T.C. Williams track and field teams impress at region championships

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Kai Cole explodes out of the blocks as first leg of the T.C. Williams boys relay team (Photo Credit: Lisa McArthur)

By Jack Mackey

The T.C. Williams High School track and field team had a strong showing at the 6A North Region Championships at Robinson High School on May 26, with the boys team placing second overall with 65 points and the girls team placing third overall with 60 points.

“All in all, we did a pretty good job,” Michael Hughes, head coach of both track and field teams, said. “Across the board, the team did really well.”

Nyla Ward led the T.C. Williams girls 4x100m team to a first place win.

The girls 4x100m team was the highlight of the meet for the Titans. Anchored by sophomore Nyla Ward, the 4×1 had a time of 48.09 seconds, out-leaning W.T. Woodson High School for the win. With this time, the girls 4×1 set a new school record and qualified for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet that will be held between June 16 and 18 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We don’t emphasize the relays at the national level. We mostly emphasize the individual events, but it was good for them to run that quality performance,” Hughes said.

Ward also won the girls long jump with a jump of 18 feet and 5.25 inches and placed seventh in the 100m dash (12.56 seconds).

Senior Bhrandi Crenshaw led the girls team in points scored, placing third in the triple jump with a jump of 37 feet and 2.25 inches, fifth in the long jump with a jump of 16 feet and 8.5 inches and sixth in the high jump with a jump of 5 feet and 1 inch. Crenshaw, who will attend North Carolina Central University in the fall, holds the school record in the girls triple jump.

Throwers Sarah Leckman and Courtney Holford earned the girls team nearly 20 points through their combined efforts. Leckman, a senior who will attend the Virginia Military Institute in the fall, placed first in the girls shot put with a throw of 41 feet and 6 inches. Holford, a sophomore, placed fourth in the shot and fifth in the discus with throws of 36 feet and 1 inch and 107 feet and 7 inches, respectively.

Sophomore Louisa Obenwa placed seventh in the 100m hurdles (15.90 seconds) and fifth in the 300m hurdles (46.57 seconds).

The Titan boys were led by senior Ebenezer Belayneh to their second place overall finish. Belayneh placed second in the shot put with a throw of 54 feet and 8 inches and second in the discus with a throw of 164 feet and 7 inches. Both throws qualify Belayneh for the upcoming state meet.

Despite graduating Olympic-level sprinters Noah and Josephus Lyles last year, the Titan boys remained dominant in the 100m dash. Sophomore Ibrahim Bangura and junior Kai Cole took first and second in the race with times of 11.18 seconds and 11.26 seconds.

“I got a bad start, but I made up some ground and it all worked out in the end,” Bangura said. Looking to continue their 100m prowess, Cole and Bangura both participated in the 4x100m relay.

The relay – composed of Cole, freshman Anthony Eaton, junior Kelvin Harris and Bangura – placed second in the race with a time of 42.58 seconds. Bangura anchored the race and made up a five meter deficit to Centreville High School.

The race came down to leans over the finish line, with Centreville taking first place by 0.03 seconds. Cole also placed third in the 200m dash with a time of 22.19 seconds. Both Cole and Bangura are seeded in the top 15 runners for the 100m dash in the state meet.

Other notable performances include: junior Terrence Sakyi placing second in the boys high jump with a jump of 6 feet and 6 inches, senior Raymond McGuire placing sixth in the 110m hurdles (15.49 seconds) and eighth in the 300m hurdles (41.30 seconds), junior Daniel Walsh vaulting 14 feet for fifth place in the boys pole vault and junior Kevin Munson placing eighth in the boys pole vault with a jump of 13 feet. Full results from the 6A North Region meet can be found here.

The T.C. track and field team will next compete at the VHSL 6A Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Todd Stadium in Newport News, Virginia, on June 2 and 3. Both the girls team and the boys team are poised to earn top overall team scores.

“The girls team could finish in the top four or five [in the state],” Hughes said. “The boys could be as high up as second or third.”

Depending on their individual performances at the state meet, the Titans will decide who to send to New Balance Outdoor Nationals in mid-June. Seed placements for the state meet can be found here.