Pyatt wins 400m title and leads MVP to relay victory in Sacramento


photos & results

(30-Jul) The 2019 USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships concluded Sunday in Sacramento, CA with 25 athletes from the Virginia association competing in the championships during the seven day competition held at Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University.
The Virginia athletes competed in a total of 42 individual events and five relays against the best young athletes in the country.
A total of 12 all-American performances were achieved by Virginia athletes with each earning a trip to the awards podium, a championship medal, and the coveted Junior Olympic All-American hat.  
The storyline of the meet for the Virginia athletes was the individual national title won by Aaliyah Pyatt (MVP League) in the 400m and the 15-16 4x400m relay title won by Pyatt and her MVP League teammates.  
Pyatt, a rising junior at Massaponax High School, came into the meet with the #4 seed time in the 400m but on Sunday she ran a career best time of 53.60 to easily win the event over Lauren Harris of Nebraska by 1.60 seconds.  Pyatt's previous career best was 53.94 run in May at the Highland Springs Invitational.  The time is the #2 mark in Virginia for high schoolers in 2019 and, according to MileSplit, is the sixth fastest time run in Virginia since 2000.
Approximately four hours later Pyatt was back on the track with her MVP teammates Emily Catlett, Emma Seetoo, and Erin Irlan to contest the 4x400m relay.  The quartet came into the meet with the #2 seed time (3:51.19) trailing the 3:47.69 run by Track Houston at the Region 12 championships.  After two legs, run by Catlett and Seetoo, the team trailed Track Houston by 1.9 seconds.  Irlan split 58.32 on the third leg and closed the gap to 1.45 seconds.  Pyatt unleashed a serious anchor leg splitting 52.28 that saw her catch the Track Houston anchor with just 50m to go and run to a winning time of 3:43.73; 1.19 seconds clear of Track Houston. "I knew I wasn’t going to let down the team and knew what needed to be done," offered Pyatt following her sizzling anchor leg.
Pyatt also earned all-American honors in the 200m where she finished third running 23.97.
Just 10 minutes after the gold medal winning performance by the 15-16 MVP squad their older counter-parts took to the track in the 17-18 girls 4x400m relay.  The squad was looking to defend the title they won last year in Greensboro.  They came into the competition with the #2 seed time (3:49.83) from their region 3 win.  TakeOff, a team from Georgia that featured a set of triplets running the last three legs, was entered with the #1 seed time of 3:48.20 from the region 4 championships.  In a reverse of what transpired in the 15-16 race, the MVP League held the lead after three legs but was overtaken on the final leg by TakeOff's anchor Jameah Alston who split 52.76. Pearl Nagbe, the only returner from last year's national championship team, split 53.97 on the anchor as MVP League finished in 3:43.71; .93 seconds behind TakeOff.  Gartasia Crawley, Morgan Snow, Jana Riley ran the first three legs for the team. 

Earlier in the day Nagbe finished sixth in the 400m running 55.78 and on Saturday Snow finished seventh in the 200m running 24.63. 

IN THEIR WORDS - Coach Hutton (MVP League)
We had a lot of high and some low moments. Overall the kids performed at a high level. We are thrilled about all our wins even the small ones like Lola Garvie’s 1500m PB. The kids banded together as a true unit and shared each other’s moments through and through. 
It’s been a long year and they’ve committed so much time and i can’t think of a better way to close out the year.  The future is really bright for our program.

On day 3 of the meet Emma Seetoo captured the first all-American honor for the locals as she finished second in the 15-16 girls long jump.  Her best jump of 5.51m (18-00) came in round three of the competition.  The winning mark was 5.63m (18-05¾) by Nadia Collins of Florida.

Fifth place performances were turned in by Anjali Mead (Xtreme Heights) in the 15-16 girls Pole Vault, Eriana Hollowell (unattached) in the 13-14 girls Long Jump, Taylor Beckford (unattached) in the 17-18 boys Triple Jump, and MVP League in the 17-18 girls 4x100m Relay.
Barbara Antwi (PWC Panthers) finished eighth in the 17-18 girls shot put with a mark of 12.41m (40-08¾).

The 2020 national championships will be held in Jacksonville, Florida.
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