What is it about the runners and jumpers of Northern Virginia? We learned recently of two youngsters from Fairfax City and Falls Church who are the fastest in the U.S. at their distances. But those were eight-year-olds. Now, high school seniors Felecia Majors of South County High in Lorton and Sean McGorty of Chantilly High are putting further emphasis on the claim that Northern Virginia is one of the leading sources of young track talent in America.
Majors, who played no organized sports before ninth grade, is being called possibly the greatest female athlete in Virginia high school history. In her indoor meets this year, she competed in SEVEN events – long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, 55 meters, 500 meters and 300 meters — and won all seven in the district meet, set a meet record by scoring in all seven in the regional meet, and then lifted South County to its first state title in any sport. She didn’t just lift them. She singlehandedly scored all of the team’s 52 points by winning the long jump and pole vault, placing second in three more events, and she became the first athlete in state history to score in seven events.
Majors has earned a scholarship to Tennessee, which just saw two of its women sprinters win Olympic gold in London. The Vols’ coaches reportedly have expressed concern about Majors overextending herself. But that wasn’t a problem at the recent Penn Relays, the most prestigious national meet for high schoolers, where entrants are limited to one event. Majors entered the long jump and won with a jump of 20 feet 3 inches, a personal best and 10th best in meet history.
“I’m still a little bit all over the place,” Majors told The Post’s Eric Detweiler. “I can’t help it. I just like to do everything. I can’t imagine giving up anything.”
McGorty also had a breakout performance at the Penn Relays. He won the mile in 4:04.47, which was the best high school time in the U.S. this year and smashed the Penn Relays meet record by more than three seconds (!!), which is something for a national meet first run in 1895. Loudoun County High School’s Patrick Joseph also broke the meet record, finishing third in 4:07.88.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” McGorty told The Post’s David Rutz. “Last year, it didn’t really go my way. To win in a place like this, it means a lot. To be part of its history, that’s even” better.
McGorty is headed to Stanford. He is the son of Vicki Verinder McGorty, a former state cross country and 1,600-meter champ at Langley High, and Kevin McGorty, a decathlete who competed in the U.S. Olympic trials in 1988 and 1992. McGorty has been dominating the region in cross country, the 1,500, the 1,600 and the 3,200 meter runs. In February at the Concorde District indoor meet, he ran the fastest time in the nation this year in the 3,200 and fifth-best ever in Virginia. He won the state 1,600 title, then took second in the two-mile at a national championship in New York in March.
McGorty and Majors are on track to join the path blazed by Reston’s Alan Webb and Burke’s Allen Johnson. Webb, who went to South Lakes High, remains the fastest American miler of all-time. He holds the record for the mile at the high school level, both indoors and out, as well as the fastest mile ever by an American, 3:46.91 — faster than Jim Ryun, Marty Liquori, Steve Smith, all of them.
Johnson, who graduated from Lake Braddock High, is one of the greatest hurdlers of all time. He won Olympic gold in the 110-meter hurdles in 1996, four outdoor and three indoor world championships, and still has the seventh-fastest time of all-time, 12.92. He also donated money to build the current track at Lake Braddock, the Allen Johnson Track of Champions.