Left, St. Raphael Academy senior-to-be Darius Kipyego gives it his all as he speeds down the final stretch of the boys’ 400-meter run at last week’s RITCA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Providence’s Conley Stadium. Kipyego won the event in 49.34 seconds and also took second place in the 200 meters in 22.58. Right, St. Raphael Academy sophomore-to-be Tyla Forbes placed fourth in the girls’ 800 meters in a time of 2:44.43. (Breeze photos by Eric Benevides)
Saints’ All-American track and field runner wins 400, places second in 200
PROVIDENCE – These last two weeks have been special ones for St. Raphael Academy All-American middle distance runner Darius Kipyego.
Ten days after he broke the state and New England records in the 800 meters at the finale of the “Track Is Back” series in West Hartford, Conn., the senior-to-be established two personal-best marks in the 200 and 400 meters on the second day of the RITCA Outdoor Track & Field Championships last Thursday afternoon at Mount Pleasant High’s Conley Stadium.
Opting to run in the faster events on Conley Stadium’s new track so he could work on his speed, Kipyego took first place in the 400 in 49.34 seconds and second in the 200 in 22.58, which was 0.29 of a second behind the winning time turned in by Mount Pleasant High’s Abraham Tambah.
The R.I. 2019-20 Gatorade Boys’ Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Kipyego made plenty of new two weeks ago in Connecticut. Racing in a talented field that saw him run side-by-side with a few professional runners, Kipyego finished sixth with his record-breaking time, which is not only the third-best clocking in the nation this year, but also shattered the state record of 1:49.46 that he set at last summer’s Pan Am U20 Games in Costa Rica.
As for the New England record, Kipyego broke the old mark, set 10 years ago by Chris Fitzsimmons of Hamden, Conn., by .01 of a second.
Kipyego, who is scheduled to run in the Music City Distance Carnival on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., competed against some of the country’s top runners in the 800 in late June at the Desert Dream Last Hurrah Invitational in San Tan Valley, Ariz. He took third place in a time of 1:51.59.
Four other members of the SRA track and field program also took part in the meet and grabbed places in the top seven of their respective events.
Junior-to-be Valeria Uribe took third place in the girls’ 400 meters (1:06.59), sophomores-to-be Pedro Mayol (boys’ 400, 23.96 seconds) and Tyla Forbes (girls’ 800, 2:44.43) added fourth-place finishes, and junior-to-be Josh Farrell finished seventh in the 300-meter hurdles.