NEXT GENERATION: Dorsey junior Monae Dale and senior Bejon Bryant look for City Section medals in the hurdles while continuing the schoolâ€™s legacy of track success.Â Bryant is the son of Dorsey football/track star Beno Bryant, the 1989 City Section and state champion in the 400 meters.Â (Evan Barnes/Sentinel)
Bryant, Dale are the latest standouts from track factory
By Evan Barnes
Sentinel Sports Editor
When Bejon Bryant came to Dorsey two years ago as a sophomore, he was well-versed in the school’s legacy, having gotten personal lessons at home since he was old enough to understand.
His father, Wilson “Beno” Bryant,” was part of the first wave of Dorsey players to create it. The elder Bryant was a standout running back who also helped the Dons with their first City Section track-and-field title under current coach Ralph Tilley in 1989.
Monae Dale knows the legacy as well. She’s heard the stories of how the Dorsey girls had a dominant run in the same era from her teammates whose aunts and mothers were a part of it.
Now Bryant, a senior, and Dale, a junior, are attempting to make their own mark as leading hurdlers to watch heading into the Coliseum League finals today and next week’s City Section preliminaries.
With two-time City hurdles champion DJ Morgan of Woodland Hills Taft out due to injury, Bryant has emerged as a favorite in both the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.
Dale will be a contender in the 300m hurdles but has also started running the 100 on the advice of her coaches.
“They said it’ll make me a better runner and look better for colleges if I can do both,” she said.
Tilley, the Dons head coach since 1988, had nothing but praise for his hurdlers – two key reasons why Dorsey is one of the more balanced teams in the City.
“Both are good kids and extremely hard workers,” Tilley said.
Bryant wouldn’t admit his chances would be any easier without Morgan competing, speaking highly of his expected challengers.
“I take all my competition seriously. Nothing is guaranteed,” he added.
Wearing a UCLA sweatshirt at practice – home of mentor and current sophomore tailback Johnathan Franklin – he remained optimistic on his future. Both parents attended Washington but he said he will evaluate his decisions closely.
Dale said Arizona State is high on her list but knows that her college options will increase after the season.
Both also boast strong grade point averages – Tilley estimated both had at least a 3.5 – and when discussing their favorite subjects, they gave well thought out answers.
Bryant enjoys math because his parents encouraged him to figure out problems and made it a challenge. Dale enjoys history, especially Black history because it helps her understand her culture better.
Carrying the legacy of their school’s past is a challenge and an honor. Dale watched with pride as Bryant retold the story of how the Dorsey Don Pride started with five, including his father and the late Kevin Copeland and Chris Mims.
Bryant has a chance to join a rare club of fathers and sons to win City championships. The elder Bryant was a City and state champion in the 400m, setting a City record that lasted for 15 years until it was broken
Dale just wants to get on the medal stand, a place not too many Dorsey girls have seen lately.
It’s one small leap for their goals but a giant step to add on their school’s legacy.