Photo by Steven Pham
The F.I.T. Invitational was one of the many Virginia-run events held every year at the Prince George's County Sportsplex, and was a huge draw during the middle of the past decade for teams from Virginia, Maryland and D.C. At the 2013-14 edition of the meet, no Maryland team made more of an impact in the sprint events than North Point.
She had finished sixth in the 800 at the state meet as a freshman, but Valencia McDowell was in the middle of a breakout sophomore season when the F.I.T. Invitational rolled around just after Christmas. McDowell beat out James Robinson's Kacey Wheeler (pictured above in second), lowering her personal best from 1:19.36 to 1:17.80 in the process. It would stand as a season best (it would end the season as the second-fastest sophomore time in the state), and McDowell went on to win the 4A state title in the event.
Meanwhile, senior DeSean White was enjoying a breakout season of his own in his second year of track at North Point. The F.I.T. Invitational provided him an opportunity for the first major individual win of his career and he did not let it pass. Three boys in the fast section of the 300 went under 36 seconds, but White was the fastest at 35.39. It was his fastest time until his 35.09 performance at the state meet, where he finished third. White won his first and only individual state title that spring in the 100 meter dash.