T.C. Williams Invitational: Titans carry the day, but Forest Park’s Ricky Morgan stars, too

May 3, 2014

T.C. Williams sophomore Josephus Lyles smiled, shook his head and put his arm around Forest Park senior Ricky Morgan shortly after the 400-meter dash concluded at the 32nd T.C. Williams Invitational on Saturday. Morgan’s kick on the final turn boosted him to a time of 48.62 seconds, besting Lyles’s 49.74 for first place.

But Lyles had a message for Morgan.

“I told him I wasn’t going to lose at states,” he said with a grin.

Of course, that was said at least partly in jest. The T.C. Williams and Forest Park programs see each other enough that there’s a mutual respect between them.

However, that quickly changes when the two teams are in the middle of a competition.

Morgan said it’s commonplace for the two sides to banter back and forth, but that they’ll shake hands and congratulate each other once it’s over.

“We talk trash to each other, but it’s friendly,” Morgan said. “I told him before the race that I was going to come get him.”

Added Lyles: “We’re all cool with Forest Park. But when we step on the track, we’re not friends anymore.”

Morgan, who will run at Southern California, combined his first-place win in the 400 with a second-place finish in the 100. Josephus Lyles’s brother, sophomore Noah Lyles, edged Morgan in the 100 finals, 10.78 to 10.93, with North Point’s DeSean White placing third with a 10.98.

“It was a confidence booster, going against two great athletes,” Morgan said, speaking of the Lyles brothers. “Both train with each other and see each other every day. For me to come in against them and beat one, it’s a confidence booster. But now I’ve got to get the other one.”

It was a superb all-around effort for Noah Lyles.

He earned the Donald Futrell Male Outstanding Performance Award trophy. He ran a first-place time of 21.34 in the 200, with Lackey senior Deyvon Howell (21.79) and Josephus Lyles (21.82) rounding out the top three.

“It was a good day, though I felt a little weak early,” Noah Lyles said. “I didn’t get out as hard, but that’s still a great time.”

Noah Lyles also placed second in the high jump by clearing 6 feet 2 inches and ran the anchor on the first-place boys’ 4x400 relay team (3:26.67).

His performance helped the T.C. Williams boys’ team win decisively with 145 points, with Oxon Hill (61) and Tallwood (39) coming in second and third.

T.C. Williams also won the girls’ meet with 73 points; Elizabeth Seton (49) and W.T. Woodson (45) finished second and third.

Osbourn’s Dominique Newman won the Beverly Lawson Female Outstanding Performance Award trophy as she won the 100 (12.43) and 200 (25.54).

Yorktown junior Kelly Hart continued her strong outdoor season with a first-place showing in the 800 (2:22.57). Hart said she normally sticks with the front pack before making a move late. However, her strategy changed as she decided to start fast and then aim to hold on to her early lead.

“The past two weeks I’ve really been able to get some more miles in and be where I want to be training-wise,” Hart said.

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