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For the Love of Track

Coach Dave has over 15 years of experience in track and field. He has been coaching at The Bullis School since 2015. He has the unique expertise of building and executing workout plans to ensure the athletes are more than ready physiologically and mentally to deliver prime performances. He has developed this uniqueness through his many years of Studying, Interviewing, and Adapting concepts and plans from some of the Greatest Coaches and Minds in the World of Track and Field of whom he also seeks advice and receives direction. He has amassed a Track and Field Library (digital and physical ) that has been valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and growing. His focus is always getting the athlete's body and mind focused to compete at its best.

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Coach Derrick Johnson (Coach DJ) started running track as a freshman in high school at the behest of Mike Williams, a teammate of his who became a lifelong friend. Coach DJ started hurdling as a senior in high school. He ran up and through college on a Division I scholarship as a 110 meter and 400 meter hurdler obtaining National rankings, AAU All America status and being an ACC finalist. Coach DJ's first coaching experience was helping a very good friend and teammate to prepare for the 1988 US Jr. Nationals. Steve Brown won the 110H at US Jr. Nationals and placed 2nd at World Jrs.

From 1990-1997 Coach DJ was the Hurdle Coach working with the 1998 Washington Post All-Met Head Coach of the Year, the late Great Kenneth Carter at his Alma Mata Archbishop Carroll. He coached 13 student athletes throughout his Carroll experience and was able to coach two of these student athletes Christopher Ezell and Aaron Harris their entire high school career. In 1997 Carroll won the WCAC Track Championships and both Chris and Aaron accomplished the Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met. Chris & Aaron were also ranked 1st and 2nd Top Performers in the DMV in the 110 meter hurdles respectively. Aaron & Chris were additionally ranked 1st and 2nd Top Performers in the DMV in the 400 meters hurdles respectively all in 1997. Both Chris and Aaron attended Division I Universities on scholarship, Howard University and East Carolina University respectively.

After a break to focus on Family, Coach DJ returned to Track and Field in 2007. From 2007 - 2012 Coach DJ was the Hurdle Coach for the Maryland Titans which was a competitive age group summer track program run by the legendary team Dave & Lexi Knight. Student athletes that participated with the Titans ran the hurdles from ages 11 to 18 years old. The student athletes that were high school age came from all over the DMV area. Coach DJ worked with Marquis Woodyard, Maryland’s 2009 Class 4A 110 and 300 meter hurdle champion, Gatorade Maryland Track & Field Athlete of the Year and ESPN Rise High School Top Performer in 2009. Simultaneously, Coach DJ did some beginning hurdle work with Alexus Pyles, who was an exceptional hardworker and student of the hurdles from Day 1. She later became one of Maryland's Most Decorated Hurdlers. In the same year, Coach DJ also introduced Gwen Shaw to the hurdles. She was 14 years old. This was the Summer before she attended T.S. Wootton High School. Gwen placed 3rd in the 2011 USATF Jr. Olympics National Championships 100 meter hurdles and 2nd in their 400 meter hurdles. She also placed 5th at the 2011 AAU National Jr Olympics in the 400H. In 2012 she was the AAU National Club Champion in the 400m. From 2009 to 2010 Coach DJ coached Brionne Pyles, introducing her to the hurdles at age 11. She became the 2010 AAU National Jr. Olympic Sub-Midget Champion in 80 meter hurdles. In the Summer of 2011, Sylvia Deppen of T.S. Wootton High School was an AAU National Qualifier for the 400 meter hurdles.

From 2010- 2014 Coach DJ was the Hurdle Coach for Wootton with Personal Fitness & Cross Country GURU Head Coach Kellie Redmond. He coached 5 girls and 3 boys. Three of these student athletes, Gwen Shaw, Sylvia Deppen and Alan Banks, accomplished top honors. Gwen Shaw was a 5-time 4A MD State Champion (400m twice, 55H, 100H, 300m). voted her “Freshman of the Year” in 2009. She was voted Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met three-time. The Washington Post listed her “All Area-All Stars First Team” in 2010. She was 2013 Penn Relays 400m hurdle runner-up. Gwen graduated as a full scholarship student athlete at the University of Louisville. Sylvia Deppen was a 2-time 4A MD State Champion (500m & 300H). In 2013 she posted the fastest wind legal 100m time (11.97) in Maryland, topping a Star Studded Field. Sylvia graduated as a student athlete from Harvard University. Alan Banks was the 2014 300 meter hurdle 4A State Champion. Alan was a student athlete graduating from Bowdoin College.

From 2011- 2015 Coach DJ was the Hurdle Coach for Elizabeth Seton with two-time Washington Post All-Met Head Coach of the Year, Omar Wilkins. At Seton, Coach DJ coached a number of multi-talented student athletes. They were equally talented in field events, sprints and hurdles. Taylor Tucker was one of them. She was Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met and 5x WCAC Champion Hurdler (3x-300H & 2x100H). Taylor graduated from the University of Maryland as a student athlete on scholarship. During the 2012 Season, Taylor paired up with Javonne Antoine, Eva-Mallay Atcherson, & Chelsie Stevens to set the US#1 time for a PG Sportsplex Fieldhouse & Maryland State record in the 4x55 SHR in a time of 32.06. 

