Win one championship. That’s a task that many teams never accomplish. Winning two is a repeat, three a three-peat. Winning the fourth is the... Skyhawks win fourth straight state track championship
The Skyhawks boys track team celebrates after capturing their fourth straight 5A state championship. (Courtesy Adam Canning)

Win one championship. That’s a task that many teams never accomplish. Winning two is a repeat, three a three-peat. Winning the fourth is the measure of what many define as a dynasty in sports. 

L.C. Bird High School’s boys track team recently won their fourth straight title – the last two VHSL crowns in both indoor and outdoor seasons have gone to the Skyhawks and coach Adam Canning.

“For me, all of the championships have felt different,” Canning said. “I think for this one, we had some bad breaks at the meet, but were fortunate enough to have the depth we needed. Last outdoor championship it seemed like everything went our way.”

One thing that did go the Skyhawks’ way was the always stellar 4×400 relay team of Mykael Anderson, Jayson Ward, and Jeremiah and Josiah Hill.

Another thing, though perhaps unexpectedly so, was Virginia Tech football commit Jayden Payoute’s performance in the long jump. He came in as a sixth seed, but his jump of 22 feet, 11 inches placed him second.

While L.C. Bird won only one event, the team’s depth enabled it to collect enough points from placing in events to win the team title. Sophomore Jacob Plummer brought home second in the 3,200-meter run, Josiah Hill finished second in the 400-meter run, Jeremiah Hill was second in the 800-meter run and thrower Carlos Quijano placed third in the shot put.

More points were added by the 4×800 relay team, as Josiah Hill, Jacob Plummer, Shahmique Cromwell and Jeremiah Hill finished as runners-up. 

To keep the beat going next year, Canning will have to tap into the team’s depth because of the loss of seniors. However, that is something that he and his coaching staff have been able to do successfully each of the past two seasons. 

While it took the school until 2012 to win its first state championship (football), since then Bird has brought home a total of eight championships – three in football, four in boys track and one in boys basketball, according to L.C. Bird Hall of Famer and girls assistant coach Kelly McMillin.