On Tuesday millions of people around the world watched 2016 T.C. Williams High School graduate Noah Lyles become the fastest man in the world to run the 200m.
Lyles, 22, left his competitors in the dust as he raced to gold in 19.83 seconds at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Doha, Qatar.
As the reigning US 200m champion, he was the favorite going into the competition but still gave an impressive performance to beat off other world class athletes from across the globe.
After his victory, he draped himself in the American flag before taking his spot on the winners’ podium.
Shortly after crossing the finishing line he told BBC Sport, “So many times I thought in my brain, ‘I’m going to be world champion this year.’”
I have it on my phone, I’ve been saying it since the season started, every day I’ve been hitting my car window on the way back from practice saying, ‘I’m going to be world champion this year,’ as the music blasted out.
“This is my first one and I don’t know a lot of people who can say they came to their first world championships and grabbed the gold.”
Just a few years ago, he was a familiar face in the halls of T.C. and on the track at the Parker-Gray stadium with track coach Mike Hughes and sprint coach Rashawn Jackson.
Now Lyles, who overcame asthma as a child, is being heralded as the next Usain Bolt.
His mother, Keisha Caine Bishop, has been with him every step of the way, watching with immense pride as he developed into a world-class athlete.
She was in the stadium on Tuesday night, cheering on her boy.
Speaking to ACPS on Wednesday morning after just three hours sleep, she said seeing her son cross the finish line was a highly emotional moment.
When she saw him after the race, she said they “hugged each other for a really long time.”
“And then he looked into my eyes and said, ‘Mom, I couldn’t have done this without my family.’ And then we both cried.”
Caine Bishop said that becoming world champion was a goal they had set two years ago when he was injured in 2017.
“Last night, I watched every stride he took, checking to make sure he got off to a strong start, that he took the corners correctly. I was watching his technique like a coach would. I knew he could do it physically but it was still emotionally stressful.”
Next up for Lyles is the relay competition on Thursday. The family travels back to the U.S. on Sunday — his mother heads to Pikesville near Baltimore where she now lives after remarrying, while her son heads to Florida.
Then he will enjoy a four week break from training and a relaxing vacation with his family, his mother said.
“No one will be thinking about bed times and diets and training and staying hydrated for a little while … but then it will be time to start focusing on the Olympics.”
T.C. principal Peter Balas paid tribute to Lyles’ incredible performance.
“Our Titans have so many wonderful gifts and talents that they showcase each and every day. It is with great pride that we all watch Noah compete and he adds to our Titan pride every time he races. I am excited to see him continue to break records on the world stage. We are so proud to call him a Titan!”
James Parker, ACPS Director of Athletics and Student Activities, said it was amazing to see that the T.C. Williams athletic program helped produce a world champion.
He is the epitome of what being a Titan is all about and we are honored and proud to call him a T.C. alum,” he added.
In addition to Noah, another T.C. Williams graduate Tynita Butts, also competed on the world stage this week in Doha.
The high jumper finished eighth with a 6-feet 4-inch clearance — a personal best for the Class of 2009 Titan. Butts is part of the inaugural class of inductees to the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Watch Lyles race to victory at the World Championships in Doha, courtesy of the IAAF.
We have been following Noah’s success since he was at T.C. Williams. Read about his early days.