DeMatha's Darryl Haraway is working on improving his starting technique for the upcoming track season. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Summer Workouts: This is the third installment in a summer-long weekly series that highlights the offseason conditioning — from cardio workouts to weightlifting and diet — for some of the area’s top returning high school athletes.

At 5 feet 10 and 180 pounds, DeMatha sprinter Darryl Haraway Jr. looks more like a running back than an elite track runner. With broad shoulders and calves befitting of a bullying tailback, he walked onto the outdoor track at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex’s outdoor stadium Friday for his weekly track workout.

Haraway has emerged as one of the top junior (under the age of 20) sprinters in the world after flying to a 10.20 100-meter dash time at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals on June 15. The wind-legal time is second in the nation among high school runners and is the eighth-fastest junior time in the world this year.

His world class time has gotten the four-time All-Met attention from the top track and field programs around the country. In the past two weeks, Texas A&M, Clemson, Auburn, Missouri and South Carolina visited Haraway in his Upper Marlboro home with their respective pitches. Outside of track, Haraway plays on the Stags football team at cornerback, wide reciever and kick returner. Clemson and South Carolina are both known for allowing athletes to play both sports, but with the amount of time football requires, Haraway may be forced to drop one of his sports.


“It’s going to be difficult to decide, but I’m leaning towards a Southern school because the football and track programs have a bond together,” Haraway said. “They let the football players run track and the track runners play football to help them win national titles.”

This summer marked the first that Haraway is working with DeMatha first-year sprints coach Anthony Battle. Last summer, Haraway focused strictly on football.

When Haraway arrived at the Sports and Learning Complex on Friday, it was his fourth workout of the week. He spent Tuesday through Thursday lifting with the football team. With the temperatures topping at 95 degrees, he starts his Friday afternoon workout with dynamic flexibility stretches that includes ground stretches and wall stretches.

The stretches are used to get his heart rate going for the initial part of the workout. Battle marks off several pieces of tape 30 meters long that Haraway has to hit. If he hits each piece of tape in the “30-meter ladder,” he’s running at a 10.10 100-meter pace.

On his first run, he overstepped the pieces of tape, but for the next two ladder drills each step is on par with the tape. When the two began, the 30-meter ladder drill at the beginning of the spring it was at 10.60 pace, and Haraway has worked his way down.

“That was the hardest part of this workout with the new times that he wants me to hit,” Haraway said.

While Haraway took a quick swig of water and changed from his running flats to spikes, Battle placed starting blocks on the mondo track for the next portion of the session. Battle has tinkered with Haraway’s start since the two began training together in the winter. The work in the blocks has taken Haraway to the upper echelon of the sprint world.

DeMatha sprinter Darryl Haraway, Jr. has one of fastest times in world amongst juniors (Photo by Scott Silverstein for The Washington Post) DeMatha sprinter Darryl Haraway Jr. has one of the fastest times in the world among juniors (Photo by Scott Silverstein/The Washington Post)

“My start wasn’t the greatest. It was the weakest point of my sprint and my running ability,” Haraway said. “He helped me because at practice during the season, we would start with block work. It helped me throughout the season to perfect my block work and strive for a faster time.”

After watching a video of Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Asafa Powell’s start Battle has implemented a new starting system for Haraway. Instead of having him work to lift his knees out of the blocks, Battle wants Haraway to keep his heels low to the ground with quicker steps, like Powell does. Battle recorded each start with his iPad, and after two runs he explained what Haraway needs to fix.

In the next and final start, he came out of the blocks correctly.

“He’s a quick learner, and it makes him extremely coachable,” Battle said. “He’s called me at times when he wants to work on things he feels he wasn’t successful with. It makes me proud to work with somebody like that.”

For the third part of the workout, Haraway threw his running shoes back on and moved to the turf football field on the inner part of the outdoor stadium. Covered in sweat, Haraway pulled a 20-pound sled with a 10-pound weight for 30 yards. He did that four times before taking a short break.

In the final portion of the 60-minute workout, Haraway completed static stretches on the football field. The cool down took him through toe touches, standing squats, vertical jumps, push-ups, one legged squats, lunges and crunches. All this in a day’s work for the rising senior who will tackle the role as the United States’ fastest high school 100-meter runner next season. Haraway said his iPhone steadily receives notifications from coaches who contact him every day because of his time — one that just 20 Division I college sprinters reached last season. However, the attention hasn’t halted his drive to go even faster as he still wants to reach the 10.10 threshold next spring.

“I want to get better, and I want to strive for the next level and far beyond that to the pro level,” Haraway said. “I know that once you get to collegiate level you have to constantly work every day with workouts and academics to try to get better.”

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