Will the Midlo distance girls be able to hold off the sprint powers of the Eastern and Northwest? Perhaps the West Springfield boys in 1998 could give us the answer.
Will the Western Branch boys continue a streak of championships? Perhaps the Lake Braddock girls in 1988 or the Washington - Lee boys of 1958 could give us the answer.
Will the state meet move to a new location next year as it moved in 1978?
Here is my annual look back at the past state meets:
In the spring of 1947 the VHSL executive committee voted to separate the annual high school and prep school meet into two divisions, high school and prep. But in February of 1948 Executive Secretary, Richard Fletcher, announced that due to the lack of prep participation and the restrictive time schedule for use of Memorial Gymnasium at U.Va. the meet would remain a combined meet.
So on March 6, 1948 the State Indoor Championships were held at U.Va. Was this the first official indoor state meet? There is still a debate about this. University of Virginia had been hosting combined high school and prep indoor championship meets since 1943. The 1948 meet is usually recognized as an official state championship meet though some consider the first official state meet to be the 1954 meet held at VMI when the prep and high schools no longer ran together.
The meet in 1948 had only 9 events. There were no horizontal jumps as Memorial Gymnasium had no broad jump pit. The field events consisted of the High Jump, Shot Put and Pole Vault. There were two hurdle races: 50 Yard High Hurdles and 50 Yard Low Hurdles, a 50 Yard Dash, the Mile and 880 Yard Runs, and a Mile Relay.
Despite the efforts of Morris Beecroft of Newport News and Jack Gale of John Marshall, George Washington of Alexandria would win the 1948 state indoor championship.
The state indoor championships moved to VMI in 1954.
There are now 12 events in the state meet. The dashes have gone from 50 yards to 60. The hurdle races (yes there are still two of them) have grown from the 50 to the 70 Yard Hurdles.
We now have a long jump and now have an 880 Yard Relay and a 440 Yard Dash.
February 14, 1958 Washington – Lee High School wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with it’s 5th consecutive state championship. It was the only team to have won a state team championship at VMI.
Warwick behind Donald Snead and Andrew Lewis with it’s relay dominance ended Washington and Lee’s steak at four.
The event that summed up the meet was the 440 Yard Dash where Noah Perry of Andrew Lewis set a meet record running 53.5 to defeat Washington and Lee star (and future Midlothian Coach) Stan Morgan.
Gone are the 70 Yard Hurdles replaced by the 60 Yard High and Low Hurdles. Gone also is the 440 Yard Dash replaced by the 500 Yard Run. For the distance runners they now have the Two Mile Run and for the field event people we now have the triple jump.
The 1968 meet may as well be billed as the Doug Dickinson show. Newport News High School was looking to repeat it’s 1967 team championship ( the 8th of its record 9 team championship wins) and Doug lead the way.
Doug would almost outscore E.C. Glass by himself winning and setting records in four events, Long Jump, Triple Jump, 60 Yard High Hurdles, 60 Yard Low Hurdles and placing second in the High Jump. This would be one of the most dominant state meet performances by an individual in the history of the state meet. Doug would go on to finish his indoor career at Newport News with a record 11 individual indoor championships.
The 1978 State Indoor Championship Meet was historical not only for the fact that it was held in the Richmond Coliseum on a 160 Yard banked wooden track but because it was the only time in the state meet history that the high school state meet was held in conjunction with the college Virginia Indoor Track Championships.
The meet being held at the Coliseum brought on many firsts: a new electronic timing device called accu-track was used and due to the configuration of the track the high school athletes competed in the 960 Yard Relay instead of the 880 Yard Relay.
One of the unique aspects of this meet was that many former Virginia High School state champions now competing in college could watch the new high school state champions take their records. Phil Vincenzes of U.Va, former state champion and record holder in the shot put while at Thomas Edison watched Dan Krueger of Bayside put the shot 65’5 ½” to set a new and still the current state meet record.
His performance along with the sprinting of Ken Diggs gave Bayside High School its first state indoor championship.
