The meet will start at 3:00 p.m. Friday with field event finals in the discus throw, long jump and high jump for both girls and boys. Running event trials for both hurdle events and the 100; 200 and 400 meter dashes will begin at 4:30 p.m. in which the competitors will be qualifying for the eight spots in the finals for those events which are set for Saturday. There will also be one running final on Friday, with the girls 4x800 meter relay to begin to at 7:10 p.m and the boys 4x800 finals to immediately follow the girls 4x8 relay. Team scoring for all events will be through eight places on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
On the girls side, defending indoor state champion Menchville, along with Eastern Region outdoor runnerup Salem, perennial power Bethel and Northern Region indoor and outdoor winner Lake Braddock come into the meet with the most point potential.
Menchville is led by senior Yvette Lewis, who is the defending state outdoor champion in both the triple jump and 200 dash and also one of the favorites in the long jump, 100 dash and 100 hurdles. If Lewis is able to dominate the outdoor state meet as she did the indoor meet where she scored more than 40 points, it will make it extremely tough for any team to overcome Menchville with the Monarchs also having senior Jelyn Quick as one of the favorites in both hurdle events.
Salem has one of the state's top jumpers and sprinters themselves in senior Amy Seward to greatly aid their hopes of overtaking Menchville while Bethel can never be counted out at the state level, led this year by sprinters Francena McCorory, Britni Spruill and Lavonne Idlette.
Lake Braddock's chances for any of the trophies awarded to the top three teams hinge greatly on the field events. The Bruins have sophomore Ashley Haislip as one of the favorites in the high jump; the second and third seeds in the discus throw with seniors Jessica Sawers and Catherine Muehleib and will also look for points in the shot put with Muehleib and the pole vault with Cristina Zuniga.
Lake Braddock will also need help on the track with hoped for points in the 3,200 run with senior Kelly Swain and freshman Erin Klein in additon to the potential for points in all three relays (4x100; 4x400 and 4x800 meters).
If Menchville does not come close to maxing out in the 60 point range and comes back to the pack somewhat, Northwest Region runnerup Gar-Field could get into the mix with their 40 point team capability. The Indians have the top seed in both the shot put and discus throw in senior Tiffany Evans, who was second in both events to graduated Lindsay Neuberger of F.W. Cox last year. Gar-Field also has senior Afua Amponsah as one of the favorites in the 100 hurdles and as a possible factor in both the 100 dash and 300 hurdles.
The Eastern Region seems even stronger than usual this year with as many as seven of their schools capable of finishing in the top ten including Tallwood, led by defending 400 dash champ Faraign Giles; Western Branch with 800 run favorite Leslie Treherne, who was second in the 800 in both her freshman and junior years; and Kellam, the defending 4x800 relay champs with relayers Kelley Taylor and Natalie Sherbak also looking to score in individual distance events.
Northern Virginia participants with a good chance of performing well in individual field events include Oakton's Kathleen Woody in the long jump; Mount Vernon triple jumper Shea Spann; Westfield's Kathryn Pettine, the fourth place finisher in the pole vault last year, and Hayfield's Ashley Crocker in the shot put.
On the track, Osbourn Park's Devon Alston was fifth last year at state in the 300 hurdles; Potomac sophomore Kharya Brown comes in with one of the top seeded times in the 100 dash; Jefferson's Shauneen Garrahan and Jemissa Hess of C.D. Hylton will battle Taylor of Kellam and last year's runnerup, Jennifer Boyd of Hickory, in the 1,600 run. Lee's Latavia Lewis has a solid shot of making the finals in the 300 hurdles; West Springfield's Huma Husain comes into the 800 run as the number three seed behind Western Branch's Treherne and Hess of Hylton and Forest Park junior Beth Fahey is capable of improving on her sixth place all state status in the 3,200 run from last year.
In the baton passing events, Robinson comes in as the area's top seed in the 4x400 relay and the Rams are the overall top seed in the 4x800 relay in what could be one of the best races of the weekend with Kellam and Jefferson looking ready to run with Robinson.
The boys team title seems to have as many as five teams in the hunt, with any school that can put it all together and able to come up with 40 or more points looking tough to beat. Those schools include Lake Braddock, if hurdler Craig Gallimore is able to come back from a leg injury which shelved him for the district and regional meet; Central Region champ Thomas Dale; Eastern Region outdoor and state indoor champion Deep Creek; field event heavy Great Bridge and Northern Region team titleist Westfield.
Lake Braddock's hopes hinge on Gallimore, who needed to sit out the district meet due to a hamstring injury and was then rested for the regional meet in hopes of being close to 100% healthy for the state meet. Gallimore is entered in both the 110 high hurdles, in which he was state runnerup last year and in the 300 intermediate hurdles in which he is the defending state champion and would probably anchor the 4x400 relay for the Bruins.
Gallimore's status is still day to day but if he is ready to go and the Bruins can score well in the horizontal jumps with Carl Hunter along with Gilbert Elston in the 800 run; Steve Hoogland in the 3,200 run and in the 4x800 relay with Elston and Hoogland also on that squad, Lake Braddock should fare well.
Thomas Dale is led by senior Alex Tatu, the defending champion in the 1,600 run and also the pre-race favorite in the 800 run in addition to running a leg on Thomas Dale's 4x400 relay, which could also score. Thomas Dale will also be looking for points from sophomore Dennis Boone in the 100 dash with Boone also coming in as the top seed in the long jump.
Deep Creek has been beset by some key injuries since near the end of the indoor season and although they may not score in the field events, hurdles or longer distance events, they can accumulate points in the flat races from 100 meters through 800 meters and always seem to be in the hunt.
Great Bridge has been the school most recognized with pole vault prosperity for the last 15 years and this year is no exception as they have three of the top four seeds entered in the vault led by Daniel Magness and look to have points in the throwing events with James Nixon and Solomon Revils.
Westfield cannot be counted out as they have the ability to score in an array of events. The Bulldogs have David Lewis as the best bet for breaking up the Great Bridge logjam in the vault and will be looking for points in both hurdle races with Alvin Tondereau and Philippe Tondereau as well as points in the 100 dash with John Schenck, the 4x800 relay led by David Groff and in the 4x400 relay where they come in as the top seed anchored by Chris Courson.
Other top area performers start with Robinson's Steve Huntzinger, the top seed and defending champion in both the shot put and discus throw. Huntzinger is the prohibitive favorite in the discus throw but should get a little more pressure in the shot put after First Colonial's Khaliff Mitchell exploded to a personal best of 62 feet, 7 inches last week while Huntzinger is coming in with a seasonal best of 64-1after winning the Northern Region title at 62-8 last week.
The field events also have Forest Park's Reynold Smith looking to repeat his all state performances last year in the long and triple jumps and Nick Crumpton of Langley is back to defend his state title in the triple jump.
In running events, the 4x800 relay should be both extremely competitive and quick with eight schools coming into the meet already having run faster than 8 minutes this season led by Midlothian and West Springfield.
West Springfield 4x800 anchor Jeff Day is also one of the top seeds in the 1,600 run along with Wakefield's Peter Quinzio; Mount Vernon's Ernest Asante was fourth at states last year in the 300 hurdles and looked good in winning the regional title last week; Annandale's Mike Flint is among a tight group in the 800 run in which only 1.13 seconds separates the seed times of the top seven individuals and Jefferson has one of the co-favorites in the 3,200 run with senior Keith Bechtol.