Lake Braddock's girls team thoroughly exceeded their expectations in the five field events where they scored 35 points and then piled on an additional 40 points in the ten running events to easily win the team title with 75 points with Brooke Point scoring 43 points for second place while Jefferson and Bethel each scored 37.5 points to tie for third.
The Lake Braddock boys did not clinch their title as early or easily as the Bruins girls with their title in doubt until the final race of the day. The Bruins boys, who were tied with Deep Creek at 47 points going into the 1,600 meter relay, won the event in a school record time of 3 minutes, 22.56 seconds to claim first place with a 57 point total as Deep Creek wound up second with 49 points and Petersburg was third with 46.
The Lake Braddock girls team was considered one of the co-favorites going into the championships but coach Bob Digby had figured his squad for just two points in the pole vault among the four field event finals on Friday night. The Bruins exceeded those expectations and then some with 22 points on the evening as Alexandra VanHeuven once again provided the impetus.
VanHeuven had come into the meet's first event, the long jump, as the eleventh seeded jumper with a personal best of 17 feet, 8.75 inches. VanHeuven improved on that performance by almost fifteen inches with her effort of 18-11.5 to grab second place and eight unexpected points for Lake Braddock.
The Bruins also picked up ten big points in the pole vault as Sara Monaco improved her personal best by a foot to notch third place at 10-6 and Stephanie Hollar claimed fifth place with her 10-0 effort. Lake Braddock also saw sophomore shot putter Catherine Muehleib (36-3) and senior high jumper Sarah Beale (5-2) chip in with seventh place finishes in their events for a total of four more points.
Saturday morning saw VanHeuven provide the spark once again as she set a personal best in the triple jump by over fifteen inches with her second place finish of 39-0.5. Lake Braddock also had senior Shawnette Adams set a personal best in the triple jump with her mark of 37-1.75 for fourth place to help give the Bruins a fifteen point lead over their closest competitor going into the running events.
Lake Braddock then received victories from their 4x200 relay team of Adams, Beale, VanHeuven and freshman anchor Courtney Sanders in 1:42.97 and from sophomore Kelly Swain, who overtook pacesetter Jeannie Addison of Thomas Jefferson (Richmond) in the 3,200 run on the final straight to win in 11:10.31.
In addition, the Bruins had a second place from their 4x400 relay team of Adams, Sanders, VanHeuven and Beale in 3:58.14, a third place from Sarah Beale in the 300 dash (40.42), eighth place in the 3,200 run from senior Cheryl Carr (11:29.25) and a fourth place in the 55 hurdles from VanHeuven in 8.58 as the junior played a part in 39 of Lake Braddock's points.
Runnerup Brook Point's 43 point total was achieved largely through the efforts of Keosha Sanders. The senior sprinter had an outstanding day in accounting for 28 of the points for the Blackhawks with wins in the 55 hurdles (8.18) and 300 dash (40.18) in addition to a second place in the 55 dash at 7.18.
Bethel had 37.5 points for a tie for third with senior Ara Towns winning the 55 dash easily in 7.03 and running the third leg on the winning 4x400 relay team (3:57.85), in addition to placing fifth in the long jump (17-11) for the Eastern Region champs.
Jefferson tied Bethel for third with 37.5 points with seniors Krystle Moss and Kelley Otstott claiming victories. Moss defended her title from last year in the high jump at 5-7 after winning a jumpoff with Oakton's Bonnie Meekins after they had tied for first in the event. Otstott had a very good day, even by her standards, as she came away a double winner. The Georgetown bound distance star easily took the 1,600 run in 4:57.97 to win by about 70 meters in moving to number seven in the nation for this year and came back an hour later to win the 1,000 run by more than five seconds in 2:57.28.
The Northern Region also received wins from Centreville junior Alicia LaRoche in the pole vault at 10-9 as she outdueled 1999 champion Carrie Bennett of Hayfield (2nd; 10-6) with the region taking the first five spots and from the Robinson 4x800 team of Lauren Hovland, Elizabeth Haight, Sam Ference and Michelle Gregory in 9:35.42 with the Northern Region also taking the first five spots in that event.
Robinson was also involved in the most exciting girls race of the day as they dueled Bethel and Lake Braddock in the 4x400 relay all the way and set a school record by almost five seconds in 3:58.14 with leadoff leg Meredith Brooks, who had survived a nasty spill earlier in the day in the 4x200 relay and anchor Shehara Chitty providing sub 60 second splits.
