Westfield ran the fastest time of the day in the 4x800-meter relay trials at Penn Relays on Friday to earn a spot in Saturday’s Championship of America final.
Max Chambers, Jeff Edmondson, Nathan Kiley and Tyrone Walker had not run at this meet before.
Yet they looked seasoned in outperforming the 72 other schools in the event with a finish of 7 minutes 48.39 seconds on the second day of the three-day meet at Franklin Field.
Chariho of Rhode Island owned the next-fastest time (7:52.69). The top 12 schools advanced to the final.
Edmondson took the second carry and moved the Bulldogs, the defending Virginia AAA champions in the event indoors, from fourth place into first.
Kiley and Walker closed the deal. They steadily extended Westfield’s lead before clocking the fifth-fastest high school time in the country in front of an announced 39,531.
The Bulldogs’ stiffest opponent was probably the wind.
It reached gusts up to 35 mph and was cruelest on the backstretch on an otherwise sunny day.
“We were definitely focused on running our hardest,” said Kiley, who split a team-best 1:54.8. “We wanted to show we were a force to be reckoned with.”
Area schools from Maryland showed they couldn’t be counted out in the sprint relays.
More than 675 teams competed for 21 / 2 hours in the 4x100, but only eight qualified for Saturday’s Championship of America final.
Potomac ran the day’s second-fastest qualifying time when Tavon Young, Dondre Echols, Ronald Darby and Joshua Thorne froze the clock in 41.45.
Suitland, which was not in the same heat as the Wolverines, was third fastest overall (41.56).
Wise was sixth (41.97).
In an event traditionally dominated by schools from Jamaica and California, three from Prince George’s County scored spots in Saturday’s championship.
“That shows that Maryland is producing good athletes,” Wise senior Champ Page, the All-Met indoor Athlete of the Year, said. “It’s not just like one or two athletes. We got numbers.”
Emotions were low in the evening’s individual distance events. Ahmed Bile struggled to the line in the boys’ mile in 4:12.81 and all the Annandale senior could do after finishing a disappointing fifth was shake his head.
He started strong, but got tangled up with Chantilly junior All-Met Sean McGorty just before the halfway point and nearly fell.
The Georgetown signee recovered, but when the lead pack surged on the penultimate lap, he didn’t answer.
“I just didn’t go with those guys,” Bile, the All-Met cross-country Athlete of the Year, said. “It’s so frustrating.”
McGorty, who did fall after the collision with Bile, finished 12th in 4:22.10. Craig Engels of North Carolina was the winner in 4:09.42.
W.T. Woodson senior Paul Gates was ninth in the 3,000 in 8:37.50. Lake Braddock junior Nick Tuck was 10th in 8:39.44.