What an interesting week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
World champion sprinter Noah Lyles brought home his bronze medal from the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. In a frank, TED Talk-like speech at Alexandria City High School, Lyles talked about the importance of mental health as he struggled to perform at the games.
“A lot of people will look at the Olympics this year like something was different with the athletes,” said Lyles. “Well, it was a lot of difference because we had so much weight that we had to hold onto — about two years. I was no different.”
On the COVID-19 front, while the transmission level remains high in Alexandria, this week the city tied with Arlington for the lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia. Large outdoor public events are still happening, too, and on Monday, a vast majority of local elected officials and candidates converged for the Alexandria Democratic Committee’s annual Labor Day Picnic, which included an appearance by gubernatorial candidate, former Governor Terry McAuliffe.
- Alexandria Police say string of 7-Eleven robberies are connected
- West End trail project derailed by stalled development
- Mural Mania: Check out these three new murals in Old Town
- Mudhouse Coffee buys building in Old Town
- Man arrested for spending spree after finding wallet in Bradlee Shopping Center parking lot
- COVID-19 Update: Alexandria ties with Arlington for lowest seven-day positivity rate in Virginia
- BREAKING: Pedestrian critically injured in Old Town car crash
- Mark Center development plans head to Planning Commission this week
- Alexandria Police union calls out years of executive mismanagement
- JUST IN: Suspects arrested after allegedly firing shots at Alexandria Police
- BREAKING: Video shows brawl at Alexandria City High School cafeteria just two days after school starts
- Mayor outlines upcoming plastic bag tax plans
- Village Brauhaus aims for rooftop expansion
- No injuries or arrests after shots fired in Old Town Sunday night
- Most expensive homes sold in Alexandria in August
Have a safe weekend!
The pressure was on. After a COVID-delay of more than a year, Alexandria sprinter Noah Lyles was finally racing against the top runners in the world at the Tokyo Olympics. The gun fired, and 19.74 seconds later he was the winner of the bronze medal.
Lyles returned to his alma mater, Alexandria City High School, on Tuesday (September 7) to talk about his unexpectedly long journey to the Olympics. In a frank, TED Talk-like speech, he talked about the importance of mental health, and described talking about being depressed with his therapist.
“When 2020 started, it felt like a normal year,” Lyles said. “I’d just come back from doing a whole bunch of interviews and photoshoots with NBC and they’re talking about the Olympics, and ‘How we’re going to be plastering you everywhere. It’s gonna be the biggest thing that summer,’ and (I’m) like, ‘Yes! So excited, This is fun.”
Then COVID hit, Lyles said, and he was forced to put his plans on the back-burner and keep mentally and physically fit until the games were rescheduled.
“All that energy that we had built up in a 2020 year, we had to save on to that stress and that pressure and push it on for a whole other year,” he said. “A lot of people will look at the Olympics this year like something was different with the athletes… Well, it was a lot of difference because we had so much weight that we had to hold onto — about two years. I was no different.”
Lyles continued, “I was disappointed that I didn’t get what I wanted. And I was disappointed that it happened like that. I didn’t get to show my greatest self. I knew walking into Tokyo that I was ready to PR, but I didn’t get to show that. I didn’t have a team with me. And that hurt in the whole Tokyo experience. It was very emotional. And I always thought in my head four years ago, when I went through this, it was going to be others. I was going to be able to celebrate, I was gonna not be alone. But it felt very alone.”
Just weeks after the games, Lyles was asked to return to the track in the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. At first, he says, he didn’t want to race and spoke with his therapist about it.
“She said, ‘I think you’re scared,'” Lyles recalled his therapist saying. “‘You don’t get defeated often. So, when you do, you didn’t know how to react.’ I said ‘You might have a point.'”
The 24-year-old ended up defeating his Olympic rivals and running the ninth-fastest 200 meters in history, clocking in at 19.52 seconds.
“I feel that even though we’ve been going through this 2020-21 year, and we’ve all been feeling a little bit of pressure that maybe this can help you guys out a little more,” Lyles said of his story.
The event was sponsored by the Lyles Brothers Sports Foundation, Lyles’ mother, Keisha Caine Bishop, also spoke at the event and said that she introduced mental health therapy to her children at a young age.
“We are huge advocates for mental health,” she said. “Sometimes we all need help.”
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) September 8, 2021
— Alexandria City Titans XC/Track & Field Boosters (@ACTitansTrack) September 8, 2021
Photos via Elijah Walter Griffin, Sr.
