London Freeland is a hunter. Nothing is more thrilling to her than stalking her prey around the track before running it down before the finish line.
Dunbar Coach Marvin Parker wants her to be the hunted. He tells his standout sophomore in practice to quit her taste for the chase and get hungry for the clock. You can’t run a really fast time when you’re plodding along behind someone else, waiting for them to make their move.
Freeland did both Wednesday at the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic championships. She had to pace herself—the 16-year-old was the rangiest athlete at the meet, doing everything from the 55-meter dash to the 1,000—and wound up hanging four medals around her neck at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover.
“She’s learning,” Parker smiled. “That’s the beauty of it. She does everything you ask her in practice and she doesn’t complain. What else can you say?”
What can anybody say or do to topple mighty Dunbar? Behind Freeland and Dennisha Frazier—the senior won the high and triple jumps and was second in the long jump—the Crimson Tide rolled to their seventh straight indoor title, one for every year Parker has been head coach.
Eventual runner-up McKinley Tech looked at the meet’s halfway point like it might’ve found a chink in the armor—junior Johvonna Mayo delivered a 35-point blow by winning the hurdles, long jump and 55 meters and placing fourth in the 300—but Dunbar had burst to a 50-point victory by the end. Wilson was third.
The boys from Dunbar claimed their fourth title in the past five years over hard-charging Theodore Roosevelt and H.D. Woodson.
Freeland defended her 500 meters title, jumping on the field early and stretching her lead before crossing in 1 minute 22.70 seconds. In the 1,000 that immediately followed, she sat behind Wilson’s Margaret Kellogg for almost the entire race before exploding by her on the final lap. Freeland won in 3:24.14.
Freeland was also runner-up in the 55 and the 300.
Michael Smith helped key Dunbar’s championship. The junior won the triple jump and the hurdles before contributing on the Crimson Tide’s 4x400 relay team that won big over Wilson in 3:34.98.
Wilson senior Simon Gigli cleaned up in the distance events. He breezed to a 22-second victory in the 3,200 (10:16.99) after handling the field in the 1,600 (4:37.91).
Theodore Roosevelt senior Deonte Miller was probably the meet’s most valuable male performer. The 6-foot-3 basketball convert won the 300 over teammate Blair Crutchfield. He captured the 500 and the 1,000 at the line over teammate Abdur-Rahmaan Kelly.