Distance duo’s rivalry produces pair of titles
McArthur wins 3,200, but Murphy recovers to claim 1,600
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.”