This year the meet has already earned the title because of the entry limits which have forced the directors to turn away numerous teams and individuals. The meet may not be as big but there will still be some outstanding performances. Expect Michael Chapa to give Senneca Lassiter's long standing record a serious chase. Also look for Patterson Wilhelm, Queen Harrison, Tasmin Fanning and Jovan Coker to make this a memorable meet.
FORK UNION, VA -- Hardly a flattering slogan for the Fork Union Invitational, but consider some recent outcomes in the fifteen- year history. LaShawn Merritt racked up three gold medals in the World Junior's last year, his lone loss of 2004 – The FUMA Invitational. Merritt finished second to teammate Jamel Deans in the 55 dash. In 2000, Fork Union gambled on removing All American Mike Redden from the 4x800 in order for him to concentrate on the 500. The gamble nearly paid off as the host won the 4 x800 and appeared in the driver seat to win the team trophy. However, Redden failed to score a single point due to illness and the Bethel Bruins edged FUMA by three points. In 1997, Churchland's Jamin Elliot had six triple jumps over 48 feet an incredible performance. He lost. Eventual Athlete of the Year Greg Yeldell of North Rowan bested him in an all time great duel. Elliot is now in the NFL. Last year Sarah Bowman misjudged when her race would be and ended up running out of gas, the mega high school All American finished sixth in the 1600.