Cougars place first in five events, Thomas posts fastest 100-200 times
If there was a sign of Crenshawâ€™s dominance at the City Section track-and-field preliminaries Thursday at Birmingham High School, one needs to only look at their clean sweep in their 100 meter heats.
DeAnthony Thomas (10.69 seconds) , Gregory Ducre (10.90) and Jonathan Downard (10.94) won their heats in convincing fashion as the Cougars led the way in five events, with Thomas playing a dominant role in four of them.
In addition to the 100, the speedy sophomore posted the fastest time in the 200 (21.71 â€“ tied with Santeeâ€™s Tevin Carter) and anchored the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay squads to victories in their heats (41.36 and 3:22.76)
â€œWeâ€™re just trying to win City and we set the tone in the 4 x 100,â€ Thomas said excitedly. Their time was only .01 of their league-winning time of 41.35, which ranks fourth in the state.
He admitted that he had to get used to the track again â€“ the place where he finished third and second in the 100 and 200, respectively, last year as a freshman â€“ but his performance in each heat seemed effortless as won in convincing fashion.
Senior Moriah Johnson qualified in the high jump (six feet) and will enter next weekâ€™s championships as the favorite with his league-winning height of 6-6.
Never content in their rivalsâ€™ shadow, defending boys champion Dorsey made quite a bit noise as senior Jeremy Harris won his heats in the 110 (14.67) and 300 hurdles (38.87), finishing directly behind Taftâ€™s D.J. Morgan in both events. His 300 time was a personal best.
â€œI was trying to go for it,â€ Harris said of his time. After finishing third in the 110 last year at City, he said that heâ€™s worked on getting his footing down and itâ€™s made a difference in improving his times.
Dorsey senior Christopher Clark won his 400 heat with the third-fastest time of the day (49.96) as Manual Arts senior Terrence Conway set the pace with a time of 49.17. The Dons also saw junior Khambrell Gomez set the pace in the shot put (48-5.5 inches)
On the girlsâ€™ side, Washington Prep senior Danielle Thomas had an up-and-down day. She helped the Lady Generals to a personal best in the 4 x 100 relay (48.39) and won both of her heats in the 100 (12.48) and 200 (25.37).
In the last event of the day, the 4 x 400 relay, she struggled on the second leg as a result, the Generals had to fight to hold off Reseda to finish second in their heat (4:10.82), still qualifying for the finals
Thomas â€“ who finished third in the 200 last year â€“ said Â she was battling shin splints throughout the day and they caught up to her during the relay. Â It was something that happened last year at the City finals but she chose to focus on how to prepare for the 200 next week.
â€œI need to come out of the blocks better,â€ she said, something that came easier in the 100.
She had a simple mantra for the finals -â€œ24â€™s, 11â€™s and 47â€™s,â€ referring to her times in the 200, 100 and the 4 x 100 relay.
Crenshaw senior Xzanthnice Bourgeois placed second in the girls long jump (17-1) and teammate Doretta Rye finished second in the long jump (35-0)
The meet was halted near the end as L.A. Jordan sophomore Umeka Anderson collapsed during the last heat of the girls 4 x 400m relay. Anderson suffered what her coach called a mild panic attack during the third leg of the relay and was taken off the track in an ambulance as a precaution. She was expected to recover.
The finals will be held on May 28 at Birmingham High School with field events starting at 3 p.m. and running events at 5:30 p.m.