Gaithersburg's Alimamy Kallay was the preseason county favorite in the 300-meter hurdles and Clarksburg's Devin Moreno has been the man to beat since he ran 39.9 at the Cougar Relays, but make no mistake that Damascus's Cecil Jonas is right up there in the same class. Jonas ran 40.68h in the Screamin' Eagle Invitational and 40.70 in the Zonis Invitational. Here in the final dual meet of the season, he ran 39.95h.
Jonas is perhaps lesser known because he has always been a role-player on the well-rounded Damascus team: running strong relay legs, sprinting, hurdling, long jumping, and even running on the cross country top seven. Now as a senior, especially with fellow team leader Thomas Arias side-lined with a foot injury, he is stepping up and leading the team with his sights specifically set on the 300-meter hurdle county title.
Damascus proved to be untouchable this dual meet season, winning their first boys' division title since 2007. For the past two years, Damascus has been up against some tough Gaithersburg boys' teams, but this year, the division title was theirs for the taking.
Jonas had plenty of help, particularly from Joel Ross who has taken up the roll as the lead short sprinter, and DeVante' Thomas who is the team's top 400-meter runner. In this final dual meet, Ross ran 11.1h and 22.5h while Thomas ran 50.2h.
After winning the 4x800-meter relay in 8:20, Damascus eased off the gas pedal in the distance events. They were not in need of points as they defeated their closest opponent, Magruder, 108-29. Magruder in turn defeated Einstein 98-12.
Coach Youngblood pointed out that they are quickly improving in the field events. JJ Alharmoosh threw 120-09, which currently ranks in the top eight public school throws in the county. Joe Dobrazanski improved his personal best throw in the shot put to 45-01.50. James Bartlett and Nick May both jumped over 40 feet in the triple jump.
The Damascus girls were equally dominant against Magruder and Einstein, but it was Rachel Watkins of Magruder that was turning heads on the track. Watkins won the 100 in 12.03h and won the 200 in 25.9h.
The Damascus girls improved to 4-1 in dual meets this season.
Damascus will host the first ever Hornet Invitational this Saturday.