When L.C. Bird High School won the boys’ indoor state championship this winter, they did it with balance throughout the team. While only one athlete won an event, they piled up the points to win the title as a team.
Ten-year coaching veteran Adam Canning said that he’s seen much improvement in his team in the past few seasons, and it showed in a big way. The Skyhawks brought home the 5A state title for outdoor track and did it with four wins and 11 top-five finishes in 17 events.
Jaden Payoute, who has accumulated eight Division I football offers, including two this weekend from Pittsburgh and Marshall, won the 100-meter dash with a personal-best time of 10.67 seconds. He defeated Prince George’s Javonte Harding, who was widely expected to win.
Payoute continued a stellar day with the boys’ 400-meter relay team that also included Lamar Davis, Jemourri La Pierre, Jevon La Pierre. The team brought won with a time of 41.66 seconds despite some minor issues with their hand-offs. As an individual, Payoute also finished fourth in the triple jump, another higher-than-projected finish.
Two other relay teams finished the meet strong for the Skyhawks. The 3,200-meter relay team of Shahmique Cromwell, Jeremiah Hill, Josiah Hill and Brendan Taylor placed first with a time of 7:49.32. The 1,600-meter team featuring Jeremiah Hill, Josiah Hill, Demetrius Kelly and Aaron Lewis not only won, but finished with a meet record of 3:16.09.
L.C. Bird won the meet with 94 points. Atlee was second with 53, while Highland Springs came in third with 45 points. Potomac and Mountain View rounded out the top five.
Other L.C. Bird boys finishers were: Lewis, 110-meter hurdles, seventh; Jacob Plummer, 1600 meters, fifth; Lewis, 300-meter hurdles, second; Joseph Akinrinmade, 300-meter hurdles, 20th; Josiah Hill, 400 meters, third; Jeremiah Hill, 800 meters, second; Taylor, 800 meters, third; Cromwell, 800 meters, 17th; Reginald Patterson, discus, tenth; Payoute, high jump, 13th; Jevon La Pierre, long jump, seventh; Jemourri La Pierre, long jump, eighth; Payoute, long jump, ninth; Hakeem Beamon, shot put, ninth; and Payoute, triple jump, fourth.
Two girls from L.C. Bird placed in the triple jump: L’nya Carpenter, seventh, and Takeah Wallace, tenth.
Thomas Dale High also had several athletes compete. The boys’ 400-meter relay team of Kamron Bonner, Deangelo Gray, Sebastian Evans and Chris Tyree took first.
Superstar triple jumper Tatiana Marsh did not compete, having chosen a meet in the Bahamas. The Frederick Bastian T&F Classic started June 2.
Other Thomas Dale finishers: Chris Tyree, 100 meters, second; Deangelo Gray, 100 meters, fifth; Michael Spragley, 1,600 meters, 13th; Michael Spragley, 3,200 meters, 12th; Dylan Shepard, discus, 15th; Justin Tate, discus, 16th; Teahrian Tyler, triple jump, fourth; Zanelle Richie, 100-meter hurdles, sixth; Sharniece White, 200 meters, eighth; Alexis McKinney, 400 meters, 17th; Monay James, discus, eighth; and Madalyn Roseberry, triple jump, seventh.