Ex­celling in the heat

Twenty-four lo­cals head to Games

Maryland Independent - - Excelling In The Heat - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @SOMDhab­s­fan

The Charles County Elite Track & Field Club re­cently sent 24 of its ath­letes to com­pete in the AAU Ju­nior Olympic Games held July 30 to Aug. 6 in Hum­ble, Texas.

The ath­letes punched their tick­ets dur­ing a district qual­i­fier held June 11 to 12 at C.H. Flow­ers High School in Prince Ge­orge’s County and then the na­tion­als, which were held June 24 to 26 at the Prince Ge­orge’s Sports & Learn­ing Com­plex in Lan­dover.

The top four re­lays, top five finishers in field events and top six in track events all qual­i­fied for the Ju­nior Olympic Games, which fea­tured more than 10,000 ath­letes com­pet­ing in bru­tal 100-plus-de­gree weather.

“They did well,” said coach Pamela Muham­mad. “With the heat wave we had I think it re­ally played into how they were able to hold up in that Texas heat and per­form well be­cause they’ve been prac­tic­ing in 90-, 95-de­gree-plus.”

Raven Kennedy had the team’s high­est fin­ish of the games when she placed 15th in the Mid­get girls (age 12) 200-me­ter dash with a time of 26.94 sec­onds. Kennedy also ran a 13.29 in the semi­fi­nals of the 100 me­ters to fin­ish 20th.

“I’m happy with how I did, but I think I could have done bet­ter if it wasn’t as hot as it was,” Kennedy said of the 100. “My start could have been bet­ter [but] it was kind of good.”

“She’s from an­other club and she was a dis­tance run­ner [for them], but we knew she was a sprinter,” Muham­mad said. “Once we tran­si­tioned her over [to sprints] she’s been run­ning the lights out ever since.”

Chris­tian Wil­bon placed 20th in the Sub-Ban­tam boys (age 12) 200 dash semi­fi­nal with a time of 29.60.

“I needed to keep my form, lift my knees and have a good start,” Wil­bon said. “[Run­ning against tough com­pe­ti­tion] made me run bet­ter. I like a chal­lenge. It makes me do bet­ter.”

In the 100, Wil­bon won his sec­ond heat with a 14.04 and then clocked a 14.13 in the semi­fi­nals, good for 16th place. He was also named All-Amer­i­can af­ter win­ning the 55 dash dur­ing na­tion­als dur­ing the in­door sea­son.

Wil­bon won his heat in the 200 dash com­pet­ing as a 9-year-old. Also, Wil­bon won na­tion­als last fall in the 60 dash.

“Yes I am happy,” he said, “Last year I didn’t make it as far. I could have done bet­ter and my goal is to make it to the fi­nal.”

Nine-year-old Mickey Green, Jr. clocked a 29.79 in the 200 semi­fi­nals and a 14.76 in the 100 quar­ter­fi­nals in the Sub-Ban­tam Boys di­vi­sion.

Cameron Homer ran a 15.74 in the 100 and a 32.91 in the 200 Pri­mary boys (8-and-Un­der).

“He’s new to track but he had a lot of nat­u­ral ath­letic abil­ity,” Muham­mad said. “He needed to work on his con­di­tion­ing and his tech­nique, but for a new­bie to track he did ex­tremely well. It’s a lot of pres­sure when you’re new to track and then you’re put on a re­lay. We were very proud of his re­sults.”

Also in the 100, 12-yearold Chris­tian Homer clocked 13.60 in the Mid­get boys race while team­mate Brian Dowdell, 11, added a time of 14.45 in the Sub-Mid­get boys di­vi­sion.

“Our lit­tle rockstar for the games in terms of at­ti­tude and spirit was Chris­tian Homer,” Muham­mad said. “He is the do-any­thing-you-ask-him kind of kid. What­ever you need him to do he’s ‘Yes, coach.’”

In the Sub-Mid­get girls di­vi­sion, Nazara Muham­mad tossed the Turbo Javelin 41 inches to place 39th.

Kierra Mar­shall also clocked a 13.28 in the In­ter­me­di­ate girls (ages 15 and 16) 100.

In the Pri­mary boys 400 re­lay, Homer, Bryce Car­ring­ton, Yeshua McKin­ley and Miles Meri­weather fin­ished in 1 minute 4.22 sec­onds.

Green Jr., Wil­bon, Mes­siah McKin­ley and Dar­ius Har­rell recorded 1:00.35 in the Sub-Ban­tam boys (age 9) 400 re­lay.

Tyquan Dyer-Ash­ton, Odell Jack­son, Jr., Trevon Mar­shall and Dono­van Stan­ley-Reeves fin­ished 35th in the Youth boys 400 re­lay with a time of 50.52.

“He’s got some re­ally good nat­u­ral ath­letic abil­ity,” Pamela Muham­mad said of Dono­van. “We just got him this out­door sea­son and we’ve been work­ing on tweak­ing his tech­nique so we can get his speed up even faster. He was go­ing through a growth spurt in his hip plexus so he ran with pain, but be­cause he hates to lose it was no big deal for him. But I prom­ise you for in­door and next out­door sea­son you will hear Dono­van Stan­ley-Reeves’ name.”

In the girls re­lays, Channa Hayes, Jada John­son, De’Bo­ray Munu and Mar­shall placed 46th with a time of 53.41 in the In­ter­me­di­ate girls 400-me­ter re­lay race.

And Kayla Jones, Sa­man­tha Meri­weather, Miketta An­der­son and Sanai’ Haythe broke the tape in the 100 in 55.49, good for 48th in the 400 re­lay.

“She’s an­other one who hates to lose,” Muham­mad said. “She’s go­ing to give ev­ery­thing she has. The best an­chor you could ask for.”

The team, which is com­prised of 80 mem­bers ages 4 to 19, will be­gin its in­door sea­son af­ter Veteran’s Day with prac­tices at John Han­son Mid­dle School in Wal­dorf.

PHOTO BY PAMELA MUHAM­MAD

The Charles County Elite Track & Field Club re­cently com­peted in the Ju­nior Olympic games in Hum­ble, Texas. In the front row, from left, are Chris­tian Wil­bon, Miles Meri­weather, Bryce Car­ring­ton, Jr., Cameron Homer, Yeshua McKin­ley, Mes­siah McKin­ley and Mickey Green, Jr. In the mid­dle row are Chris­tian Homer, De’Bo­ray Munu, Trevon Mar­shall, Kayla Jones, Brian Dowdell and Nazara Muham­mad. In the back row are Channa Hayes, Raven Kennedy, Sa­man­tha Meri­weather, Sanai’ Haythe, Tyquan Dyer-Ash­ton, Kierra Mar­shall, Miketta An­der­son and Odell Jack­son, Jr. Not pic­tured are Jadon Davis, Dono­van Stan­ley-Reeves and Jada John­son.

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