IT’S A BRISK, sunny afternoon in New Haven, Connecticut, and Andraya Yearwood is standing at the starting line, knees bent, waiting for her teammate to pass the baton. Her toes dig into the soft rubber of the track at Floyd Little Athletic Center.
Even though the 4×200 meters is the meet’s first event, the crowd has begun to fill in the seats around the oval of the track and along the upper deck of the sprawling field house. It’s the 2020 Class S indoor state championships in mid-February, and the field house will be full of fans cheering on the state’s small schools. The fluorescents burn brightly overhead.
Yearwood waits as one, two, three, four teams pass the baton in front of her. She’s run in different positions on relays for her team over the years, but for this one, as a senior, she’s the anchor. Cromwell — her 562-student school 28 miles north of here — with its red and black uniforms, will start the final lap in fifth place, considerably behind.