Noah Lyles places first and brother Josephus Lyles gets third in 200 meters at Prefontaine Classic — “He’s baaaccckk! @lylesnoah takes 1st with 19.52!“
Alexandria starts program to prevent opioid overdoses for former inmates — “The program is the first of its kind in Virginia and one of a few in the country. It is a collaboration between the Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Community and Human Services.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Sunshine and clouds mixed (during the day). A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 91F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph… Partly cloudy skies. Low 73F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New job: Professional mover — “Join We Were Soldiers Moving And Storage today! We offer flexible schedules, competitive pay, part time or full time available. Just load and unload trucks, provide your own transportation to and from job sites.” [Indeed]
What a challenging week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
Alexandria track star Noah Lyles won the bronze medal in the 200 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, garnering congratulations from around the country, including locally by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Mayor Justin Wilson. Also this week, Lyles’ mom and brother held a watch party at his alma mater, Alexandria City High School.
This week, we also spoke with Alexandria boxer Troy “The Transformer” Isley, who said competing in the Olympics was a ‘dream come true.” Tynita Butts-Townsend, the third T.C. Williams High School graduate to participate in the games, did not make it past the first round of the high jump.
“I thought I would feel more crappy about getting last at the Olympics, but then I read that sentence again…IM STILL AN OLYMPIAN!” Butts-Townsend tweeted.
On the coronavirus front, with the City recommending residents wear masks indoors, this week the School Board voted to make it mandatory that face masks be worn when school starts later this month.
- Five arrested after shots fired in Old Town North
- Eviction moratorium extended for Alexandria
- Monte Durham wants to film TV show out of his Old Town hair salon
- Development on West End lot could signal the start of Mark Center overhaul
- Former ACPS administrator Tammy Ignacio says experience matters in School Board bid
- Alexandria midfielder Eryk Williamson plays in U.S. 1-0 upset over Mexico in the 2021 Gold Cup
- Child neglect suspect arrested after evading Alexandria police for six months
- City plans commemoration for lynched Black Alexandrian
- ALX Community opening third coworking space in Old Town
- Woman arrested for sending threatening texts and attacking roommate in Landmark area
- Fingerprints lead to 7-Eleven robbery suspect already jailed after DNA linked him to separate 7-Eleven incident
- Mount Vernon Trail widening project gets funding
- Parks Department braces for strain on system when Minnie Howard field closes down
- Alexandria reports 204 COVID-19 cases in July, a big jump over last month
- Alexandria City High School to host Olympics watch party to cheer on alumnus Noah Lyles
- ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria
- GoFundMe launched for Will Nichols, retiring manager of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray
- With ACPS expecting enrollment increase, Alexandria Mayor explains where kids come from
- Report details life of Black Alexandrians post-Civil War in home slated for redevelopment
- Noah Lyles to race for gold medal in 200 meters at Tokyo Olympics
- 18-year-old arrested for firing gunshots at West End apartment building
- EXCLUSIVE: Halal slaughterhouse opens, gives away free chickens for first two days in business
- Heritage project skirts denial at Board of Architectural Review meeting
Have a safe weekend!
Alexandria sprinter Noah Lyles took home the bronze medal in the 200 meters in the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, August 4.
The 24-year-old clocked in at 19.74 seconds, behind silver medalist Kenneth Bednarek’s 19.62 seconds and Canada’s Andre de Grasse, who took home gold with 19.62 seconds — the fastest 200m in the world this year. Lyles previously ran the fastest 200m this year with the same time of 19.74 in the Olympic trials in June.
Congratulations to Lyles were tweeted out from all over country, including back at home from Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson and the Alexandria City High School (ACHS) track team. Lyles is a graduate of T.C. Williams High School (now ACHS) and fulfilled a lifelong dream to compete in the Olympics.
At an Olympic viewing party earlier this week, Lyles’ mother told ALXnow that her son now wants to go on a vacation.
“I think he wants to go to Bermuda, Mexico, and probably a couple other places,” she said.
Congrats to @LylesNoah for bringing home the Bronze and ably representing our City and our nation!
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) August 4, 2021
— Governor Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) August 4, 2021
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 4, 2021
— Jacinta Greene (@Jacinta4ACPS) August 4, 2021
— Peter Balas (@PrincipalTitan) August 4, 2021
— Alexandria Sheriff (@AlexVASheriff) August 4, 2021
(Updated 9:30 p.m.) After advancing in two straight preliminary races, Noah Lyles will run for the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.
Lyles’s family is staying at a hotel in the area to watch the gold medal match, his mother Keisha Bishop said at a watch party at Alexandria City High School on Monday night.
“We’re just trying to support him the best that we can,” Bishop told ALXnow. “We thought that the best way to do that is to go back to where it all started, at Alexandria City High School.”
Josephus Lyles is talking with his brother every day via text message.
“He’s feeling pretty good,” Josephus Lyles said. “He’s definitely ready. He says he’s in the best shape of his life and I definitely believe him. He’s definitely ready to go and ready to show the world what he’s capable of.”
