HAMPTON, Va. — With a state championship on the line, the Lyles brothers weren’t letting anyone catch them.
Needing a meet-clinching win in the boys’ 6A 1,600-meter relay — the final event of the Virginia 5A/6A indoor track and field state championship meet at the Boo Williams Sportsplex — T.C. Williams juniors Noah Lyles and Josephus Lyles ensured no one came close.
The Titans’ relay team ran a time of 3 minutes 23.65 seconds to secure the boys’ 6A championship, winning the race in more than five seconds. T.C. Williams’s 70 points bested Western Branch’s 58. Robinson (36) finished third behind Western Branch (130) and Grassfield (40
In the second leg of the relay, Noah Lyles created a sizable gap that the competitors couldn’t overcome. Josephus Lyles never felt a runner near him on the anchor leg. Junior Mahlique Booth paced the Titans in the front pack to open the race, and senior Isaih Clarke kept T.C. Williams’s lead intact during the third leg.
The Lyleses also scored wins in their specialty events — Noah in the 300 (33.93) and Josephus in the 500 (1:03.57) — and the brothers finished first and second in the 55 dash. Noah narrowly edged Josephus at the finish line, 6.27 seconds to 6.28.
“It’s awesome, we’re so blessed,” Josephus said. “I saw Noah, and when we crossed the line I was so happy, not just for me but for him too.”
Said Noah: “I think I was more excited for him than me. But it was good to push out from everyone that was stuck at 6.28.”
Noah’s time is a U.S. No. 2 with Josephus tied with two others for the U.S. No. 3.
Westfield senior Johnny Pace ran a personal-best and U.S. No. 5 time of 4:16.10 to capture the 1,600-meter state title. Soon after his win, Pace found his father and the two embraced in a long hug to celebrate the moment.
“It’s a dream come true,” Pace said. “Getting in the state meet and winning has been a driving force in my life for the past six, seven months.”
Pace bolted ahead of the pack halfway through the race. From there, Pace held the lead and finished ahead of Lake Braddock senior Alex Corbett (4:19.01) and Fairfax senior Alex Maguire (4:19.77). A couple of hours later, Corbett won the boys’ 6A 3,200-meter race in 9:24.86.
Lake Braddock sophomore Kate Murphy pulled away from her competition with 800 meters left to win the 3,200 in 10:39.17. Murphy also won the 1,600 in a new U.S. No. 2 time of 4:51.30. Patriot sophomore Rachel McArthur ran a U.S. No. 3 time of 4:53.17 in a second-place finish.
“It was good because in the past I’ve been just going for the win,” Murphy said. “Now I can go for the time. I was going for 4:50 but I’m okay.”
Chantilly sophomore Brandon McGorty won the boys’ 6A 1,000 in 2:28.91, giving him his second gold medal of the meet. McGorty was a part of the 3,200-meter relay team that finished first on Monday.
“This season has been a big jump for me,” McGorty said. “I really started making fast improvements and I’m really happy about it. I had some big goals for this season and I’ve made most of them.”