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Lauren Hoffman’s hurdles title is worth the wait at the Virginia 6A North region track and field meet

Lauren Hoffman thought she might linger on the track forever. The Battlefield junior toed the starting line for the 100-meter hurdles finals — the opening event of Friday night’s Virginia 6A North region track and field meet at Robinson — at 6 p.m., and she found herself in the same position nearly an hour later, her race still yet to officially begin.

The meet began 55 minutes behind schedule because of technical difficulties with the electronic timing system, and even after Hoffman crossed the finish line first, race organizers waved off the race because sensors didn’t detect the gun shot.

“I was very mad,” Hoffman said. “I already crossed the finish line and I saw him there with the flag. I was like, ‘Really? This was all for nothing.’ I was scared I was going to be tired for my next race.”

Fatigue proved a non-factor for Hoffman when she galloped across the finish line about 30 minutes later in 13.84 seconds. Her initial time of 13.60 was pushed since races were being hand-timed after the technical difficulties forced race officials to scramble for a quick fix.

Hoffman had already broken a 32-year-old meet record in the event in Thursday’s prelims, finishing in a blistering 14.10 seconds. Friday she was even better.

“Everybody was telling me I was going to get sub-14, and I didn’t really believe them,” Hoffman said. “I’m really proud of how I ran.”

The meet got even stranger when Chantilly junior Brandon McGorty — a decorated distance specialist in the 1,600- and 800-meter runs — took the blocks in the 400 meters. He decided to forgo his usual distance events at Robinson with an eye on next week's state meet.

“I was just trying to get a speed day in,” said McGorty, who finished fourth in the race. “We had districts last week, and I had a pretty long meet and my legs were kind of tired after that. Next week at states is when I’ll do my normal events again.”

South County's Trevor Stewart recorded a meet record of 46.44 seconds in the stacked event. The Stallions' speedster was aiming for a big day, but he didn't have a particular number or record in mind.

“I was just aiming to have some fun,” Stewart said. “That’s all you can really ask for.”

Robinson senior Maria Muzzio flexed her dominance in the throwing events. The Colorado State commit edged T.C. Williams’s Alexus Foreman with a shot put mark of 44 feet 11 inches, then won the discuss throw by nearly 11 feet with a mark of 136-2. Washington-Lee junior Benedict Draghi cruised in the shot put with 62-3 — nearly 10 feet further than the runner-up mark — and Thursday he posted 164-8 in the discuss, 13 feet clear of second.

T.C. Williams star Noah Lyles won the 100 in a meet record 10.14 seconds. His twin brother, Josephus, did not compete this week because of injury. Noah later broke his own meet record in the 200, finishing in 20.23 seconds to sweep the sprints.

Perhaps the meet's most impressive achievement came from Lake Braddock's renowned 4x800 meter relay squad on Thursday. Anchored by junior standout Kate Murphy, the foursome posted a U.S. No. 1 time of 8:57.61, the second-fastest in Virginia history in the event. Junior Shannon Browning led off and was followed by sophomore Samantha Schwers and junior Maddy Tippett.

Lake Braddock used points from the night’s final two events to edge Westfield for the girls’ team title, 103-96. In the boys’ team competition, T.C. Williams (98.5) took home the title and Lake Braddock (84) finished second.