New Balance Nationals - VA Saturday Highlights


Most teams and coaches wish they just had one great hurdler. Western Branch girls has a crew of them with nearly 4 sub 15 second hurdlers in the 100 hurdles this spring. Setting a new meet record and posting a US #2 all-time performance of 57.74 and averaging 14.44 per leg on Saturday at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina was the Western Branch shuttle hurdles relay team consisting of Milan Parks (top left), Irielle Little (top right), Funlayo Oluwole (bottom left), and Devin Heath (bottom right).


Interview with National Champion Shuttle Hurdles Relay from Western Branch (US #2 all-time 47.74)




Sean McGorty (Chantilly High School) 8:45.61
2013 New Balance Outdoor Nationals 2 Mile Champion
NEW VA High School 2 Mile State Outdoor Record Holder 
US #16 All-Time


Race Video of McGorty's 8:45 state record 2 mile victory

Championship Event Highlights:

  • The national title which eluded him in cross country (Foot Locker Nationals) and indoors (New Balance Indoor Nationals two mile) finally was earned by Chantilly senior Sean McGorty. Leading wire to wire, McGorty was able to shake off his final challenger in the last half mile to come away as the champion in a new Virginia high school state outdoor record time of 8:45.61! McGorty broke a 34 year old state record previously held by Oakton great Jim Hill who posted a hand-held time of 8:47.8 back in 1979. McGorty's time is also US #16 all-time in the event.
  • Woodside's Aaron Worrell leaped to a big opening mark of 50'9.50" to put the rest of the field in the boys' triple jump on notice before Jeremiah Green from Tampa, Florida went over 52 feet on his second attempt, which held up as the winning mark. Worrell's first mark was not challenged for second as he followed up his state meet record breaking mark of 51'5" from the Group AAA State Meet with a national runner-up finish in Greensboro. 
  • An incredible come back race for West Springfield junior Caroline Alcorta after her body shut down her and she collapsed at the state outdoor meet with a big lead in the 3200, Alcorta showed no fear putting it all on the track again in the championship girls 2 mile race to finish 5th for All-American honors and run a big PR time of 10:19.68 which ranks her VA #6 all-time in the event.
  • Hampton junior Chantel Ray came into the finals of the girls 100 hurdles with the third fastest time in the prelims and was able to maintain that position in her finals race with a 13.78 clocking to earn her second All-American honors of her junior year following a top 6 finish in the 60 meter hurdles at the indoor nationals back in March at the Armory.
  • Grassfield senior Andrew Hines threw for over 60 feet for the second time this season with a new personal best mark of 60'7.25" to become a first-time All-American in the shot put with a fifth place showing in the championship division of the boys' shot put for the Group AAA state outdoor champion.
  • Glen Allen High School's Ben Greene was able to hold onto his 5th place position in day 2 of events in the octatholon with a final score of 4,886 points to become his school's first All-American in track & field. 
  • Two Virginia squads are moving onto the finals of the boys 4x100 meter relay with Group AAA state champions and VA #2 all-time 4x100 in Forest Park (4th, 41.35) and Western Branch (6th, 42.17). Forest Park boys were second in their prelim heat behind the top qualifier and favorites for the finals in Florida's Lakewood High School (40.94).
  • Great Bridge was able to edge ou their Southeastern District rivals Western Branch for the 8th and final spot in the championship girls 4x100 meter relay finals as they caught Western Branch's anchor leg in the final strides of their preliminary heat for a total time of 47.47 compared to Western Branch just falling short of being in contention for more relay medals at 47.48 for 9th fastest overall.  
  • The Western Branch girls ran a US #2 all-time performance in the shuttle hurdle relay with their 57.74 relay. Their program has produced great depth in the hurdles over recent years which has played a major role in their team's success at the regional and state level as well as shown today at the national level. Their near national record breaking group of hurdlers on Saturday at North Carolina A&T included Milan Parks, Irielle Little, Funlayo Oluwole, and Devin Heath. 
  • Liberty Christian Academy's Gena Penick threw just off a new personal best distance for her at 136 feet and 10 inches in the discus throw to make herself into an All-American with a fifth place showing in the championship division of the event. Next best performers from Virginia in the event were Battlefield's Galissia Cause (11th, 131'7") and Nansemond River's Zakiya Rashid (19th, 123'7"). 
  • The Chantilly boys SMR didn't need Sean McGorty to become All-Americans in the event. Running without their top runner McGorty (who will be later racing as one of the favorites in the 2 mile), the Chantilly boys finished 5th in the 1600 sprint medley relay with a strong time of 3:29.28. Logan Miller really stepped up on the 800 meter anchor leg for Chantilly with a 1:54.2 split, while Johanan Sowah split under 50 seconds on the 400 leg prior to handing off to Miller.  The Hermitage boys also joined Chantilly on the All-American awards podium as their time of 3:29.83 from a slower section was able to place them 6th overall in the event. 
  • Two Prince William County distance runners competed in the boys 2K steeplechase and faired admirably with Osbourn Park's Jacob Black finishing 21st with a time of 6:21, while Battlefield's Connor Lee placed 26th in a time of 6:26.
  • Group AAA 110 meter hurdles state runner-up D'Aante Yarborough of Stone Bridge was able to just slip into the finals of the 110 meter hurdles later in the meet as he qualified based on time with his 14.28 preliminary performance. Yarborough happened to be an incredibly fast heat as 5 athletes from his heat made it from his preliminary race and only 3 others qualified from the other two heats. He will try to edge out a few more that defeated in the first round in the finals to break into the top 6 for All-American.
  • Hampton junior Chantel Ray looked very smooth and impressive in winning her preliminary heat of the 100 meter hurdles at nationals with a 13.86 clocking. Ray will be seeded third into the finals and a top 2 or 3 finish at nationals would be great momentum for her senior year as she looks to become one of the state's fastest ever in the high hurdles indoors and outdoors after breaking the Group AAA state meet record two weeks ago (13.69).
  • Two-time Group AAA state 100 meter dash champion Mustaqeem Williams of Forest Park suffered his first defeat at 100 meters this season, but his second place finishing time of 10.48 in his preliminary heat moves him onto the outdoor nationals championship finals which he will be seeded as the 5th fastest qualifier in. The junior Williams was an All-American honors in the 60 meter dash at the New York Armory and is attempting to accomplish the same feat outdoors in Greensboro in the 100 meter dash.
  • Kiera Brown of Great Bridge was able to grab the 8th and final spot to advance onto the girls' 100 meter dash finals as the 8th fastest qualifier with a 12.03 clocking. Brown has really come on strong at the end of her senior year to come out of nowhere and surpass many of the state's top sprinters and win the Group AAA state 100 dash title two weeks ago at the Todd Stadium with a personal best 11.82 clocking. Brown will need to get down to her personal best time in the finals to try and move up into a top 6 finish for All-American honors. 
  • The Western Branch boys continued their big weekend down in Greensboro. After winning the national title in the swedish SMR yesterday and also placing high and earning medals in other emerging elite events, the Bruins were back on the awards podium again in the 4x200 meter relay with one of the fastest times recorded ever indoor or outdoor in the event with a third place clocking of 1:26.42. The 4x200 is rarely contested outdoors, but no Virginia relay has ran faster in the event than Western Branch's performance today in the era (dating back to 2000). It could potentially be a state record in the event as well. 
  • Nansemond River, the indoor state champions in the Group AAA girls 4x200 meter relay, jumped at the opportunity to run the event again on a 400 meter track at the outdoor nationals their quartet of Kiearia Middloton, Kara Lyles, Mia McClain, and Brandee Johnson clocked a smoking time of 1:40.47 to garner them a third place All-American finish in the event. Middleton is the lone graduating senior year of the Nansemond River squad, while their top leg Johnson is a freshmen and just posted a 56 second time in the open 400 yesterday in Greensboro.


