Youngest Allen’s triumph in high jump gives Bullis a boys’ and girls’ sweep
Bullis freshman Ashton Allen had to be reminded to put on his sweats and sit down in between high jump attempts Saturday at the Private and Independent School Invitational.
By Allen’s estimate, it had been two years since he last competed in the event. Nevertheless, he found himself with the fate of his team riding on his leaping ability at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda.
With several of their top runners, including Allen’s oldest brother, junior Eric Allen Jr., sitting out for either rest or recovery purposes, the Bulldogs trailed Mount Saint Joseph of Baltimore by three points entering the high jump, the final event in which both schools had two athletes competing. The other for Bullis was Allen’s sophomore brother, Austin.
But if the youngest Allen was feeling any pressure, he didn’t show it as he arched his back to clear 6 feet 4 inches and complete the sweep of the team titles for Bullis.
“I might actually start back up high jumping again,” Allen said after the performance that put Bullis’s point total at 69, ahead of second-place Mount St. Joseph (67) and third-place Gonzaga (56).
DeMatha held a sizable lead for the first three legs of the 4x200, which was fine with McNamara’s Xavier Williams as he grabbed the baton for the anchor leg.
“Usually when I’m in front, I tend not to run as hard,” said Williams, who closed the gap and crossed in a meet-record 1:31.18 to win by two-tenths of a second.
Riverdale Baptist’s Daniel Whitfield burned a 7.60 to win the 55meter hurdles, while Pallotti’s Brendon Stewart clocked 6.53 to win the 55 and Carroll’s Ethan Fogle crossed in 34.82 to take gold in the 300.
James Duren of Paul VI held off McNamara’s Ellion Trotman down the stretch to win the boys 500 in 1:06.76. Gonzaga’s Jack Beckham took the boys’ 1,000 in 2:43.61, while teammate Omar Dibba cleared 13-7 to win the pole vault. Luke Armbruster of St. Andrew’s crossed in 4:25.23 to win the 1,600, and Arik Smith (50-9) of St. John’s won the shot put. Jordan Walker of St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes won the long jump at 22-6.25.
The Bullis girls secured their team title long before the meet was over, finishing with 124 points to Carroll’s 46.5 and Georgetown Day’s 45. Alexis Postell led the way with wins in the 55 hurdles, tying the state best this season in 8.12, and long jump (17-2). Sophomore Cierra Pyles, meanwhile, broke her own Maryland No. 1 mark in the triple jump at 39-0.25.
“During long jump, I fouled all my jumps, so I was really frustrated,” said Pyles, who used a pointer from her coaches to nail the triple jump. “They told me to just bring my arms back, use arms, arms and then reach, and that would give me a big jump.”
Bullis teammates Lauryn Harris (40.15) in the 300 and Masai Russell (1:17.79) in the 500 also won titles, and the Bulldogs swept the 4x200 (1:45.71), 4x400 (4:02.36) and 4x800 (10:07.94) relays.
Georgetown Day’s Margaux Ameer used a late kick to win the girls’ 1,000 in 3:05.5. Kelisa Cain of St. Mary’s Ryken pulled up limping as she crossed the finish line but still clocked a 7.19 to take gold in the 55. McNamara’s Taylor Nolan won the high jump on misses at 5 feet.