Mount Vernon All-Met senior track star Sharon O'Connor looked at the clock after every lap yesterday afternoon at the Virginia AAA Northern Regional track and field championships at Thomas Jefferson High in Alexandria.
Time was her main competition and she wanted to break the meet records in the 800 and 1,600 events.
O'Connor shattered both records. She won the 1,600 in 4 minutes 47.41 seconds and the 800 in 2:12.40 during the two-day meet.
"My goal was to break the records [in the 800 and 1,600]," said O'Connor, who will run at the University of Virginia next fall. "I made sure I knew what time I needed to be at each lap."
O'Connor started both races the same, sprinting out to early leads with Jefferson All-Met sophomore Kelley Otstott on her heels until the end. O'Connor broke away from Otstott in the 1,600 with 250 meters left and from Otstott again in the 800 with about 200 meters left.
She broke a 12-year-old record in the 1,600 (4:49.89) set by Amy Colvin of Chantilly in 1987, and broke her own record (2:12.66) twice in the 800. In the trials, she ran in 2:12.19.
"[O'Connor] ran phenomenal," Mount Vernon Coach Charles Brown said. "She is an unbelievable athlete and she is the best distance runner I've ever coached."
West Potomac, though, won the girls regional team title with 88 points. All-Met senior Yolanda Thompson won the triple jump in 40 feet 7 1/2 inches and broke a 13-year-old record in the long jump at 19-10 1/4. The previous record was 19-9 by Carmen Mann of Falls Church in 1984.
In the boys events, Centreville, led by All-Met Rickey Harris and senior Raphael Delgado, captured the team title with 93 points. Harris won the 100 (10.81), 110 hurdles (14.07) and 300 hurdles (38.61). He set a new regional record in the 110 hurdles, shattering the record of 14.34 seconds set by Paul Southern of Lake Braddock in 1981. Delgado won the 200 (21.94) and 400 (48.62).
Individually for the girls, Chantilly All-Met junior Alyssa Aiken had a comparable day to O'Connor, winning the 100 (12.06), 300 hurdles (43.03) and 200 (23.94). All three marks were new regional records.
Note: The top six individuals and top three teams qualify for the Virginia AAA state championships at Norfolk State University on June 4-5.
CAPTION: Thomas Jefferson senior Nicole Snyder hands off baton to teammate Kathleen O'Malley in girl's 4x800 meter event.