Champ Page was too hot to handle Saturday at the Virginia Tech Invitational, winning the 300-meter dash and the 500 in personal-best times in Blacksburg.
The Wise senior, an All-Met selection last year during the indoor and outdoor seasons, burned up the track in the 500 during the two-day meet at Rector Field House. He missed breaking the meeting record, a goal he had targeted before the event, but clocked the third-fastest time in the country when he crossed the line in 1 minute 3.71 seconds. It was a fine consolation prize considering the speed the nation has shown in this event during a year in which the national record was smashed to pieces.
Laurel senior Christian White was runner-up in 1:04.59.
Page, who has whittled his college choices down to Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Arkansas and LSU and said he expects to make a final decision this week, got a stiffer test in the 300 from Suitland junior Taivon Jacobs. He and Jacobs have enjoyed some intense battles this season, outdoing each other’s times in New York City and at home in Prince George’s County.
It was no different in Blacksburg. The duo shot to the front of the race almost immediately, came off the final turn side by side and finished at the almost identical time. But the camera showed that Page was the winner in 33.93. Jacobs took second in 33.94.
Saturday, Page and Jacobs ran the second- and third-ranked times in the country this season.
“The difference was the lane assignments,” Page, who drew Lane 3, said of his battle with Jacobs. “Taivon’s a good runner. Me and him are pretty much equal for the most part. It all comes down to who has the inside lane.”
The Virginia Tech Invitational featured schools from more than 11 states across the East Coast and, with its banked track and deeply competitive fields, is annually the site of some of the top performances in the country.
Annandale senior Ahmed Bile owned one of them. The All-Met cross-country Athlete of the Year last fall breezed to victory in the 1,000 in 2:26.36, the fastest time in the country this season by nearly four full seconds.
“I’m not completely happy with my fitness level yet,” Bile, a Georgetown recruit, said. “To PR by two seconds and still know I can go faster, I’m just excited to get some good training over the next three to four weeks.”
Walter Johnson senior Josh Ellis went untested in the boys’ mile, winning in a personal-best 4:20.73. Mountain View’s Kimberley Ficenec, an Alabama recruit, won the girls’ race by almost five seconds in 4:55.68, also a personal best.
Dondre Echols won two events. The Potomac (Md.) senior put away the hurdles field in 7.34 and then captured the 55 meters in 6.42.
Archbishop Carroll senior Kiah Seymour didn’t win, but did post a personal-best time in the 300. She was second (38.95) behind Ariah Graham of Wakefield (NC), who won in 38.83.
South County junior Felecia Majors was runner-up in the 500 (1:15.21) and was fourth in the pole vault with 11 feet.
W.T. Woodson senior Paul Gates was second in the boys’ 3,200. The 9:19.16 he ran was just over a second slower than winner Nick Link of Blacksburg and is fastest by a Washington-area athlete this season.
It was a tight finish in the boys’ 4x400 relay. Laurel and Largo battled all the way to the line, way ahead of the rest of the field, but the Spartans pulled out a slim victory in 3:21.30. Largo crossed in 3:21.75.
The boys from Suitland continued their dominance in the 4x200. Jacobs anchored a Rams team that already owned the fastest time in the country to victory in 1:28.23, a new national lead. Western Branch was runner-up in 1:29.97.
Bowie junior Antonella Taylor and Eleanor Roosevelt senior Alexus Scott were the only two athletes over 40 feet in the girls shot put. Taylor stayed undefeated with a toss of 43-7, three inches better than Scott’s best throw.