And for those who were wondering – yes that was current Louisa Coach, Jerry Cutwright, competing in the Long and Triple Jumps as well as the 60 Yard High Hurdles for JMU.
The AAA State Indoor Championships added girls to the state meet in 1982. In 1985 the state indoor championships moved to George Mason University. In 1987 the meet became a two day meet and the Triple Jump was added as an event for girls.
Indoor track was at a high point for almost all of the AAA schools. Unfortunately this did not apply to the Eastern District Schools who had not sanctioned indoor track as a sport since 1975 and would not reinstate it until 2004. Since 1981 AA and A schools also were faced with no VHSL sanctioned state championship meet. (AA would later regain their state indoor meet but A is still trying to get theirs back)
The 1988 Girls State Indoor Championship Meet was all about ending a streak. The Lake Braddock girls had one of the all-time great streaks going for them. They were going for their third threepeat. They had won the girls team state championships in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track twice in a row and with their cross country team championship in 1987 they were looking for their third sweep of the state meet titles.
The only thing standing between them and the indoor title were two South Lake runners:
Anne Evans future Clemson runner would win the 1600 (5:02.6) and 3200 (11:00.52)
Kendyl Baugh future Texas runner would win the 300 (40.53) and place second in the 500 (1:16.73)
This would be enough to edge the Lake Braddock girls 38 – 36 for the state title thus ending one of the most amazing streaks in Virginia Track History.
But the girls meet was not just about the team score. Many future hall of fame athletes would put up amazing performances. Lisa Wells of Manor High School (1988 National Champion in the 100 M Hurdles) would become the first female athlete to go under 8:00 in the 55 Meter Hurdles at the state meet. Penny Blackwell future UNC All-American would jump 19’5” in the long jump – a record that would last 11 years. Then there was Monique Everett of Denbigh three time indoor National Champion, winning the 55 Meter Dash. She did not equal her 6.95 state meet record from 1987 (still the 55 Meter Dash record) but her 7.04 was good enough for 5th on the current state meet all-time list.
On the boys side history repeated itself. Just as in 1968 Doug Dickinson won four events and dominated the state meet 1988 would be the meet of Larry Moore of Kempsville.
Other big name athletes in the meet would perform well. Kerry “KK” Wooden of Warwick would set meet records in both the 300 (33.99) and 500 (1:03.01)
But it was the non championship performances of future Olympian, Allen Johnson (3rd in the High Jump at 6’6” and 2nd in the Long Jump with 23’10”) that would put Lake Braddock’s boys over the top to win the team title.
The AAA State Indoor Championships were once again held at George Mason University.
4 x 800 Meter Relays have been added as an event for both the boys and girls.
Just like 1988 two girls would dominate their two races for their team.
Laura Heiner of Centreville just like Anne Evans of South Lakes did in 1988 would win both the 1600 and 3200 Meter Runs. (4:52.28 in the 1600 and 10:32.73 in the 3200)
Faith Rein of Centreville would do even better than Kendyl Baugh of South Lakes did in 1988. She would win both the 300 and 500 Meter Dashes. (39.66 in the 300 and 1:14.76 in the 500).
But unlike 1988 the 1998 state meets scored 8 places and the depth of Thomas Jefferson of Alexandria allowed them to pile up points with their middle distance runners and jumpers that gave them a 5 ½ point victory over Centreville.
On the boys side Pat Conway would lead the West Springfield team with wins in the 1600 (4:13.55) and 3200 (9:35.10) to the team championship. They caught two of Virginia’s all-time winningest athletes in off years. Mike Newell of Potomac, 6 time indoor state champion, would only manage to win the long jump and 4 time indoor state champion, Rickey Harris of Centreville, young, with all his titles ahead of him, only managed a 2nd place in the hurdles.
Below are some pictures of the state champions discussed above: Doug Dickinson, Dan Krueger, Kendyl Baugh, Larry Moore, Laura Heiner, Faith Rein, Kelley Otstott, Rickey Harris