The 2016 installment was undeniably great on the girls' side and superb on the boys', this time around though it looks like the VA boys will dominate and the VA girls will take care of a lot of business and teams down at WakeMed.
Virtual Meets: Boys - Girls
Starting with the teams for once it looks like Team VA could pull off the sweep and take home both Boys & Girls titles for the Race of Champions (ROC). In the boys' race we will have US #1 team Loudoun Valley leading us and in the girls' race we have three strong teams from Blacksburg, Loudoun Valley, and Tuscarora all vying for that top spot.
We expect no major challenge for the boys but for the girls' title we expect a very tough and close race between those three VA schools and Dupont Manual (KY) and South Forsyth (GA).
Individually things get even closer and more exciting considering how fast this course ran a year ago.
In the Girls' ROC race it looks like the winner will hail from NY's Saratoga Springs HS. That of course being Kelsey Chmiel who was the outdoor national champion last year and certainly will be the heavy favorite entering the competition. Behind her though should be a very strong pack of VA runners.
Leading this chase pack will be the double duos of Wolfe & Edwards from Blacksburg and Morris & Fetterolf from Loudoun Valley. Those ladies are also joined by Mary Caroline Heinen and Zoe Clay who all rank inside the top 14 girls in this huge field.
Expect some fast times from the VA girls and potentially a break through performance from Mary Caroline Heinen who loves to chase athletes down. We expect big things from her and every VA girl in this top pack that could ultimately see an entire top 10 under 18:00 this Saturday.
The boys' ROC race will be just as exciting but a little harder to predict. Representing VA on the individual front here will be Stafford's Philip Lambert and the deadly lead four runners from Loudoun Valley: Jacob Hunter, Sam Affolder, Peter Morris, and Colton Bogucki.
All of these guys will be fighting for that top spot and more importantly great team points and a fast time. We know Loudoun Valley is training thru the meet so don't expect anything insanely fast but don't be shocked either if two of their guys go under 15:00 tomorrow.
All in all this should be a huge weekend for Virginia and another chance for a lot of the teams and individuals from Virginia to show off the depth in our state.