Around midafternoon Saturday, shortly before overcast skies unleashed a cold, persistent rain, Bullis track and field coach Joe Lee and his staff made the uncommon and rapid transition from championship celebration to championship preparation.
Bullis’s girls had just won their sixth straight Independent School League title, a comprehensive performance in which the Bulldogs finished more than 100 points ahead of the second-place finisher and set two meet records. In other words, there was a lot to celebrate.
But in a few hours, the boys would begin the Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship meet. So a quick recalibration was needed.
“It’s a long day, but it’s a fun day,” Lee said of this annual back-to-back. “Having been here for a while, you kind of get used to it. It’s all about preparing for the next moment. Our kids do that very well, and I think that’s a testament to our coaches.”
The boys matched the tone set by the girls, racing to an easy victory and their third straight IAC title. The Bulldogs finished with 185.5 points, followed by Episcopal (91) and St. Albans (88).
In the ISL, Bullis (200) was followed by Holton-Arms (78.33) and Georgetown Day (72). Sidwell Friends’ boys won the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference title at the same meet.
“It feels great to keep this streak alive,” Bullis junior Ashton Allen said. “Next year we’re definitely going to keep it going, too, because we want to bring home a championship every year.”
Allen helped the Bulldogs earn an emphatic finish in the day’s final event, the 4x400 relay, in which they ran a 3:20.84. He also finished second in the 400-meter dash (49.40) behind teammate Jay Pendarvis Jr. (49.09). Running in the 800 for the first time this season, Bulldogs junior Jabril El-Amin finished in first at 1:59.84.
The Bullis girls also owned the 4x400, setting a meet record with a 3:44.85.
“The 400 is a very hard race to train for, so [the success] shows the depth we have on both sides,” Allen said. “[It shows] how we have more than a few guys and girls that can train hard and come out and execute.”
Bulldogs senior Lauryn Harris also set a meet record in the long jump with a 19-09.25.
“Our kids get a lot of attention locally and nationally, and that’s all well and good, but they put all that aside to come together and do something that’s bigger than themselves,” Lee said. “That’s why our league is so important to us. We were really looking forward to today.”