HYATTSVILLE — Bullis sprinters and hurdlers swept three of four straightaway events, including the boys and girls 55 meter dash finals and the girls 55m hurdle finals Sunday.
Indoor track returner and national track standout, senior Eric Allen of the Bullis School won the 55m dash finals with a time of 6.46 seconds. Frederick Douglas High School junior Mark Mason (6.51 seconds) finished five-hundredths of a second later in second place.
Allen said Saturday at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex he was somewhat fatigued from racing in the 300m dash earlier that day.
“I wish the 55m time was a little faster pace,” said Allen, adding he was content with his other race.
Allen won the 300m dash with a time of 34.2 seconds. He finished 0.62 seconds ahead of Archbishop Carroll High senior Ethan Fogle (second place, 34.82 seconds), who was followed by Largo High School senior Aaron Hackett, one one-hundredth of a second later (34.83 seconds). Fourth-place finisher Western Tech High School junior Nicholas Richardson (36.46 seconds) and the other finalists didn’t break 35 seconds.
“It was a tricky track and all I had to do was run hard,” the Bullis senior said, later adding, “It’s hard to manage the turns going full speed.”
He said he tries to hold his body upright instead of leaning inward toward the center of the track.
On the girls side, Bullis sophomore Shaniya Hall placed first in the 55m dash finals, with a time of 7.06 seconds, followed by teammate Ashley Seymour one hundredth of a second later (7.07 seconds).
“I was a bit tight running, but it was mind over matter,” said Hall.
She added she was not satisfied with her time.
Fellow Bulldog sophomore Leah Phillips described a different race victory experience just minutes before Hall, following the 55m hurdle finals (8.15 seconds).
“It felt like a really nice race; it felt calm, and I made sure like that I had a lot of power,” said Phillips, all smiles.
“It was a really good practice for me,” she added. She said she still has some aspects of her racing form that she wants to continue to refine.
In distance events, Paint Branch senior Yasmine Kass won the girls 1600m run with a time of 5 minutes and 14 seconds, followed by senior Alyssa Tatum of Northern High in Calvert County (5:19 minutes). Kass led the race from start to finish, with a gap of at least 20 meters between her and the next person for most of the race. She said racing in front was not part of her plan, and it was a risk.
“I didn’t think it was a good idea but that’s what happened,” said Kass, of leading.
She hadn’t raced without someone in front of her in a while. This season she said she’s run several relays, which gave her a runner ahead of her she could chase.
Racing alone, “It forces you to keep mentally tough,” Kass said.