Only a rising junior at Woodberry Forest, Eric Ways clocked a 48.26 in the 400 meter dash at the USATF Region 3 Championships in Newport News this past weekend. A big time drop for the VISAA state indoor champion at 500 and 300 meters who had a previous season best of 49.45.
New Balance Outdoor Nationals 400 dash champion Michael Cherry of Oscar Smith jumped up to his first open 800 in a major meet this year and came away with a nice PR win of 1:55.88 in the young men division, but ended up running a second slower to Glen Allen's Stanley Davis who had a breakthrough race to take second in the intermediate boys division with a time of 1:54.56.
Forest Park's Mustaqeem Williams has already been beating Virginia's best upperclassmen this past year as a sophomore in clamining state titles in the 55 meter dash indoors and 100 meter dash outdoors. He will now move onto the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships to face the some of the best in the nation in his age group. Williams won the 100 and 200 meter dash with clockings of 10.59 and 21.47 respectively.
Two of Virginia's top returning hurdlers in sub 14 second 100 meter hurdlers Chantel Ray of Hampton and Leah Lott of Landstown did not actually race head to head at the USATF national qualifier meet as Lott got the faster time, but finished third in the intermediate division at 14.19, while the recent AAA state champ Ray got the third in the young women division but at a slower time at 14.71. Lott also leaped to a mark of 18'4.75" in the long jump to finish second in that event and qualify for nationals, while her Landstown teammate Briana Taliaferro was only a half inch less at 18'4" but won the young women's division with that leap.
Battlefield High School girls had several of the star athletes competing at CNU including sprinter Virginia Hill, middle distance runner Ellison Grove, and thrower Galissia Cause. Grove won the 800 meter run with a time of 2:14.06. Last month, Grove finished 3rd at the AAA State Meet with a PR time of 2:10. Meanwhile, Hill posted a time of 57.27 in the 400. Cause, the New Balance Outdoor Nationals emerging elite discus winner, had a solid double in the heat in the throws with marks of 126'5.75" in the discus and 37'0" in the shot put. Nansemond River freshmen Zakiya Rashid nearly went over 40 feet in the shot put to take first in the intermediate division with a mark of 39'10.25". Rashid will be a top state title contender in the throws next year as a sophomore, especially in the shot.
Group AA state pole vault indoor and outdoor champion Hannah Meador of Fluvanna County cleared 11'3.75" but finished second in a small but competitive field of four in the intermediate girls' division.
USATF Junior Olympics Region 3 Championships Results: