With the winter sports season having returned to relative normalcy, All-Mets, our breakdowns of the top athletes, are also back. Some of the D.C. area’s star athletes became nationally known, and many will continue their sporting careers at high-level college programs. Choosing the best of the best is always a challenge, but the following performers clearly stood out.
Darren Buchanan Jr.
Boys’ basketball | Wilson
Buchanan has been an integral part of the city’s best public program since he showed up four years ago as a bouncy freshman. This winter he embraced the role of senior captain, providing both highlight dunks and expert wisdom for a young and talented Tigers team. Wilson dominated the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association, going undefeated en route to a conference title. The Tigers finished as runners-up in the D.C. State Athletic Association, with Buchanan playing through an injury in a buzzer-beating championship loss to Sidwell Friends. He averaged a double-double this season at 17 points and 10 rebounds. He is committed to Virginia Tech.
Showcasing a versatile arsenal of talent, Carmichael delivered powerhouse performances with every stride this season. The senior took home state championships in the 55-meter dash (6.33) and 300 meters (34.69) to solidify his place as the top sprinter in Virginia. If his dominance in the sprints wasn’t enough, he also put up strong high jump performances, finishing second in the state (6 feet 2 inches).
Williams dazzled with the shot put and was a model of resilience. Working through a back injury early in the season, the senior broke the state record with a throw of 48 feet 1.75 inches at the Virginia Class 6 championships. Her tenacity on the field made her among the top athletes in the region.
In just a few hours at Metros the senior took down three county records (in the historically fast Montgomery County, no less) in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races and the 100 butterfly, the last of which also was a Metros record. The University of North Carolina commit finished the year undefeated. His three aforementioned races were all-American times.
The junior finished with the D.C. area’s top time in four of the sport’s eight individual events — 200-yard medley, 100 backstroke and 50 and 100 freestyle races — while no other athlete held more than one top time. Spink, who is committed to swim at the University of Tennessee, helped Battlefield capture its first state title at the Virginia Class 6 meet while breaking her own state meet record in the 100 freestyle (48.13). With Spink leading off the 200 medley relay, Battlefield’s time (1:41.48) set a Virginia state record.
When Robinson entered the final match of the Virginia Class 6A championship trailing by 1.5 points, the Rams’ heavyweight delivered. Rudolph defeated Woodbridge’s Josh Mancia to secure Robinson its second straight team title. The University of Virginia commit finished with an 18-0 record and the second state championship of his career. He also developed a significant leadership role in the program as a senior.