STATE RECORD SUNDAY!
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS BOYS 4x400 - WESTERN BRANCH 3:11.09 *NEW STATE RECORD*
Western Branch Boys 4x400 Race Video
Western Branch Boys 4x400 Interview
NATIONAL RUNNER-UP BOYS 4x100 - FOREST PARK 40.55 *NEW STATE RECORD*
Forest Park Boys 4x100 Race Video
MICHAEL CHERRY BECOMES 3-TIME NATIONAL CHAMP IN 400 (46.06)!
Michael Cherry 400m Race Video
Michael Cherry Interview
NOT A SINGLE SENIOR AMONG WEST SPRINGFIELD GIRLS NATIONAL CHAMPION DMR (11:51)!
West Springfield girls DMR Race Video
West Springfield girls DMR Interview
NATHAN KILEY - VA #7 All-Time 800! 1:49.99! (4th place)
Championship Event Highlights:
- It was only fitting after the historic weekend by the Western Branch program and the rest of the state of Virginia at the 2013 New Balance Nationals for the last race of the meet in the fast section of the boys 4x400 to finish with the Western Branch to pull away with the national title on the final stretch with a 46.01 anchor leg split by 400 hurdles All-American Byron Robinson for his team to claim the national title and even more impressively break the state record of 3:11.76 by the 1985 Bethel squad with their US #2 time of 3:11.09!
- The Western Branch girls almost added another All-American relay to their big weekend of top 6 finishes in both championship and emerging elite division races. The Lady Bruins clocked a season best time of 3:51.72, which placed them 7th overall in the event.
- The West Springfield girls DMR of Katie Kennedy (3:41 1200), Michelle Lipka (1:01 400), Reagan Bustamante (2:19 800), and Caroline Alcorta (4:50 1600) became national champions as Alcorta on the anchor leg was able to rundown New York's Warwick Valley squad for the Lady Spartans to claim victory in a school record time of 11:51.46. With three juniors and one freshem in Bustamante, next year looks ever brighther for the West Springfield girls to go even faster. Alcorta was doubling back from a 10:19 All-American finish in the two mile last night.
- Noah Lyles of T.C. Williams is certainly on pace to become a national champion someday after earning All-American honors as a freshmen in the 200 meter dash finals at the New Balance Nationals with a 21.59 clocking into a brisk (-1.9) headwind.
- Forest Park boys nearly pulled out a national title in the 4x100 meter relay as they were trying to make up for the DNF at the indoor nationals in the 4x200 as only a hundredth of a second separated them from first place Edna Karr (40.54) with a new state record time in the 4x100 meter relay at 40.55! The Forest Park boys just squeaked out setting the new record in their final try at it but got it done as they broke the old state record set by the 1993 Penn Relays champions T.C. Williams (40.56). Forest Park only graduates one leg from their relay, so there a chance for them to lower the time in the 2014, but Joshua Washington will be tough to replace.
- Tallwood junior Steven Dunbar finally broke through and got over 7 feet cleanly in the high jump. 7'0.25" to be exact for the Group AAA indoor and outdoor state champion as only earlier misses at lower heights prevented him from winning the national title over Miles Bearden of Georgia as Dunbar had to settle as the national runner-up, but had to be pleased with become a 7 footer in the high jump.
- Two-time Group AAA state outdoor high jump champion Crystal Jones of Colonial Forge earned All-American honors with a clearance of 5'6.50" to insert her into fourth place in the championship division of the girls' high jump.
- The Great Bridge girls were able to best 3 other relays in the finals of the 4x100 meter relay to secure their spots on the All-American podium in the 4x100 meter relay with a fifth place finals clocking of 47.46.
- Oscar Smith senior Michael Cherry successfully defended his New Balance Outdoor National title in the 400 meter dash with a 46.06 clocking. Cherry finishes his high school career with 3 national titles as well as national record indoors at 300 meters and 7 state championships. Cherry was looking to break 46 seconds for the first time, but fell short just of breaking that time barrier as he did at the AAA State Meet two weeks ago as well in a 46.02 performance. Joining him on the All-American podium and maybe next year it will be him as the national champion was Forest Park junior Ricky Morgan running his first sub 47 second performance with a 5th place clocking of 46.67.
- Patrick Henry freshmen Tiffany Harris had a strong showing as the lone Virginia entrant in the championship girls 400 division with a 10th place time of 55.30. Harris clocked one of the fastest times ever in state history by a 9th grader two weeks ago at the Group AAA State Meet with a fourth place finish of 54.85 in the 400 finals.
- Nathan Kiley of Westfield shocked the fast section at the indoor nationals winning the national title back in March from a slower section. At the outdoor nationals, Kiley found himself going head to head with the top seeds in fast section against even better competition assembled in Greensboro than at the Armory, which helped push Kiley and pull him to a new personal best and first time under 1:50 in a smoking time of 1:49.99 for All-American honors in fourth place. The UVA recruit Kiley now ranks VA #7 all-time in the event behind an impressive list of names in Alan Webb (1:47.74 - 2001), RIchard Smith (1:48.94 - 2002), Sharif Karie (1:49.61 - 1997), Anthony Kostelac (1:49.78 - 2010), Ahmed Bile (1:49.85 - 2012), and Seneca Lassiter (1:49.90 - 1995).
