Deâ€™Anthony Thomas wins 200 with nationâ€™s fastest time
Crenshaw junior also wins 100, Dorsey wins overall City boys title
Deâ€™Anthony Thomas has had the City Section on notice since he nearly won the 100 and 200 meters as a freshman. Now the Crenshaw junior has the state and the nationâ€™s attention after winning both at the City Section track and field finals at Birmingham High School.
Thomas defended his title in the 100 with a time of 10.57 seconds and won the 200 with the fastest time in the nation (a slightly wind-aided 20.61).
â€œItâ€™s an honor and a blessing,â€ Thomas said, still in disbelief after the race. â€œIt didnâ€™t feel like I ran that well but the times said I did, so Iâ€™m happy.â€
Last year, his goal of a 100-200 double fell short as Santeeâ€™s Tevin Carter won the 200. With Carter out due to injuries, Thomas breezed to an easy win aided by a wind-level of 2.1 meters, just barely over the allowable 2.0
Â â€œI wanted that rematch but I just want him to stay healthy. He has a great college career ahead of him,â€ he said.
Thomasâ€™ teammate Jonathan Downard finished third in the 100 (10.77) and second in the 200 with 20.86, the third fastest time in the state. It was an impressive turnaround for the senior who finished seventh in the event last year with 22.40.
Despite their efforts, Crenshaw was runner-up to Dorsey for the overall team title as the Dons won their 11th boys team title since 1989. They were aided by wins in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay, Beâ€™jon Bryant in the 300 hurdles, and Khambrell Gomez winning his second consecutive shot put title.
â€œThis one feels just like the first one,â€ Dorsey head coach Ralph Tilley said, adding that they dedicated the title to sprint coach James Robinson for his work.
â€œWe knew we were challenging Crenshaw and we had to put together a balanced team to beat them because they have some key guys,â€ Tilley added.
After finishing second in the 110 hurdles by .04 to Crenshaw senior Brian Lowery, Bryant won the 300 hurdles with a personal best of 39.32. It wasnâ€™t as smooth a race as he wanted as he clipped the first and last hurdle but it was a win that added to his family legacy.
With his father Beno Bryant in attendance, the advice was simple. â€œItâ€™s showtime,â€ the younger Bryant said.
He not only joins his father as a City champion for Dorsey, but his grandfather as well. Wilson Bryant won the 100 meters for Dorsey while Beno won the 100 as a sophomore and the 400 and as a senior.
â€œThatâ€™s three generations [of success] so Iâ€™m pretty proud of that,â€ Beâ€™jon Bryant said.
Loweryâ€™s upset win came after he only started running the event this past season. He overtook Bryant on the final hurdles to win with a personal best of 14.87.
â€œI had a bad start but I fed off his energy,â€ Lowery said of Bryant, â€œI saw he wanted it so I wanted it more.â€
As he collected on a friendly bet from one of his coaches, he recalled the preparation to get to this point and learning a new event.
Â â€œWhen I practice, I work on little things. Iâ€™ll go home, read the papers, read RISE magazine, see what trainers do. I just really wanted to win,â€ Lowery said.
Dorseyâ€™s quartet of Cleshawn Page, Robert Herron, Jabri Proby and Marvin Hall got the day off to a blazing start literally as they ran 41.01 in the 4 x 100 relay, good for fourth-best in the state this year. Crenshawâ€™s runner up time of 41.13 also set them up nicely for next weekâ€™s state meet in Clovis.
Herron and Hall also did work in the 4 x 400 by catching and passing Crenshaw during the final 100 meters of their respective final legs to secure the win at 3:18.34.
Los Angeles senior Alex Amankwah won the 800 meters in 1:54.20. Amankwah is believed to be the Romansâ€™ first individual City champion since the 1970â€™s and he believes that faster times still await him.
â€œI was trying to run faster than that,â€ he said, a bit disappointed. He later showed gratitude for his success, having only run the 800 since track season started this year.
â€œSome people have been trying to do this for years, Iâ€™m blessed to be only doing this for two months and have this much talent.â€
On the girlsâ€™ side, Dorsey junior Monae Dale finished fourth in the 100 hurdles and third in the 300 hurdles. Crenshaw freshman Kayla Phillips won the girlsâ€™ triple jump with a distance of 36 feet-3 inches. Palisades won the girlsâ€™ overall title.