The Washington Post
St. Andrew’s standout prevails at national meet
With a comfortable lead heading into the third lap of the boys’ 800 meters at New Balance indoor nationals, St. Andrew’s senior Tinoda Matsatsa knew this was his make-or-break moment.
Running alongside some of the fastest athletes in the country, Matsatsa understood the danger of getting complacent in front. But it wasn’t until he rounded the final lap at the championships Saturday in Boston that he glanced up at the monitor to see the second-place runner gaining ground.
With the finish line in sight, Matsatsa pumped his arms harder and lengthened his stride to hold off the challenge from behind, crossing the finish line just milliseconds ahead of his opponents for the win — and the top time in the country at 1 minute 48.27 seconds.
“I pushed to my absolute max,” Matsatsa said. “Once I crossed the line and I heard the time that I ran, I was like, ‘ There’s no way.’ I was in disbelief and shock for the first 30 seconds.”
For many of the D.C. area’s top athletes, New Balance nationals represents the culmination of the track season, where they can test themselves against thousands of competitors from across the country.
And no team in the area was more impressive than Bullis, which reminded everyone in attendance just how deep its talent runs.
Freshman phenom Quincy Wilson, who had a breakout season with top times in the middle distances, pulled off an upset, passing the defending 400-meter champion on the final stretch to win in 46.67 seconds for the all-time best among freshmen.
“I told myself, ‘ This is the race that I can prove myself, that my talents are really there and practicing and everything has paid off throughout the season,’ ” Wilson said. “That meant a lot being the underdog, because basically, before this race, nobody knew who I was.”
The Bullis girls had plenty to prove, too. Despite failing to qualify for the 60-meter hurdles final because of a change in the qualification standards, Myla Greene anchored a superstar relay team — also consisting of Mirai Bernard, Sage Hinton and Sydney Sutton — that won the 4x200 in 1:35.62 for another national-best time.
The Bulldogs also took home gold in the sprint medley relay and silver in the 4x400; the B squad took third place in the 4x200.
“I have never ran that fast in my life,” Greene said of winning the 4x200. “The emotions going through the air, running under the lights . . . I was right there with all my sisters, and it was a good moment.”
In the field, Tuscarora junior Alysa Carrigan, a basketball star who only competed in one other meet this season, jumped 5 feet 8 inches to win the high jump.
“A lot of thoughts running in my head,” Carrigan said of her time waiting between jump attempts. “I hit the 5-8 first try and no one else ended up jumping that . . . so that’s when it really hit me, and I was just super excited.”
Archbishop Carroll’s Drew Dillard, who spent the season setting D.C. records in nearly every jumping event, earned third place in the long jump by clearing 23-31/2.
Some local athletes also participated in the Nike Indoor Nationals in New York over the weekend.
Seneca Valley’s Julien Badoo won the 1,000 meters (2:45.08). Old Mill’s Joseph Derosier took third in the 55 (7.40) and 60 (7.95) hurdles. Bella Harsanyi of South Lakes placed fifth in the 800.