- In a deep national 800 meter field with 25 girls who ran 2:12 or faster in Sunday, Virginia's top two finishers in the event were Hidden Valley's Carolyn Bethel (19th, 2:11.68) and Midlothian's Tessa Riley (21st, 2:11.92). After running a 17:06 5K PR on the track two days before, Bethel finished her high school career with another PR in the 800 after pulling off the rare distance triple two weeks ago in Harrisonburg in winning the Group AA 3200, 1600, and 800 meter titles. A new PR for Riley as well as she will be staying North Carolina this comming fall while attending Wake Forest.
- Only a mere freshmen, Noah Lyles of T.C. Williams has qualified to compete in the finals of the 200 meter dash in Greensboro after rolling in his preliminary heat with a 21.38 clocking (4th fastest overall). Both Forest Park's Josh Washington (9th, 21.79) and Lakeland's Andrea Wright (10th, 24.70) were just on the outside looking in of the finals and off the top 8 cut-off time.
- Western Branch senior Byron Robinson clocked one of the fastest times ever in state history in the 400 meter hurdles (Centreville's Rickey Harris ran 50.17 in 2000 USATF Junior Nationals. State record is 50.02 by Gar-Field's Patrick Mann from 1984) and certainly the fastest over the last dozen years in the event with his All-American 3rd place showing of 51.01. The Penn State recruit Robinson dropped over two seconds from his previous best in the event despite running in several relay races on Friday and Saturday for the Bruins including on the national champion swedish SMR. Booker T. Washington's Rodney Johnson won his section in 53.44 to place 9th overall in the 400 hurdles.
- Atlee sophomore India Lowe has made an incredible late-season surge and seemed to get better each race in championship season as she went from being the second or third best hurdler in the Central Region earlier in the season to being an All-American and third place in the nation with a 1:01.09 performance in her first try at the 400 meter hurdles.
- The 4xmile event keeps getting faster and faster each year at the national meets and this year was no exception as both the Chantilly boys (9th, 17:38) and Blacksburg girls (8th, 20:55) ran times which just a couple of years ago would have put them in contention for the win, but were off the leaders in this year's incredibly tough fields. Chantilly got a 4:13 anchor leg from Sean McGorty doubling back from his 8:45 two mile victory last night, but were still 14 seconds off the 6th place and final All-American spot. The Blacksburg girls had no one particular standout leg but had a tight range between 5:10 to 5:16 for the splits of their four legs to keep them up there in the top half of the field.
Emerging Elite Event Highlights:
- Coming off a very successful state meet in which they won relay state titles for Group AA in the 4x100 and 4x400, the Northside girls wrapped up a stellar spring season by running one of the fastest times ever by a Group AA school in the 4x400 meter relay with a runner-up finish in the emerging elite division of 3:56.19. The McLean boys just missed making the top 6 for awards in the emerging elite boys 4x400 with their 7th overall place time of 3:23.03 after winning their slower section.
- Glen Allen's Stanley Davis led a strong showing of Virginians in the emerging elite boys 400 hurdles as the champion in the event with a 53.64 victory following his win in the same event at the MileStat.com Elite Gala last week. The state of Virginia had 3 of the top 4 finishers in the event with Davis, Battlefield's Alex Merritt (2nd, 54.52) and Colonial Forge's Desmond Weinberg-Jones (4th, 54.86). South County junior EnNijah Majors was the top VA performer in the girls' race with a 10th place time of 1:04.31.
- Western Branch's Tyson Robinson got to enjoy the awards ceremony at nationals like his older brother Byron did in the championship 400 hurdles. The Western Branch junior Tyson Robinson dropped a second and a half off his previous PR for a runner-up time at 1:53.36 in the emerging elite division as he nearly pulled out the win coming from the slower section in the event.
- Chantilly had arguably its greatest distance runner ever in Sean McGorty wrap up his high school career this weekend in Greensboro. Similarly, another all-time great distance runner for the Chantilly program concluded her high school career in Group AAA state outdoor 1600 meter runner-up Kendall Cowne on Sunday in the emerging elite 800. Cowne picked up one final medal to add to her awards collection with a fourth place showing of 2:12.69.
- The Lake Braddock boys set a new school record in the DMR with a time of 10:29.51 to grab four medals for each leg in 5th place. The lone senior on the relay with three other sophomores was Nick Tuck, who anchored with a 4:21 1600 split to put his team into the top 6.
- Brunswick's Donmanqiue Hardy was a medalist in the emerging elite boys long jump with a fifth place mark of 22'8.50".
- Group AA state shot put champion Younique Morgan of Brunswick threw for a personal best mark of 41'8.75" to garner a medal and fifth place showing in her specialty at North Carolina A&T. She was joined in the awards by another Virginia and Group AA thrower in Hidden Valley's Breontae Crump (6th, 39'11.25").
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