From 2013 to 2019 Coach DJ coaches High School Girl's hurdles for the Preeminent Glenarden Track Club under Coach Henry McCallum. Coach Henry connected Coach DJ with Coach Joe Lee. Coaching at Glenarden led him to work with numerous talented athletes and already well skilled hurdlers which caused an elevation to his skill set.

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From 2015 to present Coach DJ has been the Hurdle Coach with two-time Washington Post All Met Head Coach of the Year, Joe Lee. He has had the distinct pleasure of coaching a multitude of multi-talented athletes both boys and girls at Bullis. For the boys: Eric Allen Jr. was indeed one of the Top HS Sprinters (55, 60, 100, 200, & 300) in the country. Austin Allen was an accomplished and high profiled HS long jumper. Ashton Allen was one of the Top HS Sprinters (200, 300 & 400) in the country.  Eric and Austin hurdled for the IAC conference championship. Eric was IAC Champ in the 110H in 2016 & 2017. Austin was 2017 & 2018 IAC 300H Champion. Ashton in his freshman years was MD#4 in the 60m hurdles. Eric Allen graduated from USC as a student athlete.  Austin Allen started as a student athlete there and Ashton Allen is a current student athletes at USC. In 2019 Andre Turay transferred to Bullis for his Senior year. He was already a talented athlete & hurdler however he pr’ed indoors in both the 55m hurdles and the 60m hurdles in which he was ranked#1 in Maryland and #3 in US. Additionally he pr’ed outdoors in the 110m hurdles and captured the Maryland State record for the event and was ranked #5 in the US. He was the Maryland State Gatorade Player of the Year and Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met in 2019. He signed a full scholarship to The University of Miami.

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For the girls: During the 2017 Indoor season Bullis became the 3rd fastest shuttle hurdle relay school of all time to date and claimed the PG Sportsplex Fieldhouse & Maryland State record from Elizabeth Seton. The team was Cierra Pyles, Lindsay Lewis, Brionne Pyles and Alexis Postell. Brionne Pyles graduated from Wake Forest University as a student athlete. Brionne is currently the Hurdle Coach at Northwest High School. Alexis was MD#1 in the 60m hurdles in 2016 & 2017. She was MD#1 in the 55m hurdles in 2017. Alexis Postell graduated from NC State as a scholarship student athlete. In 100m hurdles Lindsay was MD#8 and MD#5 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.  Lindsay graduated from the Naval Academy as a student, cadet & athlete. In 2017 there were also a great group of 400m hurdlers Leah Phillips, Ayanna Johnson, and Masai Russell. Leah was MD#7 in the 400H and MD#5 in the 300H. Ayanna was MD #4 in the 400H. Ayanna graduated as a student athlete at UMBC. Also in 2017 Masai made the U20 National Team. She got 3rd at the Pan Am U20 Games in Peru, finished a Maryland State record and a US #3 in the 400H. 

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During the 2018 Indoor season Bullis bettered the Maryland State record, captured the National Championship and broke the National record in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay. The team of Cierra, Pyles, Masai Russell, Leah Phillips, and Lauryn Harris. Individually  in the 55H, Masai, Leah and Cierra all ran sub 8 and were ranked US#9, #12, and #18 respectively and MD #1, #2, and #4 respectively. Masai's time was a Maryland State record at the time (7.81). During the 2018 Outdoors season our Shuttle Hurdle Relay team ran the 2nd fastest time in history (54.95). The team comprised of Lauryn, Cierra, Leah and Ashley Wallace. Masai ran a US#1 300H (40.16). It is a Maryland State record and the 5th fastest of All-time. Masai became Penn Relays 400H Champion and achieved the Washington Post 2018 Athlete of the Year. Masai graduated from the University of Kentucky as a scholarship student athlete and College Record Holder in the 100 Meter Hurdles. In 2018 Outdoors Leah, Masai, Cierra and Lauryn all ran under 14 seconds in the open 100H (13.68, 13.80, 13.93, 13.97 respectively). Cierra was Washington Post 1st Team All-Met. Cierra graduated from The Ohio State University as a student athlete. attends Graduate School at Virginia Tech as a student athlete.

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During the 2019 Indoor season Leah, Ashley, and Lauryn ran sub 8 in the open 55H and were US#14 (7.93), US#15 (7.95) and US#20 (7.97) respectively serving MD#1,#2,& #3. During the Outdoor season in 2019, the team of Leah, Lauryn, Ashley and Jordyn Jeffers became National Champions winning the Shuttle Hurdle Relay (56.74 a US#1 that year).  Leah, Lauryn and Ashley achieved sub 14 seconds in the open 100H,13.56, 13.66 & 13.94 respectively US#12, #17, #41 serving MD#1, #2, #3. The accomplished yielded Leah the 100H Maryland State record at that time. Leah also ran a US#3 and MD #1 time in the 300H (40.82). Outdoors 2017, 2018, and 2019 Leah captured MD#1 in the 100H in a time of 13.94, 13.68, and 13.56 respectively. Leah also achieved the Washington Post 2019 Athlete of the Year. Jordyn Jeffers committed to attend and run for East Carolina University.