The watch party was sponsored by the Lyles Brothers Sports Foundation, and the evening included games for kids in the school gym, raffles and appearances by Mayor Justin Wilson and ACPS leaders.
— Keisha Caine Bishop (@sunshine182225) August 3, 2021
Noah Lyles, who barely made it to the semifinals after slowing down before the finish line, is predicting that he will win the gold medal.
— Smaranda Luna (@smaranda_luna) August 4, 2021
After the frustration of a postponed Olympics last year, he gave the 2020 commencement speech for the graduating class of T.C. Williams High School (now Alexandria City High School). In the speech, he highlighted the importance of mental health — something his mother says was important for his development.
“I call it having a check-up from the neck up,” Bishop said. “I just think it’s really important to have a neutral space where you can get your thoughts out, let somebody know how you’re feeling and process everything that’s going on.”
Josephus, who missed the cut on this year’s Olympic team, said he wants to compete in the 2024 and possibly 2028 Olympics. The brothers live and train in Clermont, Florida, and make it back to Alexandria a few times a year.
“Something that my mom instilled in us early is that mental health is important,” he said. “You can be in the best shape of your life, but if you’re not mentally ready, then it’s a lot harder to run fast.”
‘If I wasn’t running I would stay on the antidepressants – but I need to feel that spark’
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) July 28, 2021
School Board Chair Meagan Alderton called Bishop “super-mom’.
“Talk about one of the most amazing mothers,” Alderton said. “Keisha Bishop embodies the effort and the resilience in parenting that goes with making a champion. Her kids are so positive, humble, so well balanced.”
Track coach Michael Hughes said that the Lyles brothers were destined for greatness.
“I was fortunate to be with them,” Hughes said. “Many high school coaches run their athletes into the ground, and I just needed to help them get to where they needed to go. They were going to be the athletes they are today.”
Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. said that ACPS prepared Noah Lyles to win the gold medal.
“Once a Titan, always a Titan,” Hutchings said. “We are just fortunate to have a school system where our kids are exposed to so many different cultures. He was exposed and prepared for greatness here so that he could represent the United States of America in Japan.”
Noah Lyles CRUISES to a spot in the 200m semifinals 😎
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 3, 2021
Celebrating @LylesNoah performance at Alexandria City High School's watch party with his proud mother @sunshine182225 and @AC_KSCampusAdm Carmen (Dean) Sanders! @ACPSk12 @josephus_lyles pic.twitter.com/1EONyGKhSE
— Peter Balas (@PrincipalTitan) August 3, 2021
It was a quick week in Alexandria. Here’s the rundown.
On the COVID front, the city’s DASH bus service announced that one of its drivers passed away from complications from the virus.
Meanwhile, Mayor Justin Wilson believes that the city has met its 80% vaccination threshold, while Virginia Department of Health data says about 65% of residents over the age of 16 are partially vaccinated. The Alexandria Health Department, which just launched a COVID-19 test and vaccine pilot at T.C. Williams High School, says the data does not take into account city residents vaccinated in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
It’s also July 4 weekend, and in this week’s poll we asked whether readers plan on traveling, with 67% of respondents voting to stay home, 27% opting to travel by car and just 6% traveling by air.
- City Council to specify when local dogs are allowed to bark
- Woman shot in Landmark Area Monday night
- New mixed-use development headed to the heart of Chirilagua
- Alexandria’s unemployment rate has been cut in half since May 2020
- Alexandria’s Sportrock Climbing Center is packed with business after Biden visit
- Alexandria eyes bus rapid transit and bike lanes for Duke Street
- Alexandria Police looking for driver in fatal hit-and-run
- Basilica of St. Mary bridge and expansion designs move forward
- Military spouses ask Sen. Tim Kaine to help with childcare in Alexandria roundtable
- Alexandria Reggae band FeelFree gets political in latest single
- Alexandria teaching racial and social equity with 30 day challenge
- Visit Alexandria website gets most views ever as businesses slowly climb back
- King Street Trolley service to return next Monday
- Researchers call out shoddy craftsmanship in buried 18th century Alexandria ship
- Man suspected of raping 12-year-old stepdaughter in Landmark area flees to El Salvador
- Landmark Mall plan approved as Planning Commission demands better environmental considerations
- Alexandria leaders acknowledge serious security issues with elimination of school resource officer funding
- Shortened Alexandria Birthday celebration is still on for July 10
- Alexandria eyes bus rapid transit and bike lanes for Duke Street
- Parker-Gray tiny lot home moves forward with some unique challenges
- Alexandria woman dies after veering off road on Interstate 95
- City talks strategy on making Chirilagua/Arlandria neighborhood Amazon-proof
- UPDATE: Man taken into custody as West End apartment barricade situation ends peacefully
- BREAKING: California man arrested for West End murder, indicted with 16 others in massive racketeering conspiracy
Have a safe weekend!
