DeMatha, Sykes Pull Together In Relay
DeMatha freshman Taylor Sykes got a lesson yesterday in dealing with adversity at the Metro Run and Walk Northern Virginia Invitational at Oakton. In the 4x100 relay, a too- eager Sykes mishandled the baton on the handoff from junior teammate Mac Reed. DeMatha senior co- captains Sean Suber and Michael Cooper found the disappointed Sykes and encouraged him.
“ I told him it’s just one race on one day,” Suber said. “ There’s no such thing as always having a perfect meet.”
Given a chance to redeem himself in the 4x400 relay, Sykes responded by anchoring his team to a come- from- behind win, speeding past a runner from Potomac ( Va.) with 100 meters to go as the Stags earned the victory in 3 minutes 22.2 seconds.
Sykes also won Friday night’s 400 in 49.6 and was third yesterday in the 200 ( 22.26). More than his team’s success on the track, DeMatha Coach Anthony Bryant said he was most proud of its cohesion and maturity.
“ That’s what you look for in your athletes. How they handle adversity,” Bryant said. “ I look for my team captains to do certain things. And I’ve seen the maturity in Taylor and it comes from his teammates supporting him.”
The meet, which was held in an intermittent, cold drizzle, featured 30 schools from Virginia, Maryland, the District, Delaware and New Jersey. No team scores were kept, but many local athletes had outstanding individual performances.
Senior All- Met Tyrone Putman of Gonzaga won the triple jump with a record leap of 46 feet, but Gonzaga senior Tyrone Putman won the triple jump with a record leap of 46 feet on his first attempt. He was second in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. was second to Potomac ( Va.) senior Ebenezer Amegashie in the 110- and 300- meter hurdles. In the 1,600, Washington- Lee senior John McGrail earned his first career victory at an invitational by using a swift kick over the last 100 meters to upset Oakton junior Joe Lorusso, who won the 3,200 on Friday.
On the girls’ side, Osbourn Park senior Brittany Hyter set two meet records. She won the 300 hurdles in 44.31 and the long jump with a leap of 17- 10.75. Hyter also ran on the Yellow Jackets’ winning 4x100 ( meet record 48.95) and 4x400 ( 4: 01.85) relay teams.
The host Cougars swept the distance medley relays. The girls won in 13: 06.16, two seconds ahead of Chantilly, and the boys crossed the finish line in 11: 07.56, nearly two seconds ahead of DeMatha.