Virginians Mine Oregon Gold

Fred Jeter | 7/28/2022, 6 p.m.
Grant Holloway and Noah Lyles, right, have made the seismic leap from the Virginia High School League to the tip ...

Grant Holloway and Noah Lyles, above, have made the seismic leap from the Virginia High School League to the tip top of the track and field world.

Both former state standouts struck gold at last week’s World Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Holloway, who won the 110-meter hurdles, hails from Grassfield High in Chesapeake.

Lyles, the 200-meter champ, shined his star at T.C. Williams High in Alexandria.

Holloway broke the tape in 13.03, just off his personal best of 12.81 set in 2021. The world record of 12.80 was set by Belgium’s Aries Merritt in 2012.

Olympic hurdles champ Hansle Parchment of Jamaica withdrew due to an injury. Also, American Devon Allen, who had this year’s top time heading into World’s, had a false start and was disqualified. Allen is now headed to the NFL Philadelphia Eagles camp to work out as a wide receiver.

Ripping off his shirt at the finish, Lyles led a 1-2-3 sweep for the Americans in the 200, setting a world record of 19.31. That broke the existing mark of 19.32 set by American Michael Johnson in 1996.

Ken Bednarek took silver in 19.77 while 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton from Tampa finished third in 19.80.

The state of Virginia just missed a third medal when Britton Wilson finished fifth in the 400 hurdles behind World champ and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin.

Virginians can claim a small slice of McLaughlin’s success. On May 5 she married former University of Virginia football player Andre Levrone.

Wilson, from Mills Godwin High in Western Henrico, has an excellent chance or representing the U.S. in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She is currently a student at the University of Arkansas.