Penn Relays: Sean McGorty breaks mile meet record with year’s best U.S. high school time

April 26, 2013

Sean McGorty’s mile run looked so easy, so effortless, that it was almost a shock when the announcement echoed over the loudspeakers at Franklin Field on Friday.

A new Penn Relays record. The new No. 1 high school time in the U.S. this year.

One very happy Chantilly senior.

Distancing himself from the pack after 200 meters to seize control of the race, he finished in a spectacular 4 minutes, 4.47 seconds.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” McGorty said. “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.


Rashad Manning of Riverdale Baptist competes in the shot put competition during the 119th running of the Penn Relays. Manning, a sophomore, placed ninth with his throw of 57 feet, 6.5 inches. (Jonathan Newton/THE WASHINGTON POST)

At the 2012 Penn Relays, he was tripped up on his second lap, but running out in front eliminated that problem this year. Ben Malone (Pascack Valley, N.J.) made a late charge in the last 100 meters, but McGorty never appeared threatened.

“I just wanted to run my race, and if that meant me going to the lead I was fine with that,” the six-time All-Met said. “In the last 100, I pretty much believed that I had it, but I still wanted to give it my all because Ben Malone’s kick is one of the best.”

Loudoun County’s Patrick Josephalso finished under the old Penn record of 4:08.07, taking third in 4:07.88.

Over in the shot put, one comical encounter with the media summed up Rashad Manning’s promising future.

One of his Riverdale Baptist coaches hustled over while he was talking to a reporter and flipped his credential over, to be certain his athlete was being interviewed, not recruited.

It’s easy to forget Manning is only a sophomore, and talking with college coaches off-campus is an NCAA no-no.

The All-Met performer may not have won at the Penn Relays, taking ninth overall with a throw of 57 feet, 6.5 inches. Yet he maintained an optimistic, if disappointed, outlook after Bridgeton’s (N.J.) Braheme Days, Jr., (67-8.25) won the event.

Chantilly’s Sean McGorty is one of the nation’s top distance runners, but running is a family affair for the McGorty’s. His parents were both Division I track and field athletes and Sean and his younger brothers are carrying on the family legacy. (James Sherrill for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

“I will always want more,” Manning said. “The thing that hurts me is I know I’m not going to get this opportunity to place as a 10th-grader.”

In the company of upperclassmen at one of the world’s most prestigious high school meets, he’s already ahead of schedule with a top-10 finish.

“I want to do stuff that hasn’t been done before, but it does give me some encouragement that I have two years left,” Manning said.

In other local results, the Westfield 4x800-meter boys relay team, with a second-place overall finish (7:47.09), earned a chance to defend its Penn title Saturday. West Springfield also qualified for the championship race (7:55.43), just ahead of South Lakes (7:55.93), which came up one spot short of making the cut for the finals.

In the 4x400 girls’ championship, Woodbridge (3:44.41) put up the second-best American time and took sixth overall. Bowie (47.83) and South County (48.03) were fifth and sixth, respectively in the 4x100 large schools’ championship, and the McNamara girls (48.04) took sixth in the 4x100 small girls’ division.

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