After winning her third race of the meet, Le'Quisha Parker barely took her eyes off the ground. She hardly muttered a word when friends congratulated her and coaches offered up tips for next time. Her blank, somber stare suggested that she would rather be anywhere except for a track meet.
"I don't like to smile," she said as she explained that she really does enjoy track.
After a winter of playing for the school's varsity basketball team, the freshman from Northwood has exploded onto the Montgomery County track scene. She spent most of the season hidden away in dual meets where she did nothing but win. When it came time to race against many of the best runners in the state of Maryland at the Meade Stampede, she was an unknown face running with the leaders. She clocked 12.31 in the prelims of the 100-meter dash, eventually placing sixth overall. She also clocked 25.00 for the 200-meter dash, which ranks her among the top Montgomery County sprinters of this decade.
She didn't run quite that fast in their final dual meet of the season against Richard Montgomery. She did what it took to win. She won the 100 in 12.5, the 200 in 26.3, and the 400 in 1:02. She finished up the day with a leg on the 4x400 relay.
Despite her constant, expressionless gaze, she was, in fact, one of the final people standing around waiting to hear the final team scores. Northwood fell to Richard Montgomery 102-35.
Teammates describe her as a hard worker in practice, and say that she does not really know how good she is. Her form is flawed and she does not use blocks. She ran one year in middle school, where she first discovered her speed. Now she is a new light on the Northwood team that has not had a girl competitive on the county level in any event since it reopened in 2004.
Tyler Jackson did not know that Northwood had any good hurdlers. Keith Hudson knew that Jackson wasn't going to win the 300 hurdles without a fight.
The wind was swift, forcing imperfections in Jackson's normally smooth hurdle form. Coming off the final curve, he could see out of the corner of his eye that his opponent was still near. Now with the wind slightly at his back, it was time to let loose that extra reserve. He flew down the straightaway, devouring the hurdles that were in his way. Two watches had him clocked in under 39 seconds. His time rounded up to 39.0.
"Who was that guy from Northwood?" Jackson asked.
Hudson finished in a close second in a time of 39.6, a time that will rank this unknown among the best in the state.
Besides Jackson and his senior teammate Alonzo Evans-Chase who won the long jump and triple jump, RM has fallen apart this year and now find themselves in complete rebuilding mode. Northwood defeated them 77-60.
Wherever Northwood did not come out on top, it was usually a Georgetown Prep athlete leading the way.
Prep's Ramsey Chapin not only stood out because he is ten feet tall, but also because he built a 16 second lead over the next closest competitor in the 1600-meter run. He won in 4:42 over Northwood's Giovanni Reumante.
Reumante would not let him get so far ahead later in the 800. Chapin pushed the pace to a 60 second first lap. Reumante hung behind him while the rest of the field fell way back. Chapin put in a surge and Reumante fell back. Chapin finished hard in 1:59.7. Reumante finished in 2:03.
Georgetown Prep won all four relays with the help of Chapin in the 4x8 and 4x4 and Brandon Tisdale in the 4x1 and 4x2. Tisdale also won the 100 in 10.9 and the 200 in 23.1. Georgetown Prep defeated both RM and Northwood.