Nerves are running high. Starting guns fire, leaving a trail of smoke behind. Crowds woo and applaud for senior Shayne Brooks as he starts his run for the 500-meter dash. He hangs within the pack for the first two laps but in the final 100 meters of the race, he kicks it up a notch. He pushes himself to pass his opponents, ultimately placing second. Expectations are set for the season.
On Dec. 11, the indoor track team had their first official meet in the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. Prior to this, they had only run in scrimmages. Schools from Anne Arundel county and Baltimore county also competed. “This was an important meet to see where we stand in relation to other runners in the county and state,” senior Soraya Abediyeh said.
Brooks was also able to place 10th in the 55-meter hurdles, completing the race in 9.11 seconds. He had run hurdles only once before last season. However, Brooks’ dynamic dash took the spotlight as it earned him the highest individual placement for the Patriots and named him one of the fastest runners in the county. “I felt happy that I hit my personal record from last year, and I feel that I could have ran even faster. I look forward to my upcoming meets where I’m hoping to be not only the fastest 500-meter runner in the county but maybe even the state,” Brooks said.
Other runners on the boys’ side had exceptional performances as well. Senior Keith Cartwright finished the 55-meter dash in 6.93 seconds, placing 14th. Junior Osagie Aimiuwu followed with a final time of 7.38 seconds. Cartwright also placed 25th for the 300-meter dash with 38.79 seconds. Aimiuwu trailed, finishing in 39.68 seconds. For long distance races, senior Jaiden Shah came in 15th for the 3200-meter run.
The girls’ side is looking to improve. Senior Angel Porter ran the 55-meter dash in 8.04 seconds, placing 24th. Meanwhile, freshman Sydney Barrens proved again that she’s able to compete with older runners. Her 300-meter dash was 45.48 seconds, putting her 19th for that race. “She’s so fast, especially for a freshman,” Abediyeh said.
The Patriots competed in the MCPS meet on Dec. 17, too late to be covered in this issue. They will compete in the Montgomery Invitational on Jan. 12.