Felecia Majors powered to victory in the 500-meter dash at the Virginia Tech Invitational Saturday in Blacksburg, running the fastest time in the country this season and the seventh-fastest ever by a high school girl.
The South County senior, who seems always to thrive on track’s biggest stages, said before her race that she felt too flat to go toe-to-toe with some of the speediest athletes on the East Coast. She hadn’t competed in almost a month and was worried about top-seeded Tiana Patillo of Wakefield (N.C.). Majors decided that second place would be a respectable — even an acceptable — finish.
But somehow she swung it in gear, easily putting away a talented field at Rector Fieldhouse. She tucked in behind Patillo early and then zoomed past her with one lap to go to win on the banked track in 1 minute 12.57 seconds on the final day of the two-day meet.
Patillo was runner-up in 1:13.87. The three fastest times in the country this season came in Saturday’s race.
“I can’t believe I ran that,” Majors, the reigning All-Met Athlete of the Year, said by phone. “I was so freaked out. I was like, ‘That is not possible.’ My adrenaline was pumping.”
The Tennessee recruit also impressed in the pole vault, where she finished second with a vault of 12 feet behind Oakdale’s Emma King.
The Virginia Tech Invitational is the signature regular season meet for top area athletes, many of whom returned home with gold medals and put their names near the top of the national leader boards.
Edison senior Anna Williams won two events. She earned a comfortable victory in the long jump, winning by more than nine inches with a personal-best 18 feet 91 / 2 inches.
Her triple jump was even more spectacular. She took that event with 40-3, the best jump by a Washington area performer this season and fourth-best in the country. It was the first time Williams had broken 40 feet.
Bowie senior All-Met Antonella Taylor remained undefeated this season in the shot put with a winning toss of 44-1. Taylor, who is the national leader in the event (46-4.25), was hoping the competition at the prestigious meet would push her to a new personal best but no other thrower was up to the task. Douglass junior Desha Manago was runner-up with 38-5.5.
Darryl Haraway is the latest young gun out of DeMatha and he announced himself by running the fastest time in the 55 trials and then delivering again in the final in 6.43, the fastest time in the area this season. DeMatha also produced the winning 4x400 relay team. The Stags got to the line ahead of Dunbar and Largo in 3:27.52.
The girls from West Springfield dominated the 4x800, freezing the clock in 9:22.84 and finishing almost 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Blacksburg.
The boys from Forest Park survived an early stumble and won the 4x200-meter relay at the New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York on Saturday, clocking the fastest time in the country this season and the third-fastest time ever time by a Virginia high school team.
Joshua Washington, Calvin Michie, Ricky Morgan and Mustaqeem Williams brought the baton around the famed bank track in 1:28.25. Union Catholic (N.J.) was second in 1:29.44.
Lake Braddock junior Katie Roche also attended the by-invitation-only meet that also featured several professional races. She was sixth in the 1,000 in 2:55.86. Sabrina Southerland of New York was the winner in 2:47.44.