Grimes surprises the 500-meter field, himself
hampton, va. — Breakout performances and surprise results are an inevitable treat at big track and field meets, and FreedomWoodbridge’s Igo Grimes provided exactly that Saturday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex.
The junior ran the 500 meters in 1:04.44 to win the 6A boys’ title at the Virginia 5A/6A indoor track and field championships. Even he couldn’t believe it. Asked afterward whether he expected to win, he bluntly replied: “No.”
“Coming in, there were guys who had faster times than me,” Grimes said. “I came into the season late because of a hamstring injury. I just wasn’t fit. I wasn’t mentally prepared.
“But this past week my coach has been killing me in practice, so I was ready. I’m a 400 runner, so I was surprised I won. That extra 100 meters puts a toll on your legs. You can’t breathe. That’s the thing.”
Grimes later added a secondplace finish in the 300 to cap his banner day.
Lake Braddock, with 38.5 points, placed second in the 6A boys’ team competition but finished well behind champion Western Branch (81.5). Patriot finished fifth with 25.
Andrew DelVecchio of Lake Braddock got an unexpected boost in the 1,000 meters when event favorite Brandon McGorty of Chantilly dropped out of the race. DelVecchio took the title in 2:31.94.
“Brandon’s such a good runner. I don’t think it really changed my game plan too much,” DelVecchio said. “I was just thinking I would try to run my race the whole time.
“But I know everybody was looking at each other like, ‘Here we go,’ ’cause Brandon’s so good; he’s won like every middle-distance race the past three state meets. It was really cool to go out there and say, ‘All right, we’re running for the state title. Let’s do it.’ ”
Earlier, McGorty easily won the 1,600 in 4:13.31, breaking his own meet record.
“My training’s been a little off recently, and after the first race I wasn’t feeling too good, so I decided not to run the second race,” McGorty said. “It was a tough decision. You don’t want to throw away an opportunity to win a state race.”
In the 3,200 meters, Oakton’s Ahmed Hassan ran 9:26.03 and likewise won handily.
“I’ve led in races like this before but always wound being outkicked,” Hassan said, emphasizing that he wasn’t going to let that happen this time.
The Lake Braddock girls netted 55 points and also finished runner-up to Western Branch (113), which claimed the 6A title. Osbourn Park was fourth with 37.5 and Battlefield fifth with 30.
Battlefield earned that spot when its 4x400 relay team — Lauren Hoffman, Shannon Lee, Emily Wall, and Boatemaa Nyarko-Brentuo — won its race in 3:59.87.
Patriot’s Rachel McArthur blitzed the field in the girls’ 6A 1,000. She won by nearly 10 seconds, in 2:47.02 — a meet record and the third-best girls’ time in state history in the event.
“I knew that if I ran the time that I can run that no one would be able to stick with me,” McArthur said.
With Donovan Louis winning two events, Potomac had a chance to win the 5A boys’ title. But Bethel (52 points) snatched the crown by winning the 4x400 relay. Lee-Davis had 49.5 for second, and Potomac was third with 49.
Louis won the long jump by going 23-101/2 and the 55 meters in 6.39.
Heather Holt led Marshall to a third-place finish among 5A girls’ teams. Nansemond River won with 98.5 points, followed by Maury with 69.5 and Marshall with 44.
Holt was not challenged in the 1,600 and won in 5:07.14. She faced stiffer competition in the 1,000 and used it to set a meet record, running 2:57.81.
“Having a lot of the girls in front of me really helped pull me,” Holt said of the first few laps on the 200-meter track. “I feel like they really helped me a lot.”
Freedom-Woodbridge junior Igo Grimes distances himself from the pack to win a 6A title in Hampton.