Wilson Coach Desmond Dunham flipped to a piece of paper on his clipboard and scribbled a few numbers and symbols next to one of the typed rows. The single sheet was a points analysis he’d worked up before Wednesday’s D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association indoor track and field championships, his predictions for how the team scoring might go, and he was tracking the Tigers’ progress. It was the fifth time in the past two months that Dunham had crunched the numbers, and he told his girls before the meet that if they executed the plan they would go from good to great.
Wilson was nearly flawless at the most critical time of the season, winning the matchups it needed — even some it didn’t expect — to leapfrog seven-time defending champion Dunbar and grab its first girls’ title since 2003. McKinley Tech was third.
The Tigers also won the boys’ championship over two-time defending champion Dunbar and H.D. Woodson. Wilson senior Acey Calhoun was crucial, winning the 55-meter dash and the 300 while also anchoring the winning 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams.
After pushing themselves through 10 hours of pain and sweat at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, Wilson’s athletes didn’t get to celebrate by lifting the championship plaque they had spent months pursuing. A scoring discrepancy that would not have affected the final outcome kept meet officials from handing out awards while the teams were still in the building.
“It’s disappointing, but it’s okay, too,” said Dunham, whose girls set national high school records in the 4x800 and sprint medley when he was coach at Eleanor Roosevelt. “I don’t get caught up in tangible rewards. This is a memory of a lifetime. It’s in their hearts at this point.”
Dunbar’s London Freeland was the favorite to win some of the longer races — the junior delivered in the 500 meters, 800 and 1,600 and was runner-up in the 300 — so Dunham and assistant Jacquie Beliveau looked for ways to work around her. They plugged Wilson junior Deonna Diggs into sprinting events and she won the 55 hurdles (8.56 seconds) and scored in the 55 and 300. Versatile Rachel Bonham was runner-up in the 55 hurdles and the high jump and scored in the long and triple jumps.
“We had our own little master plan,” Diggs said. “We just knew it was going to work.”
Theodore Roosevelt junior Abdur-Rahman Kelly stood out as well, winning the 500, 800 and 1,600 before placing second in the 3,200.
H.D. Woodson junior Harvey Robinson won the shot put title with a personal-best 45 feet 6 inches, beating runner-up Christian Carter of Dunbar by more than a foot.