.
"I was like, 'Way to go, girl!' " Ponteen said. "It's funny because everyone thinks we're sisters, but we're not related."
Krystal Anyanwu won the 800 to add to Roosevelt's celebration.
Yesterday's meet was made up from last Friday, when snow postponed the event at Baltimore's 5th Regiment Armory. Now teams have until Tuesday to prepare for states.
C.H. Flowers' Tiffany Nesfield won the 55 hurdles in a convincing 8.33 seconds.
Suitland's boys were led by junior Yaphet Cross, who won the 500 in 1 minute 6.83 seconds. The Rams also had a bevy of second- and third-place finishes.
During the boys' 4x400 race, the last of what had been a smooth evening, Suitland junior Serge McGill and Flowers senior Anthony Cuff tripped over each other while fighting for position as they approached the baton exchange area. McGill, who finished fourth in the 500, sprained his ankle. Cuff, who finished third in the 55 hurdles, was "a little scraped up," C.H. Flowers Coach Carlyle Rose said.
It was unclear whether either runner would be ready to run at the state meet.