A linebacker on the football field, H.D. Woodson sophomore Harvey Robinson used to bring the same tenacious attitude to track and field season. Last spring, the thrower found the more pressure he heaped on each attempt, the more difficult the sport became.
These days, Robinson won’t begin an event without bringing teammates Deonte Jackson and Trevon Brown together for a secret handshake of sorts. They come together for a series of slaps and jumps that Robinson believes gets them in the right mind-set to compete.
“I’ve just got to keep a smile on my face, keep jumping around playing,” Robinson said. “Me and my partners are focused, but we like to stay loose, keep a little swag going.”
Following the ritual, Robinson won the discus and shot put at the inaugural D.C. State Athletic Association track and field championship meet, and Jackson and Brown rounded out a sweep of the top three places in both. Thanks to its domination of the throwing events, H.D. Woodson claimed the team title, edging host Spingarn, 119-118, at the two-day event in Northeast that featured 20 schools from across the District.
The Warriors couldn’t celebrate the championship until junior Daijon Carson anchored a victory in the meet-closing 1,600-meter relay in season-best time (3 minutes 36.66 seconds).
On the girls’ side, Dunbar backed up its sixth straight DCIAA title by adding some new hardware to its growing collection. The Crimson Tide beat Wilson, 181-177, thanks to its own strong finish in the relays, breaking a tie by finishing ahead of the Tigers in both the 400- and 1,600-meter relays.
Sophomore Derricka Dubose ran both events and asked Coach Marvin Parker and several teammates to douse her with water and ice to cool off before she could begin celebrating. She is a transfer from E.L. Haynes Public Charter School and is in her first season of high school track.
“It was hot,” Dubose said. “I just know that you’ve got to take pain for the team. That last hundred [meters] was pretty brutal for me, but I did it.”
Junior London Freeland was a double winner for Dunbar, taking the 400 (58.02) and 300 meter hurdles (44.78) back-to-back. Banneker senior Simone Chapman (long and triple jump) was the other athlete to take two individual events on the girls’ side.
Robinson and the throwers staked the H.D. Woodson boys to a large lead. But Spingarn, running its final meet on its home track before the school closes at the end of the year, caught up thanks to a deep group of sprinters.
The Green Wave went in front when senior Garrett Washington anchored a win in the 400 relay. However, the Warriors took the final event by nearly five seconds to squeak past.
Several minutes afterward, Carson, who also ran both closing relays, was flat on his back in the stands, eyes closed and too exhausted to enjoy the moment just yet.
“We needed a big win there, and I blew it out,” Carson said. “I’m really tired, but it feels real good.”
McKinley Tech junior Moses Kennedy won three events (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, triple jump), while Wilson junior Acey Calhoun (100, 200) and senior Noah Howard (1,600, 3,200) each posted a pair of individual victories.