The year the VHSL moved from three to six classifications was the same year that this epic streak started. When Libby Davidson crossed the finish line in first it started a chain of events that is still going today. In fact, in every state meet since that 2013 one, a freshman girl has reigned supreme against her older counterparts. This year could be the same story.
When you look down the long list of champions and great athletes to run in Virginia it almost always starts with their freshman year. In 2013 we had Libby Davidson (4A), in 2014 we had Heather Holt (5A, in 2015 we had Sophia Link (3A), and in 2016 we had Jessey Ball (2A) making this history continue. In 2017 it could be poetic justice with Julia Ghiselli attempting to be the first 6A freshman state champion in more than two decades by beating someone who helped this streak, Heather Holt.
Now it is a far ways off and Holt is a monster on the state course but this weekend was an eye opener to say the least. In her first race on the course it was Ghiselli who pulled away late from Holt and ran on to win in an impressive 17:29.
That time is fast enough to rank inside the top 20 all-time there and just eight seconds off of superstar Rachel McArthur's best on the same course. Simply put, 17:29 is scary fast for anyone let alone a freshman on this 2.98 mile course.
Often times it is someone we don't know or don't think will win that ultimately does the winning but this year it looks like Julia Ghiselli could be the girl to beat and still shock the running world.