NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. – Ashley Wiggins passed the baton to Victoria Jones-Alleyne on the second exchange for New Rochelle’s 4 x 200 relay in Sunday’s championship race at the New Balance Indoor Nationals and hoped her teammates could hold the lead.
The Huguenots did, winning the race in 1:38:41. The team of Symone Darius, Wiggins, Jones-Alleyne and anchor Victoria Donaldson posted the fastest time of the year in the United States and held off Parkland, N.C, which ran 1:38:59. Cheltenham, Pa. finished third in 1:39:00. The meet was held at The Armory in New York. New Rochelle, which won the New York state meet earlier this month, also set a school record.
“When you run a relay like that, you don’t get to see the person you pass the baton to,’’ Wiggins said. “I was just trying to get off the track. I was just praying they could hold on and run their fastest times. I was getting a little nervous, but I was hoping they would run their fastest times.”
Darius, a sophomore, added a third place finish in the girls 200 meters for New Rochelle. Darius ran 24.12 in the final, which was won by Shania Collins of Maryland in 23.82. Darius and Collins battled for the lead down to the final strides, before the Maryland speedster edged ahead in the final 10 meters.
Darius gave New Rochelle in the relay with a strong leadoff leg, and Wiggins gave the baton to Jones-Alleyne with a slight lead. The question was whether New Rochelle could hold it.
“It was a big factor to run with a lead,’’ Wiggins said. “We always have the lead from Symone. I just peaked at the perfect time. We knew Parkland’s second runner was their best runner and I had to keep the lead.”
Besides the victory, New Rochelle recaptured the top time in the United States for the indoor season. The Huguenots posted the top time early in the year, but relinquished it to Columbia of New Jersey. Wiggins, who will attend the University of Connecticut, and fellow senior Donaldson leave their final indoor season with a national championship and the top time in the country.
“It means a lot to me to get this,’’ said Wiggins, who also competed in the New Balance meet in the 60 hurdles, but did not qualify for the finals. “I really wanted to go out with a bang and get the win. I was excited that all that hard work paid off.”