Controversy ensued after runners burst from their blocks before the starting gun fired in the 55-meter dash Wednesday at the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association championships.
McKinley Tech's Melady Brown appeared to be the first to jump. Two other runners followed, while Brown's teammate, Ahmya McKeithan, didn't appear to move. Both Brown and McKeithan were disqualified.
As emotions erupted in the stands and officials, who ultimately stood by the decision, tried to sort things out, Dunbar junior 8ea Johnson stood by her blocks at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex visualizing one thing.
"I was thinking about the MVP trophy," she said.
Johnson clocked 7.41 seconds to win the 55 before taking gold in the triple jump (34 feet 9 inches) and high jump (4-10). She also placed second in the long jump (16-½ ), behind teammate Aiona Green (16-2¼ ).
"I never did high jump before, and I came out and won," Johnson said. "That was a personal goal."
McKinley's Caliyah McKeithan entered the meet in Landover planning to get out faster in the 500. She did just that to win in 1:18.08 before doubling back to take gold in the 300 in 41.40 seconds. She brought home two more gold medals as part of the Trainers' 4x200 (1:46.64) and 4x400 (4:15.19) relay teams.
Wilson captured its third consecutive girls' city title with 134 points on the strength of the Tigers' distance runners. McKinley Tech (94) and Dunbar (94) tied for second.
By his own admission, Wilson senior Isaac Frumkin wasn't "out to break any records" on the boys' side. He conserved energy in the 1,600 until the home stretch, where he made his move to win in 4:42.72.
He followed the same approach in the 800, this time taking the lead with 200 meters to go and vastly outpacing the field from there to cross in 2:06.07.
"We really want to get first place overall, so we have to be strategic about how we run," Frumkin said after winning the 800. "I ran the mile the same way earlier, just to ensure that I could get the highest possible point total for my team.
Frumkin helped seal Wilson's sixth straight boys' city title as part of the winning 4x400 relay, which crossed in 3:35.31. The Tigers finished with 126.5 points, followed by McKinley Tech (114) in second. Theodore Roosevelt (89) finished third, with junior Taahir Kelly winning both the 500 (1:09.56) and the 300 (35.65).
Severna Park claimed the girls' team title at the Anne Arundel County championships Tuesday with 137.5 points, ahead of South River (88) and Meade (63).
Junior Emily Knight contributed 40 points to the Falcons' winning effort at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex with wins in the 300, 500 and 800 and as part of the 4x400 relay team.
South River secured the boys' team title with 129 points ahead of Severna Park (97) and Arundel (71).