2017 Boys Track Coach of the Year: Lytton leads Falcons to another strong season

Rick Lytton

WOODSTOCK — Central didn’t have a very big boys track and field squad this season, but it didn’t stop the Falcons from having success.

The Falcons managed to finish fourth in the Group 2A state meet, and did it mostly with just a few athletes.

“I’m very happy with the team with a much smaller team than we had last year,” Central coach Rick Lytton said. “There were some circumstances where some kids we thought would come out didn’t. We made due with what we had, and it worked out very well. We had quality not necessarily quantity and it worked well.”

The duo of junior Coy Jimenez and sophomore Kyle Clanton played a big part in the team’s success. They were both part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team that won and broke the state meet record with a time of 3:26.44, but they also had success individually.

Jimenez was sixth in the 100 (11.55) and third in the 400 (50.37). He also finished seventh in the discus (129-04).

“Coy had a good day in the 100 and the 400,” Lytton said. “In the 400 he wanted to get a 49, and eventually he’s going to run a 49. I think he’s done it numerous times in the relays — run a 49 split.”

Clanton bounced back after being disqualified in the 100-meter dash for a false start and placed fifth in the 200-meter dash.

Senior Saxon Franklin also had a strong state meet. He was part of the 4×400-meter relay team, and also placed third in the triple jump with a leap of 43-10.50.

“Saxon had a fabulous day in the triple jump, (set a personal record) by 2 feet in that,” Lytton said. “And on Central’s Top 10 list went all the way to No. 2 all time in the triple jump.”

Lytton, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2017 Male Track and Field Coach of the Year, said he was hoping the Falcons could get second in the state meet, but both Union High School and East Rockingham High School had really good days and topped the Falcons.

Central’s Bryan Davis placed seventh in the shot put (45-10), and Declan Franklin was ninth in the discus (121-03).

He said the Falcons had some really good performances from different athletes throughout the season.

“Mason and Sawyer Lucy Speidel in the distance and 4×800 relay had good seasons. And Collin Bradley Connelly, he had a good season for us,” Lytton said. “My young hurdler William Ball did well in hurdles, but also he will be a jumper in the future.”

Lytton said he was also really proud of the girls team this season. The girls finished eighth in the Group 2A state meet.

He said that early in the season the boys team finished second in the Ram Country Invitational at Strasburg, and he knew then that the boys had a chance to be really good.

“There were some good teams in that meet and the boys performed very well,” Lytton said.

Central had only four seniors on the teams combined. Kila Watson and Tamra Scott were the two seniors on the girls team. Saxon Franklin and Carston Shockey, who was also part of Central’s state championship 4×400 relay team, were the two seniors on the boys team.

Lytton, who just completed his 35th season as head boys track coach, said that the 4×400 relay team winning the state title was definitely one of the highlights of the season for him.

“I have always loved the 4×400 relay and I just like to see our relay team run really well,” Lytton said. “It’s my favorite event in track.”