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North Lawndale's Briyahna Desrosiers wins 200-meter dash at Public League meet

05/10/2014, 9:18pm CDT
By Mike Clark |

Brooks' Ebony McClendon was second in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 24.57 seconds, behind North Lawndale’s Briyahna Desrosiers (24.47) and ahead of Johnson’s Ryan Preacely (24.65).

North Lawndale's Briyanhna Derosiers crosses the finish line first in the 200 at Public League meet. | Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times Media.

The three best sprinters in the city will go their separate ways after running in the same high school race for the last time.

Brooks’ Ebony McClendon, for one, is a little sad about that.

“I wish all three of us were in the same class because that was such a good race,” McClendon said of the 200-meter dash in Saturday’s Public League meet at Hanson Stadium.

McClendon was second in 24.57 seconds, behind North Lawndale’s Briyahna Desrosiers (24.47) and ahead of Johnson’s Ryan Preacely (24.65).

That was part of a big finish to the meet for Desrosiers, who also won the 400 (55.09) and rallied the Phoenix to victory in the mile relay (4:09.81) with a blistering anchor leg.

Afterward, it was all she could do to crawl over to find a little shade near the finish line.

“My legs feel like they were gone,” Desrosiers said. “The second I came off that track I could hardly breathe, I could barely walk, the sun was getting to me.”

But somehow she got the job done.

“She’s a beast,” North Lawndale coach Zontavius Johnson said. “I thought she was dead in the water in the 200.”

But McClendon and Preacely brought out the best in Desrosiers.

“It surely does push me,” Desrosiers said of the competition. “They’re on the inside lane. I’ve got to make sure they don’t catch up to me on the stagger.”

Preacely had a big day of her own. She anchored Johnson to wins in the 400 relay (48.45) and 800 relay (1:42.77) and was runner-up to McClendon in the 100 (11.87).

She’ll see McClendon again at the Class 2A U-High Sectional (Desrosiers is headed to the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional), and is happy about that.

“I just know for a fact that when we go to the state sectionals, it’s going to be that close,” Preacely said. “So I’m ready for it.”

So is McClendon, who had wins in the 100 and long jump (17 feet, 8 inches).

“It keeps me motivated,” she said of running against her rivals. “It keeps me fast.”

Lane beat Young 138-112 for the team title, with North Lawndale (63), Westinghouse (62) and Brooks (50) completing the top five.

Lane’s Jenal Ortiz swept the throws, going 37-1.5 in the shot put and 104-8 in the discus. The Indians also had wins from Joanna Podosek in the 800 (2:20.34) and Roisin Mulkerrins in the 2-mile (11:51.28).

Young’s winners were Joelle Ataessien in the 110 hurdles (15.70), triple jumper Indya McGuffin (35-7.5) and the 2-mile relay team (10:07.06).

Also taking firsts were Taft’s Jocelyne Mendoza in the 1,600 (5:23.73), Brooks’ Sariaya Phillips in the 300 hurdles (46.43), North Lawndale high jumper Nida Miller (5-0) and Morgan Park’s 800 medley relay team (1:50.62).

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Catherine Steegmueller

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