Alexandria’s Noah Lyles is officially on the U.S. Olympic Team after winning the 200 meter race in the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on Sunday night.
Lyles ran the race in 19.74 seconds – the fastest time clocked this year in the world — speeding to Tokyo as the second Alexandrian to join the team behind boxer Troy Isley.
The 23-year-old Lyles, a 2016 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, didn’t place in the 100 meter trials, and promised on Twitter that the 200 meter race was going to be “disgusting”. He also plans to run in the U.S. 4×100 relay team, meaning that he could possibly bring home two medals.
Lyles, who was pushed back against competing when the games were postponed last year, gave the commencement address at last year’s graduation at T.C. The winner of four Diamond League trophies told the students that he was bullied in school, and is also dyslexic and an asthmatic.
“Facing those adversities are what got me here today,” Lyles said. “You need to know that you can make it through, because just this time period of 2020 will not be your last, and you can make it to the next one, and the next one and the one after that, and you will look back on the times of 2020 and say, ‘I got through that, and I came out stronger than ever.'”
Keisha Caine Bishop tweeted that the journey to the Olympic team took 10 years of hard work and a lot of support for her son, who won the world championship in the 200 meters in 2019.
— Keisha Caine Bishop (@sunshine182225) June 28, 2021
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) June 28, 2021
Alexandria’s Noah Lyles tweets that upcoming 200 meter Olympic trial will be ‘disgusting’ — “For everyone who is worrying about my mental don’t worry I’m good. I gave my all and am healthy. Of corse I wanted to make the 100 but it wasn’t meant to be this year. But I will tell you this 200 will be disgusting.” [Twitter]
City Council approves outdoor dining area for Chadwicks — “Yesterday council approved our new outdoor dining area. Now we’ve just got to build it. We’ll see you later this summer for drinks on our new balcony.” [Facebook]
Goodwin House Incorporated named a 2021 Top Washington-Area Workplace — This is the third year in a row that Goodwin House received the honor. [Washington Post]
Lost Boy Cider turns 2 — “A special thank you to everyone who was able to join us for our 2yr anniversary party. We are so grateful to be able to do what we love and to be surrounded by the friends who are sharing in this journey.” [Facebook]
Rock It Grill brings back karaoke on Wednesday nights — “Karaoke Karaoke Karaoke!!! We are now adding Wednesdays… Every Wednesday through Saturday nights… Karaoke 9:30 PM ’til 1:30 AM” [Facebook]
Today’s weather — “A steady rain in the morning. Showers continuing in the afternoon. Thunder possible. High 73F. Winds NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 90%… A few clouds from time to time (in the evening). Low around 55F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]
New job: Seasonal marina dock assistant — “The Marina Dock Assistant performs journey-level tasks of more than ordinary difficulty and must be able to perform heavy physical labor safely and efficiently. This position works under the immediate supervision of a lead worker who lays out the details of each specific assignment and constantly checks the work in process and upon completion; or performs routine tasks independently after initial instruction. This position performs duties under the general supervision of the Dock Master and Assistant Dock Master.” [Indeed]
Usain Bolt compliments Alexandria’s running phenom Noah Lyles — “He talks the talk, but I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s going to match up – because he’s proven that he has the speed, just throughout the circuit and the way he’s running.” [USA Today]
City Council votes against Braddock West development — “A request by West Street Acquisitions, LLC to build a large multifamily residential building across the street from the Braddock Road Metro Station were denied in a 4-3 vote by City Council on Saturday.” [Alexandria Living]
Goodwin House residents recall activism — “As a college student, Dr. Drue Shropshire Guy was immediately inspired when he heard the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They drove him to take part in campus sit-ins while studying at Ohio St. University. These demonstrations were meant to shed light on segregation in the local community.” [Zebra]
City collecting mulch orders for April delivery — “Remember all those Christmas Trees collected in January and the leaves collected in the fall? Orders for wood and leaf mulch are being accepted for April delivery. Visit alexandriava.gov/Mulch to place your order.” [Twitter]
Today’s weather — “Rain (during the day). High near 60F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a half an inch… Thunderstorms during the evening giving way to periods of light rain overnight. Low 42F. Winds NNE at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 90%.” [Weather.com]
New job: Server — “HomeGrown Restaurant Group is a family-owned group and initially established its roots in Alexandria in the early 1990s. We currently have six locations spanning five different concepts. We are looking for servers to join our team that are well organized, customer service oriented, and have an overall positive attitude.” [Indeed]