Blazers find their place on the track


Feb. 10, 2003, midnight | By Sherri Geng | 17 years, 11 months ago


The Blair indoor track and field teams made a redeeming performance at the MCPS Regional Meet at the Baltimore Armory on Monday, February 10.

In the final meet of the season, an undersized six-person team carried the weight, competing for Blair in a total of eight events.

Leading from the boys' team were juniors Xavier Ivey and Esey Kidane and senior sprinter Briand Djenodjilem. Both Ivey and Kidane put in remarkable performances; Kidane finished fourth in the first heat of the boys' 3200-meter, bypassing his seeded 12.02-time by more than a minute. Djenodjilmen sprinted to ninth in the boys' 300-meter finals with an impressive time of 40.30, and his exceptional 6.80-second finish in the boys' 55-meter dash placed him seventh in the semifinals.

Of the girls' team were sophomore Narique Dixon and junior Jasmine Peterson in the sprints, and sophomore Camilla Johnson in the middle-distance dash. Dixon's 14th place time of 8.40-seconds in the girls' 55-meter propelled Blair to the semifinals, while Johnson and Peterson placed with notable times in the 800-m and 300-m respectively.

Both teams have survived a year of refocusing and regrouping, and their marked improvement tonight has been a welcome change. "We're definitely better today than we were two weeks ago," remarks Co-coach James Short. "We competed better, and we have made some improvements. Everyone did well."

Short attributes the teams' development to a combination of factors, including a more rigorous training schedule and a deeper sense of commitment. "The kids worked hard," says Short. "They still haven't reached the level they need to reach, and they still have some conditioning to do. But they've improved greatly, and they are willing to compete."

He echoes the sentiments of Co-coach Elaine Murray, who is also pleased with the strengthened mentality of the team. "Everyone who went out today reached their potential for today," remarks Short. "Everyone changed, and started committing to working, to running, to lifting."

Both Murray and Short are satisfied with the teams' performance at this meet, and are looking to an even stronger team in the spring. "If you run a 2.27 today, then the next time you run, it should be a 2.25, or a 2.21," says Short. "We need to push them more, make them go beyond. That's the key to running."

Short hopes that the teams' renewed intensity will prove that the Blazers can do what it takes to succeed on the track. "We've started a new foundation; we just haven't built the house yet," says Short. "We are mentally stronger today than we ever were."



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