Class 4 Indoor Track & Field: Crowder takes second in tight finish

LYNCHBURG — James Wood’s William Crowder could not have come closer to a state title at the Class 4 Indoor Track & Field Championships on Tuesday at Liberty University.

Handley’s Malachi Imoh wasn’t far behind him. The two area sprinters finished second and third in the 55-meter dash, leading area boys’ finishers in the season-ending meet.

Millbrook’s Madison Murphy took a pair of bronze medals and Handley’s Mary McKay also placed third to lead area girls’ finishers.

Seniors Crowder (6.43 seconds) and Imoh (6.53) were the top two qualifiers for the 55 dash final, but were edged in the championship race. Salem’s Isaiah Persinger hit the tape in 6.48 seconds, a mere .01 better than Crowder, who had a time of 6.49. Imoh was a close third in 6.51.

Murphy, a freshman, added onto her excellent cross country season by earning a pair of third places in the distance events.

In the 1,600, Murphy ran 4:59.21, finishing a little more than two seconds behind the winning time of Loudoun Valley’s Ava Gordon (4:57.59). It was almost the same thing in the 3,200 as Murphy ran 11:08.71 to finish just under two seconds behind the winning time of Hanover’s Alli Cryster (11:06.73).

McKay, a junior, grabbed her bronze in the pole vault. She was one of five competitors to clear 10 feet, 6 inches and only two went higher. She received third place thanks to fewer misses. Alyssa Rice, of Lee-Davis, cleared 12-0 to take the title.

Millbrook had two more girls’ finishes in the Top 8 to earn points. Senior Sarah Purdy ran 8.69 to capture fourth in the 55 hurdles. Churchland’s Layla Anderson (8.26) won the crown.

Millbrook sophomore Lina Guerrero took seventh in the 1,600 with a time of 5:15.38.

In other boys’ events, Handley had a pair of Top 8 finishes.

The Judges’ 4x200 relay team of Imoh, freshman Aaron Lee, junior Jayden Vardaro and senior Miles Ashe took fourth with a time of 1:31.94. Jefferson Forest (1:30.74) won the tight event.

Handley senior Bennett Cupps took eighth in the boys’ 1,600 in 4:28.58. He was the only non-Loudoun Valley runner to earn points. Carlos Schultz (4:15.11) led a No. 1 through No. 7 finish by Vikings runners.

Sherando senior Eldon Agard took eighth in the 55 hurdles with a time of 8.26. Salem’s Jeremiah Wilson (7.57) took the title.

Handley (17 points) was the top area team in the boys’ competition as the Judges tied for 11th. James Wood (8) tied for 21st and Sherando (2) tied for 34th among 37 teams that scored. Thanks to 38 points from the 1,600 and 26 more from the 3,200, Loudoun Valley dominated the event, finishing first with 102 points. Lee-Davis (38) was a distant second in the competition, which featured 15 events.

Millbrook placed 12th in the girls’ competition with 19 points. Handley (6) was 27th and James Wood (2) was 31st. Loudoun Valley (64) also won the girls’ title, edging Fauquier (55) among 32 teams that scored.

— Contact Walt Moody at

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