Track and field; West Springfield girls win fourth straight major distance medley relay

June 15

When West Springfield’s girls won the distance medley relay at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet a year ago, it was a complete surprise for a group hoping to finish in the top 10.

On Sunday, the same group completed its fourth consecutive major title and second outdoor national championship at this year’s New Balance meet in Charlotte.

The team of All-Met Athlete of the Year Caroline Alcorta, Katie Kennedy, Michelle Lipka and Reagan Bustamante completed the relay, which consists of distances of 1,200 meters, 400, 800 and 1,600, in 11 minutes 39.45 seconds. In addition to last year’s outdoor nationals win, the team won at this season’s New Balance Indoor Nationals meet and at Penn Relays.

Following the relay, Alcorta said the group of girls got together and had one last celebration, knowing this was the last relay they’d run together.

“We couldn’t believe that one year later we could accomplish all of this,” Alcorta said.

Alcorta ran the 1,600 anchor and said she ran a 4:45. Kennedy, a senior, gutted out an ankle injury to be a part of the national champion relay.

“Comparing it from last year to this year, it makes it really special,” Alcorta said. “Last year it was a surprise. We’ve come so far. It’s my last high school relay and I was able to finish it with such amazing girls.”

T.C. Williams sophomore Josephus Lyles won a national championship in the boys’ 400-meter race with a time of 46.23. Not only is that a personal best for Lyles, but he now has the second-best time nationally in the 400. Since April, Lyles has dropped his 400 time by almost two full seconds.

Lyles’s brother, sophomore Noah Lyles, placed second in Sunday’s 200-meter final with a time of 21.00, which followed a personal-best 20.82 preliminary run.

DeMatha junior Darryl Haraway finished fourth with a time of 21.17 and Josephus Lyles placed seventh in 21.75. Haraway’s fourth-place showing followed Saturday’s outing in which he won a national championship in the 100 by posting a time of 10.20. That time is the second-best time in the nation.

“The goal was for Darryl to have a great start and execute in all phases,” DeMatha Coach Leon Snyder said.

Edison junior Nicie Jenell Grier-Spratley placed fourth nationally in the high jump by clearing 5 feet 7 ¾ inches. St. Albans senior Tai Dinger ran a 4:08.23 in the one-mile run, giving him a silver medal. Riverdale Baptist senior John Hightower finished fifth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 53.22.

This meet took place over a three-day period from Friday through Sunday. On Friday, Severna Park senior Ryan Forsyth placed sixth in the 5,000 in 14:39.52. On Saturday, the Bowie boys’ 4x200 team claimed a national championship with a time of 1:26.52. The West Springfield girls’ 4x800 team won a bronze medal with a timed 8:58.32.

Stone Bridge senior D’Ante Yarborough finished fourth nationally in the 110 hurdles but broke 14 seconds with a time of 13.96. Loudoun Valley sophomore Andrew Hunter placed second in the two-mile with a time of 8:53.81.

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