Heritage got major point production out of their sprint group. Two members of the squad picked up individual state titles. Sophomore Tra Screen took the win in the 300 meter dash (41.44) as she outperformed current state meet record holder Latonya Anderson of Caroline (41.92) and fellow sophomore teammate Keshia Dabney ran away with the 500 meter run title (1:19.88). To add onto the accolades of individual performances from the Heritage squad included runner-up finishes in the 55 meter dash and hurdles by Darwansia Rose (7.45) and Jessica Alexander (8.73) respectively. The 4x200 meter relay put together by the Lady Pioneers was an unstoppable force as they ran away with the win in a time of 1:45.33. The performance by the Heritage sprinters put the squad in position to take the state title, but the distance runners from Western Albemarle had other plans.
The Lady Warriors began their distance assault by kicking off the day by shattering the meet record in the 4x800 meter relay by nearly 20 seconds as they lapped the whole field with their time of 9:33.83. Two vital legs on that relay were lead off leg junior Jessica Fanning and anchor leg sophomore Tasmin Fanning. The sisters proved throughout the day to be the backbone of the squad. In the 1600 meter run, Jessica had a strong race to break away from the chase pack and close hard for a runner-up finishing time of 5:08.71. Young sister, Tasmin, had an equally impressive performance in the 1000 meter run as she came away with a third place finish in a time of 3:01.58. Other individual point scorers for Western Albemarle out of the distance races were Kelsey Stafford (3rd, 11:46.03) and Gina Casella (5th, 11:52.20) in the 3200 meter run and Courtenay Johnson (5th, 3:10.22) in the 1000 meter run. In track, it's rare for a team to soley win out of the distance events, and while the Lady Warriors were able to get the majority of their points out of those events, they were also able to receive some assistance elsewhere. Kathleen Dettman was a state runner-up for Western in the high jump at 5-2 and Katy Goeke took a third place finish in the 500 meter run (1:21.07) to give Western Albemarle some key points. Also a big surprise that proved to be a big reason for the team's success was their 4x200 meter relay winning the slow heat and finishing third overall with a clocking of 1:49.96.
After Stafford and Casella added 10 points to the team's cause after the 3200 meter run, both Western Albemarle and Heritage found themselves in a deadlock tie going into the final event of the 4x400 meter relay. Making things even juicier was the fact the two teams came in as the top two seeds in the event. However, with Jessica Fanning's strong opening leg to put the relay squad firmly in the lead and middle legs Courtenay Johnson and Katy Dettman mainting that sizable margin, the Heritage 4x400 meter relay members could only watch up ahead on the straightaways as they saw their state title hopes slipping away and finally completely vanished as anchor leg Tasmin Fanning brought home the race win and state title to the Lady Warriors in meet record time of 4:07.16.
Both Western Albemarle girls (70 pts) and Heritage girls (68 pts) were equally deserving teams of a state title, but it was Western who was able to just barely squeak out the win in the dramatic and exciting contest. For Western Albemarle coach Carin Ward, it was her second state title in as many seasons of head coaching as her Lady Warriors were also state champions in the fall for cross country.
The Heritage boys had better luck than their female counterparts and proved to have much easier work of the competition as they repeated as state champs with a large win over Charlottesville (46 pts). With a combination of point contributions from the sprints, hurdles, field events, relays, and even the distance events, Heritage was able to amass a point total of 74 points. In the sprints, it was clear who the top sprinter in AA is this season and he happens to reign from Heritage as senior Mario Moore was one of few double state titlists on the day as he took victories in both the 300 (35.85) and 500 (1:06.83) meter races. Ironically, he won both events out of a slower heat as in the 500 meter run, brother Marques Moore won the fast heat (1:07.36) to take second overall behind his sibling. Senior hurdler Nelson Dawson was the second state champion from Heritage on the day as he nearly broke the state meet record in the 55 meter dash in the prelims with a 7.68 clocking (current record 7.65) and came back to win in 7.70. The Pioneers ended up with a trio of state champions as senior John Hall was the sole competitor to break 50 feet in the shot put as his throw of 50-1.50 gave him the state title in the event. Heritage, known primarily as a sprinter and field event based team, surprisingly got points out of the distance events in junior Jeff Similien as he came away with five points for the team with a fifth place finish in the 1000 (2:43.98) meter run and an eight place finish in the 1600 (4:35.94) meter run. As the girls' state champions from Western Albemarle were winners in two relay events, as were the boys' champions as Heritage dominated both the 4x200 (1:31.99) and 4x400 (3:28.27) meter relays.
The Region II champions, Charlottesville, had a solid showing for runner-up honors. Leading the way for the Black Knights was Reuben Jones as he set the state meet record in the 55 meter dash with his 6.50 clocking. A third place finish for Tommy Lucas in the 55 meter hurdles (8.11) and fourth place finish for Wesley Watson in the triple jump (44-8.25) also helped the Charlottesville cause. Strong relay performances in the 4x200 (2nd, 1:33.60) and 4x800 (3rd, 8:25.52) meter relays helped seal second for the team.
Rockbridge County senior John Crews, the top seed in the boys' 1600 and 3200 meter run was absent from the meet. The rumored reason why Crews was missing in action was because he had to attend N.C. State interviews for academic scholarships. However, other AA stars shined in his absence.
Fauquier sophomore Sarah Bowman came into the state meet as without question the favorite to win the 1600 and 1000 meter races as well as break meet records in each. She came through in doing just that. Bowman shattered the state meet record in the 1600 (5:00.59) and 1000 (2:52.44) meter runs.
Field event stars Adam Linkenauger of Lord Botetourt and Ryan McCoy of William Fleming both set the state records they were hoping for as Linkenauger took the high jump record (6-8) and McCoy set the new triple jump mark (49-0.5).
Courtland's Tim Jackson also had an exceptional performance in the field events as he won the long jump in a leap of 22-4.
Dominating the girls' side in the field events was Amherst County senior Imani Moorman as she took wins in both the high jump (5-4) and triple jump (39-7). Her mark in the triple jump, which broke her own meet record, ranks her seventh in the nation currently.
Also having a strong double win was Octavia Best of Prince Edward County as the junior defeated Moorman in the long jump (18-7.75) and also took the win in the 55 meter hurdles (8.62).
With the absence of Crews, the 1600 and 1000 meter run was up for the taking for Louisa County senior Daniel Kane as he ran scorching time of 4:19.91 to win the 1600 meter run and then later on took the win as well in the 1000 meter run (2:36.59).
Both the boys' and girls' winners in the 3200 meter races were pleasant surprises as Hidden Valley junior Jennifer Beury upset race favorite Anna Chase of Martinsville to come away with the big win in a clocking of 11:13.46 and Tommy Antenucci of Abingdon (9:52.26) pulled away from Christiansburg's Justin Hatch (9:54.33) late in the race to come way with the victory in the boys' race.
The Spotswood boys won a fairly uncontested 4x800 meter relay as they led from the first leg and kept it en route to a 8:17.67.
While Western Albemarle girls' took the state team title, the Western Albemarle boys got an individual state champion out of the meet in sophomore Stephen Thompson as he took the title in the pole vault at 13-3. In the girls' version of the pole vault, Randi Lawson of Appomattox came out as the winner with her best height at 9-6.
Kim Williams of Bruton upset favorites Jennifer Showker of Spotswood and Tiera Hubbard of William Fleming to capture the shot put state title with her throw of 38-6.50.
Capping a meet filled with meet records, Charlottesville's Angela Johnson tied the meet record in the 55 meter dash with her 7.30 clocking.