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McLean runners win state championships

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For Xavier Jemison, the fourth time was the charm.

In his final attempt to win the boys 1,000-meter race at the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 indoor track and field state championships, the McLean High School senior closed the deal. Running with a sore right hip, Jemison won in a personal-best time of 2:26.45 seconds, with that his race strategy working as planned.

“I went out in a fast pace and drafted off the leaders for the first 400 to 600 meters. Then, the last two laps, I picked up the pace and made my move for the lead,” Jemison said. “I turned off my brain so I wasn’t thinking about the pain. The pain made things a little more difficult.”

Jemison finished strong, winning by more than two seconds.


“Our plan was for him to do exactly what he did in the race,” said McLean coach Kyle Jemison, also the runner’s father. “He was able to pull away at the end.”

For Xavier Jemison, the 1,000 state title was hard-earned, with previous close calls. He finished ninth in the race as a freshman in 2:35.84, was second his sophomore year in 2:29.95 and fourth as a junior in 2:36.26. That junior-season race started just minutes after he placed second in the 1,600, with little time to rest between the events.

“That was difficult last season, having those two races so close like that,” he said.

Overall, the state title was Jemison’s fourth for McLean. Last spring he won outdoor state crowns in the 800 and 1,600. As a sophomore he won the indoor 1,600 title.

During this spring’s outdoor track and field season for McLean, Jemison plans to run the 400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races and hopes to add to his state-championship list.

This past fall, Jemison finished third in the boys Class 6 state cross country meet.

Jemison wasn’t McLean’s only indoor state champion this winter. Junior distance runner Thais Rolly dominated and won the girls 3,200 in 10:21.39 for her second state crown. As a sophomore, Rolly had won the girls state cross country meet.

“Thais had the attitude that she wanted to win,” Kyle Jemison said of the 3,200. “She ran a first mile right where she wanted to be, then kept going from there.”

The second place finisher in the 3,200 was Herndon’s Gillian Bushee in 10:36.11.

McLean’s Calypo Rolly was eighth in the state in the girls 1,000 and Aneka Andrews was eighth in the 55 hurdles.

“We had relays that did well, too, so it was a good meet overall for McLean,” Kyle Jemison said.

For the Langley boys at the state meet, Jack Pino was sixth in the 300.

For the Oakton boys, Elham Huq was second in the 3,200  and Iyasu Yemane fourth in the 1,000.

Madison High’s Robbie Jenkins was fourth in the boys 3,200, with teammate Chaney Arick eighth in the 1,000 and Aidan DiConti ninth in the 1600.

Marshall high’s Sean Sanders was sixth in the boys 1,600.

Also in the girls state meet, Madison’s Kira Mikhin was eighth in the triple jump, Oakton’s Raquel Lewis placed eighth in the 3,200 and Marshall’s Haley Spoden took ninth in the 1,600.

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