Berkeley's Girls on Track for Another Banner Season

Article excerpt

With an enrollment of about 450 students, Berkeley High defies long odds with its perennial state-championship girls track team.

Berkeley has won three of the last four Missouri Class 3A crowns, including the 1993 title.

Berkeley has another brilliant squad, led by junior sensation Zandrea Wilson, who participated Saturday in three meet records at the 35th Capital City Relays in Jefferson City.

Wilson won the 200-meter dash in 25.3 seconds, breaking the old mark of 26.2. Later, she ran legs on Berkeley's triumphant 4x200- and 4x400-meter relays that also set meet marks.

Berkeley's 4x200 circled the track in 1:43.15, breaking its 1:46.2 record set in 1992. The 4x400 turned in a 4:07.00, also breaking its '92 mark of 4:07.4.

The foursome of Meosha Jordan, Kim Stewart, Toya Johnson and Wilson competed on both relays, spawning talk of another state championship. It's possible. Stewart is a sophomore, and the remainder are juniors.

Last year, Berkeley set records at the state meet in the 4x200 and 4x400, and has ably replaced graduates Wendy Blocker and Pasha Copeland off those relays.

The Lady Bulldogs have a bona fide major-college prospect in Wilson, a junior. Last season, she swept the 100, 200 and 400 at the state meet and was equally imposing Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium, which will be the site of the Missouri High School Track and Field Championships May 27-28.

In the 4x200, Wilson demonstrated her splendor, matching strides with Sumner's Tianna Swinney on the anchor leg. Swinney, the defending Class 4A 400-meter champion, pulled ahead down the stretch, but Wilson kicked into another gear and passed Swinney for the victory.

Berkeley won state championships in 1982, '90, '91 and '93, and the Lady Bulldogs lost by only two points to Lincoln Academy as state runners-up in '92. They also finished second in '89.

Yet, the quality and quantity keeps rolling in. "Last season, we had 42 girls come out, and we ended up with 20," head coach Joe Moore said.

"We had 55 to come out this year, and still have 32."

Berkeley's girls will compete Friday and Saturday at the Parkway West Invitational.

Lincoln Tigerettes: East St. Louis Lincoln has won 14 Illinois Class AA track championships, and the Tigerettes would seem to be on pace for No. 15 after Saturday's overwhelming victory at the Jaguar-Haldex Invitational at Blue Springs (Mo.) South High.

Lincoln posted 247 points to overwhelm the 14-team field. The nearest competitor was Blue Springs South, which posted 99 points.

Lincoln has won the Blue Springs meet every year since it started in 1991.

"They're one of the better teams around in the Midwest, and I always invite them because I want to run against the best," Blue Springs South coach Rusty Hodge said.

Lincoln was 1-2 in the 100, with Dawn Anthony and Jackie Newby running 12. …