While T.C. Williams was winning the basketball state title, engulfing the city in a high school sports-educed rapture, T.C. track star Tynita Butts was making news of her own.
It started with Butts contribution to the 200 meter relay win at the Northern Region championship in February. It continued that same day, as Butts leaped 5 feet, 5 inches vertically, to take the high jump gold metal. As if that werent enough to make a name for herself, Butts took home two more individual gold medals with 7.19-second 55 meter dash, and a long jump score of 19 – 0.75 inches.
She wasnt quite done.
At the AAA Virginia state tournament, Butts became Virginias first female to jump 20 feet, winning the long jump competition, setting a meet record and cementing her status as a local legend. And with that same spring-of-the-foot Butts jumped into second place in the national long jump standings.
She still wasnt finished.
On to the National Scholastic Indoor Championship in New York, where Butts flew higher still. Literally. This time her dominance came in the form of the high jump competition where she soared 5 feet, 8.5 inches just below the height of an average American male vertically.
Despite other sports like basketball and football dominating the limelight, I dont really care, Butts said from the T.C. Williams rally at Market Square Tuesday, where Butts and her fellow track star Brad Kenimer were honored, along with the boys and girls basketball teams. People try to make it a competition, but its not, Butts said.
A good performance in track doesnt get the same support as a good performance in basketball, said Kenimer, who is committed to Dartmouth. Its more of a fan-friendly sport. But we dont do it for the credit.
Kenimer mentioned that its also hard to get hometown support without a current home track, which the team has lacked since construction began on the new school.
Butts and Kenimers accomplishments have not only fed the proud mouths of the city, but have shed light on the less recognized athletic feats happening every day: the volleyball spikes, the golf eagles and the tennis aces that nuance the otherwise traditional high school sports landscape.