McKinley boys, Dunbar girls claim DCIAA indoor track titles


While the final few athletes were rounding the last turns at Thursday’s DCIAA indoor track championships, Ayotunde Ejiko was on the phone with McKinley Tech’s athletic director.

“Can we have a pizza party?” the Trainers’ standout junior asked.

Ejiko got the approval he sought, sprinted back to his team, medals jangling around his neck, and shared the news that his teammates would be able to celebrate after winning the boys’ title at Prince George’s Sports & Learning. After a few stumbles in the field events, the Trainers finished with 126.66 points, holding off Jackson-Reed (106.33) and Dunbar (93.66).

On the girls’ side, Dunbar started planning its celebration more than an hour earlier, posting 202 points to collect its fourth straight DCIAA title. School Without Walls was runner-up with 108 points, followed by Jackson-Reed with 98.

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Led by star sprinter and jumper Kymia Bridget, the Crimson Tide set the tone early in the day with gold medals in the long jump (16 feet, 10.5 inches) and triple jump (35-8.5) and silvers in the 55-meter hurdles (8.85 seconds) and 55 dash (7.29).

“The most challenging thing was coming straight off my jump to the prelims, then doing the finals in between my jumps,” said Bridget, a senior who transferred from Jackson-Reed. “So I’m most proud of everyone that had two or more events because we were able to just push through and motivate each other to come out with the win.”

McKinley’s boys were no strangers to spreading their talents across multiple events either. Ronald Gilmore took second in the 55 meters, fifth in the 300 meters and first in the high jump (5-10), a personal best for the junior.

“We came in strong, we came in confident, and we did what we had to do,” Gilmore said. “Overall, I wanted to do my best as part of a team. I felt like I could do better, but at the same time, it’s a team sport so I’m proud to get those points for the team.”

McKinley and Dunbar have their sights set on the state championship next month, which will pit them against some private school rivals.

“We’re trying to represent the public schools,” Dunbar Coach Marvin Parker said. “I want to show people that just because we might not have all the greatest resources, it’s not going to be a barrier for us.”