Phoebus leads Peninsula athletes earning all-American status at national track meet

The Phoebus High seniors who participated New Balance Nationals Outdoor track meet in Greensboro, N.C., this weekend finished their high school careers with a bang.

All four Phantoms went from graduates Saturday to all-Americans Sunday, an experience girls 400-meter hurdler Amira Aduma called “absolutely the highlight of my time in high school.”

Aduma finished third in her event with a personal best time of 59.18 seconds to become a first-time all-American.

“I’ve been working four years to get it, so to finally have it, I’m ecstatic,” said Aduma, who will run track for the University of Illinois next year.

Aduma ran in the first and lowest-seeded heat for the 400 hurdles. When her race started at 12:15 p.m., she blasted off from the starting line and finished well ahead of the pack.

Yet while she held the lead after the first four heats, the final heat, which included 2016 Olympian Sydney McLaughlin, would not start until 3 p.m. Aduma would have to wait more than two hours to find out her final place. She tried to remain calm, but her mind buzzed.

“I kept thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, gotta wait, gotta wait, gotta wait some more,'” Aduma said.

Finally, the time came for the last 400-meter hurdles group. McLaughlin, a senior from Union Catholic in New Jersey, and Deandreah Young, a senior from Miami Northwestern in Florida, blew away the field. But no one else beat Aduma.

The Phoebus…

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