Emerging Elite or Freshmen Event Highlights

  • Midlothian senior Kara Dickerson achieved a new personal best in the 2 mile run of 10:53.53 (previous 3200 PR of 10:53) to finish 5th in the emerging elite girls division race as her final high school race before she heads off to the University of Virginia in the fall.
  • After running a 2 mile PR yesterday in the freshmen 2 mile race, Rappahannock County's Julia Wood came back on Saturday to earn a medal in the freshmen mile race with a sixth place effort of 5:14.64 for the Foot Locker South freshmen race champion from this past fall. Two freshmen from Virginia Beach also placed well in the freshmen miles with Rachel Boyce of Ocean Lakes (13th, 5:21) and Jonathan Lomogda of Cox as the top finisher for the boys in 20th place at 4:37.
  • The state of Virginia was well represented in the boys shot put for emerging elite with four of the top seven throwers led by Atlee sophomore Austin Cannon in third place with a mark of 53'4" followed by Marion's Jordan Propst (4th, 53'2.75") and Broadway's Jacob Dunlap (5th, 52'9.25") also earning medals, while Clover Hill's Jordan Smith just missed out on top 6 with a 7th place throw of 51'9.75". 
  • No finals qualifiers from the morning heats of the 200 meter dash with the fastest performers from Virginia in those races being South County's Kierra Rountree (13th, 25.31) for the girls and James Robinson's Ayo Raymond (13th, 22.49) as the two Northern Region sprinters were both the 13th fastest among the competitors in the prelims. 


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