Lauryn Harris was Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met. Lauryn graduated from the University of Miami as a student athlete.

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From 2018 to present Coach Dave and Coach DJ have been pilot testing Tachyon during the summertime. Their 1st graduating HS student athlete was in 2020, her name is Nyia Cummings. Nyia started with Tachyon in 2018, her accomplishments in such a short time was nothing short of phenomenal. She became 2x State Champion, 4x First Team VISAA, 3x Second Team VISAA, VISAA State MVP, ISL First- Team,  US top 50 in the 500 meters,  Washington Post ALL-Met Honorable Mention, SSSAS Athlete of the Year, SSSAS Track and Field MVP, Alexandria Sportsman Club Athlete of the Year. She received full and partial scholarships from numerous Division I schools. She chose to commit to Cornell University as a student athlete.




In 2020 Indoors Leah Phillips was US #1, MD#1 & captured the Maryland State Record in the 55H(7.72), US#2, MD#1 captured the Maryland State Record in the 60H (8.31) and US#3, MD#1 & captured the Maryland State Record in the 200 (23.68). Leah was also Washington Post 1st Team ALL-Met. Leah signed a full scholarship to run track at LSU.

Ashley Wallace was US#3 & MD#3 All-Time in the 55H (7.84). Ashley signed a scholarship to run track at  University of Kansas.

The 2020 Indoor season ended prior to Nationals through 2021 Outdoor season was cancelled all due to Covid-19. 

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From 2020 Outdoors to 2021 Outdoors during the Pandemic, Coach Dave and Coach DJ were very creative adhering to CDC and local guidelines, but still  providing safe environments for athletes to train.   

Through it all, Tachyon was able to assist athletes in very good progression. Among them were:

Outdoors 2020:

-Noelle Foss was MD#1 in the 100M.

Indoors 2021:

-Myla Greene was MD#1 & US#19 in the 55H

-Jada Pierre was MD#1, US #7 & MD#4 All-Time in the 60H. She was MD# 2in the 60M.

-Noelle Foss was MD# 2 in the 55M.

-Gabrielle White was MD#1 & US#1 among Middle Schoolers, winning the 60H in 8.69 at the 1st Adidas Indoors Nationals. That time is currently a Middle School US#4 All-time in front of names like Tia Jones & Akala Garrett.

Outdoors 2021:

-Myla Greene was MD#1 in the 100H, 300H, & 400H. Her mark in the 400H ranked US#7.

-Spencer Settle was MD#2 in the 400H.

During this time we saw Jade Pierre sign to University of Virginia as a student athlete, She later transferred to San Diego State on a Full Scholarship; Noelle Foss sign to George Mason University as a student athlete and Spencer Settle sign to University of Maryland Eastern Shore as a student athlete.


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In 2022 Indoors Myla Greene was MD#1 & US#5 in the 55H(7.92). She was Indoors 1st team Washington Post All-Met. The 4x55m Shuttle Hurdle Team of Myla, Kennedy Flynn, Gabrielle White and Madison Smith were US#2 & MD#1 capturing the Silver medal at NBIN in a time of 32.46  

Outdoors 2022, the same Shuttle Hurdle Team achieved a US#1 performance won the NBON 4x100m Shuttle Hurdle Relay in a time 56.53.

Gabrielle White won Freshman Girls NBON 100H (14.47).

Myla Greene won the 400H at NBON (58.27) a US#2 mark. Myla accomplished 2nd in the NBON 100H (13.57). Myla established herself as a National contender placing 3rd and 4th respectively in the 400H & 100H at the USATF U20 National Championships running 58.61 & 13.50.

Her 13.50 was wind legal and broke her previous teammates, Leah Phillips, Maryland State Record. 

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During the Indoor Season 2023, Myla Greene recorded a MD#3 All-Time 55H mark (7.84) & a MD#2 All-Time 60H mark (8.34). Kennedy Flynn captured MD All-Time marks in the 55H & 60H #5 (7.89) & #6 (8.52) respectively. Sophomore Gabrielle White and Freshman Kassidy Hopkins achieved Top of the Class, US#1 in their respective grades in the 60H.

Outdoors the magic continued as these young ladies won the NBON 4x100 Shuttle hurdles in a US#6 All-Time mark. All 4 of these young ladies qualified for U20's scoring Sub-14 times in the 100 hurdles. Kennedy ran 13.56, Kassidy 13.82, Gabrielle 13.92. Myla broke her Maryland State Record 3 times running 13.28 at the PUMA East Coast International Showcase, then she ran 13.27 in the preliminaries at U20s and topped it off with 13.10 capture not only a better state record, but the 9th fastest time in HS History and a spot on US U20 Pan Am Team. Myla also ran a personal best in the 400H - 58.17 MD#3 All-Time and another personal best in the 300H - 40.48 MD#2 All-Time. She also won the U20 Pan Am 100 Hurdles. Myla signed a full scholarship to be a student athlete at the University of Tennessee.

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