But with McDaniel back, there was a revamped energy among his teammates. They knew they had a shot to reclaim the DCSAA title.
The Cadets accomplished that goal Tuesday afternoon, when McDaniel led them to their second indoor title in three seasons. The St. John’s girls’ team won its third consecutive crown, giving the Cadets a sweep of the championships at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex in Landover.
“We’ve definitely been envious of the girls,” St. John’s junior DM Jefferson said. “We definitely had to put on and win something for us.”
Entering the 55-meter dash, McDaniel aimed to set a personal-best time but didn’t expect to win. McDaniel’s coaches joke he is usually slow coming out of the blocks, but the senior could tell he was going to run a fast time based on his quick start Tuesday. He won in 6.48 seconds.
McDaniel also won the 300-meter dash (34.75) and was part of teams that placed second in the 4x200 (1:32.95) and 4x400 (3:35.72) relays. Sophomore Joshua Thompson also contributed by winning the long jump (21 feet 1 inch) and triple jump (41-01.50).
The Cadets finished with 116 points in the team competition, ahead of second-place Wilson (97) and third-place Carroll (92).
“It feels amazing because for the last four years I’ve been working at this, trying to get people to come out,” said McDaniel, who plans to play football and run track at Florida. “It’s amazing to get us up at the top.”
The St. John’s girls lost key seniors from last season, but they wanted to uphold the standard the program has set of winning the DCSAA title. That objective pushed the Cadets during offseason training, and they finished with 102 points Tuesday to edge second-place Dunbar, which had 96. Georgetown Day placed third with 63.
St. John’s freshman Meredith Gotzman won the 3,200 (11:24.93), and sophomore Kylie Ritz anchored a victory in the 4x200 relay (1:45.05).
“It’s always mixed emotions when it’s lopsided when you only get one gender more successful than the other,” St. John’s Coach Desmond Dunham said. “It feels good to kind of bounce back.”
Washington Latin senior Luke Tewalt, a Wake Forest commit, was the meet’s standout performer. He set meet records in the 1,600 (4:19.79) and 3,200 (9:25.79) and also won the 800 (2:00.72).