Dis­tance duo’s ri­valry pro­duces pair of ti­tles

McArthur wins 3,200, but Mur­phy re­cov­ers to claim 1,600

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON BUTT ja­son.butt@wash­post.com

NEW­PORT NEWS, VA. — Rachel McArthur and Kate Mur­phy should be ad­ver­saries on the track. The two sopho­mores — McArthur of Pa­triot and Mur­phy of Lake Brad­dock — have de­vel­oped a nat­u­ral ri­valry. They are two of the top dis­tance run­ners in the metro area. They com­pete for sep­a­rate North­ern Vir­ginia track pro­grams, which were sep­a­rated by only 11/ points at Lake

3 Brad­dock’s 6A North re­gion meet victory.

Yet af­ter both of the races McArthur and Mur­phy ran against each other at Satur­day’s Vir­ginia 5A/6A track and field cham­pi­onships — which they split — the two girls em­braced each other with a hug.

“I don’t think the com­pe­ti­tion [be­tween us] is that big,” McArthur said. “We’re friends. It’s fun. We’re both truly try­ing to get bet­ter.”

The two went head-to-head in the girls’ 6A 1,600-me­ter and 3,200-me­ter races. Satur­day morn­ing’s 3,200 saw McArthur and Mur­phy side-by-side round­ing the fi­nal turn. Sprint­ing to­ward the fin­ish line, McArthur’s lean barely edged Mur­phy’s, giv­ing the Pa­triot stand­out a win­ning time of 9 min­utes 19.90 sec­onds. Mur­phy was sec­ond in 9:19.94. The times rank sev­enth and eighth in Vir­ginia high­school track and field his­tory.

Mur­phy avenged the loss by win­ning the 1,600 in 4:51.67. McArthur fin­ished run­ner-up in 4:55.06.

“I tried af­ter the [3,200] to get my legs loose, and orig­i­nally I was go­ing to run fast and try to get a fast time,” Mur­phy said. “Af­ter the 3,200, I said I’m just go­ing to race this in­stead.”

Both run­ners, who be­came friends af­ter room­ing to­gether at last fall’s Nike Cross Na­tion­als meet in Port­land, Ore., praised the other af­ter their races.

“It’s good hav­ing some­one like her to race against,” McArthur said. “We’ll be to­gether all through high school, too.”

West­ern Branch (162 points) ran away with the girls’ 6A team cham­pi­onship, and Grass­field (84) claimed the boys’ 6A ti­tle. Atlee (68) won the 5A girls’ ti­tle, and Lee-Davis (70) won­the boys’ 5A cham­pi­onship.

Lake Brad­dock se­nior Alex Cor­bett cruised to a boys’ 6A 3,200 ti­tle in 9:13.56. Fair­fax se­nior Alex Maguire ral­lied in the fi­nal 400 me­ters to claim a state ti­tle in the boys’ 1,600 in 4:14.16 — edg­ing West­field se­nior Johnny Pace (4:15.49) and Cor­bett (4:15.95).

T.C. Wil­liams ju­niors Noah and Jose­phus Lyles en­tered the day with a goal of post­ing fast 200 dash times and didn’t dis­ap­point. Noah had the kind of start he was look­ing for and led the en­tire way in a meet record and the na­tion’s third-fastest time of 20.76. Jose­phus had a slight trip around the turn but was still able to clock a per­sonal be­stof 21.02— the six­thbest time in the U.S.

“I was wait­ing for [Jose­phus],” Noah said. “I thought he was go­ing to catch me when we got to the 100 mark. I was just pre­par­ing my­self the whole time.”

Noah be­gan his day with a win in the 100dashin 10.47, sprint­ing to the victory with no one a round him. Jose­phus’s win in the 400 was sim­i­lar as he pulled away from ev­ery­one af­ter the first 200 me­ters to post a time of 47.41.

For­est Park hon­ors se­niors

Dur­ing a break in ac­tion be­fore noon, For­est Park rec­og­nized four se­niors that chose to com­pete in the state meet in­stead of at­tend­ing their school’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony.

Se­niors Ce­line Gomes, Clark Shotwell, Joaquin Garcia and Max Kittsteiner wore their caps and gowns on the field in­side the track, with Coach Andy Tramel ac­knowl­edg­ing their ac­com­plish­ments in front of the crowd at Todd Sta­dium.

“I en­joyed it way more than I would grad­u­a­tion, con­sid­er­ing I’m with th­ese three here,” Garcia said. “We’re do­ing what we love the most. It’s good to end high school and track to­day with our fam­ily here.”

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