Six Races to Watch at Saturday's Ed Bowie Invitational

This year's Ed Bowie Invitational will be one of the largest in the meet's ten-year history. Today we take a look at six of the best matchups heading into the weekend.

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Boys 300 Meter Dash

Osbourn's Jonathan Garcia finished fourth at last year's 6A indoor state championships in the 300. (Photo by Mary Ann Magnant)

Top six entered: Laurenz Colbert (Eleanor Roosevelt), Khalid Hornsby (Eleanor Roosevelt), Jonathan Garcia (Osbourn), Lewis Freeman (Osbourn Park), Oumar Balde (Bowie), Warren Jones (Osbourn)

Roosevelt juniors Laurenz Colbert (10.59 100, 21.57 200) and Khalid Hornsby (10.94 100) are both coming off outdoor seasons that suggest they could begin the 2020 indoor season in sub-36 shape. Ditto Bowie's Oumar Balde, who ran 36.45 in the 300 last year as a freshman and 50.85 in the 400.

On the Virginia side, Osbourn's Warren Jones (36.45 300, 50.97 400) and Jonathan Garcia Lopez (35.70 300, 22.01 400) went 2-3 at last year's Ed Bowie Invitational. Osbourn Park's Lewis Freeman (22.24 200, 49.54 400) is one of the best returning 400 meter runners in the Virginia 6A classification this year as well.

The depth of the field extends beyond the first heat, too, as the second heat will include Frederick Douglass-PG senior Miles Gray (36.48 300, 21.94 200, 48.70 400), North Point's Kroy Myers (36.17 300 on December 5) and Old Mill's Cameon Winborne (36.85 300, 22.15 200).

Girls 500 Meter Dash

As a sophomore Jordan Mozie finished among the top four at states in four different events across the 2019 indoor and outdoor seasons. (Photo by John Roemer)

Top six entered: Jordan Mozie (Henry A. Wise), Sierrah Matthews (Mount Hebron), K.C. Ashiogwu (Gaithersburg), Elizabeth Epstein (George C. Marshall), Autumn Winston (Frederick Douglass-PG), Indyah Taylor (C.H. Flowers)

Saturday's girls 500 meter dash field features two Maryland defending state champions in Mount Hebron's Sierrah Matthews (1:15.85 500, 56.34 400) and Frederick Douglass-PG's Autumn Winston (1:18.79 500, 57.11 400). Wise junior Jordan Mozie (1:16.49 500, 56.46 400, 2:14.82 800) and Gaithersburg senior K.C. Ashiogwu (1:18.23 500, 58.12 400) were also 4A state qualifiers in the event last winter.

Marshall's Elizabeth Epstein (1:19.50 500, 59.58 400) is the lone Virginian among the top six entrants, and Flowers junior Indyah Taylor (1:22.01 500, 60.45 400) rounds out the rest of the top six. The rest of the field also includes Roosevelt's Adalin Corbin (57.31 400) and Central's Chandler Ransome (41.87 300, 25.57 200).

Boys 500 Meter Dash

Dover's Nathanael Guy will try his hand at the 500 dash this season after running 49.17 and 1:53.05 last spring. (Photo by Geoff Heath)

Top six entered: Miles Gray (Frederick Douglass-PG), Taveon Pierce (Henry A. Wise), Joshua Edmonds (Henry A. Wise), Lewis Freeman (Osbourn Park), Nathanael Guy (Dover), Warren Jones (Osbourn)

Gray, Freeman and Jones are all entered in both the 300 and 500 meter dashes. Jones was last year's runner-up at the Ed Bowie Invitational where he ran his 1:08.03 personal best; he and Dover's Nathanael Guy are the only two of the top six who haven't run under 1:08, though Guy did run 49.17 and 1:53.05 in the 400 and 800 last year, respectively.

Meanwhile the Wise duo of sophomore Taveon Pierce (1:07.69 500, 50.13 400) and junior Joshua Edmonds (1:07.71 500), both of whom finished in the top five in the event at last year's 4A state championships, will be making their 2020 season debuts.

The rest of the field features Poly's Talil Atkins (1:08.97 500, 50.49 400), Osbourn Park's David Homere (1:09.63 500, 50.08 400) and Bowie's Brandon Nya (35.71 300, 21.88 200, 50.34 400).

Girls 55 Meter Hurdles

Flowers hurdlers Arie McIlwain (left) and Destiny Ehirim both ran personal bests at the DCIAA Invitational last weekend. (Photo by Brandon Miles)

Top six entered: Samantha Tiong (Freedom (South Riding)), Thalia Summerville (Digital Harbor), Sanai Haythe (Bishop McNamara), Arie McIlwain (C.H. Flowers), Nhyona Hall (DuVal), Destiny Ehirim (C.H. Flowers)

Flowers junior Arie McIlwain (8.72 55H, 15.07 100H) already has a win in the 55 hurdles in the early stages of this indoor season when she ran a personal best at last weekend's DCIAA Invitational. Freedom's Samantha Tiong (8.56 55H, 15.58 100H) and Digital Harbor's Thalia Summerville (8.58 55H, 15.01 100H) are the two fastest seeds in Saturday's field.

The top six entrants also include 4A outdoor state meet qualifiers Nhyona Hall (8.79 55H, 15.09 100H) and Destiny Ehirim (9.19 55H, 15.32 100H), as well as Bishop McNamara's Sanai Haythe (10.53 55H, 17.89 100H).

Girls 4x200 Meter Relay

Top six entered: Mount Hebron, Dunbar, Henry A. Wise, Bowie, McKinley Tech, Gaithersburg

The Mount Hebron girls consistently field some of the top relay teams in the state; last year they were one of just three teams in the state to run sub-1:43 during the winter. The Wise girls had the eighth-fastest 4x200 relay last winter and are always stocked with sprint depth. Frederick Douglass-PG clocked the fourth-fastest relay time in the state last year and will be in the second-fastest heat. Both Dunbar and McKinley Tech have already run this year, finishing first and second in the event at last weekend's DCIAA Invitational.

Boys 4x400 Meter Relay

Top six entered: Henry A. Wise, Largo, George C. Marshall, Bowie, Digital Harbor, Gar-Field

Wise (fifth) and Largo (11th) were two of the fastest 4x400 relay teams in the state last year and always have plenty of sprint depth at the end of meets to run strong 4x400s. The Marshall boys have two of the fastest entrants in the 300 meter dash and ran 3:29 last winter to finish fourth in the event at the 6A state championships.