Other winners from outside the region included Lindsay Neuberger of Frank W. Cox, who set the lone meet record on the girls side with her win in the shot put at 47-1; Salem sophomore Amy Seward was impressive in setting two personal bests to win both the long jump (19-1) and triple jump (39-6.25) and Petersburg senior Nicole Cook improved on her nation leading time in the 500 dash by more than a full second in winning the 500 dash by twenty five meters in 1:13.51 in addition to placing second in the 300 dash (40.29).
The Lake Braddock boys victory was truly a team effort as twelve different members contibuted to their scoring. Senior Frank Francois was once again the ace in the hole as he played a part in 28 of the 57 points for the Bruins. Francois almost matched his nation leading time in the 500 dash of 1:03.74 set last week at the regional meet with his win on Saturday by ten meters in 1:03.76. Francois also finished second in the 300 dash in a personal best time of 34.46 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team which included Mike Yakovac, Pat Buchanan and Jim Borell in their school record time of 3:22.56 for another ten meter victory. The Bruins, running in the final section of the 4x400 relay, had seen Deep Creek run 3:26.66 in the previous section and knew the time they had to beat and left no doubt with their clutch win in the last race of the day.
Lake Braddock also grabbed a second place in the shot put from Kellen Meckelson (54-0.25); third places from Jimmy Judge in the 1,000 run (2:33.63) and Garrett Brickner in the high jump (6-8); fourth place from their 4x800 relay of David Bendahan, Peter Gardella, Dave Vitto and Steve Hoogland in 8:08.03; fifth place from their 4x200 team of Yakovac, Buchanan, Borell and Craig Gallimore in 1:32.04 and an eighth place in the 1,600 run from Judge (4:27.74).
Runnerup Deep Creek gave the Bruins a battle all day in finishing second with 49 points. Deep Creek had one individual winner in Quentin Matthews, who won the high jump at 6-10 over a tough field which had five jumpers clear 6-8. Deep Creek also had Deangelo Hall finish second in the 55 dash and Hall was also part of their second place 4x200 relay (1:31.32).
The credit for Petersburg's third place finish with 46 points would have to go almost entirely to senior Jerome Mathis as he was involved in all but three of his team's points. Mathis posted victories in the long jump (22-10.5) and 55 dash (6.42) as he defended his title in that event. Mathis was also third in the 300 dash (34.48); tied for third in the high jump (6-8), was seventh in the triple jump (44-10.5) and ran the opening leg on the winning 4x200 relay team for Petersburg (1:31.31).
The South Lakes boys team was fourth with 44 points with ten points in particular by senior Alan Webb eliciting the most excitement from the substantial crowd. The Seahawks star put on a sensational effort in the 1,000 run with his new national standard of 2:23.68.
As has been the case since Webb's national indoor mile record of 3:59.86 set six weeks ago, the spectators on hand for all of his subsequent races grow quiet with anticipation leading up to the start of his races and then break out into spontaneous applause and cheering as he swiftly makes his way around the track.
This past Saturday's races in the 1,600 and 1,000 runs were no exception. South Lakes coach Raczko had said last week, "Webb's training has indicated that if he doesn't have to go any faster than 4:15 to win the 1,600 it should not affect him for the 1,000 and he really wants the national record in that event."
Webb did not have to go faster than 4:15 to win the 1,600 but even though he was obviously holding himself back during the race, he could not avoid winning the race in a new state meet record time of 4:12.11 to break Sharif Karie of West Springfield's 1997 standard of 4:13.52. Webb methodically cruised through 400 splits of 62; 2:07 and 3:10 enroute, but still continued to increase his margin on the field to win by almost six seconds.
An hour later, many of the crowd on hand who had paid their admission to see the most recognizable name in high school track and field perform, got their money's worth.
Coming into the 1,000 meter race, Webb had already ranked number three all time in the event at 2:24.13 and the comparative ease of the previous 1,600 run (even though it was faster than 4:15) had most people assured that the state meet record set by Karie in 1996 of 2:28.36 would fall and there was also a chance for a crack at George Kersh of Pearl, Misssissippi's 1987 national all time mark of 2:23.85.
Taking the lead from the outset, Webb pushed through the first 200 meters in 27.5 and 400 meters at 57 seconds to leave no doubt that the throttle would remain open all the way. Webb then hit the 500 meter halfway point in 1:11, which was the same time he had posted at Virginia Tech five weeks ago enroute to his 2:24.13 time.
Webb then went by the 600 meter mark in 1:25 and knew that it would take a sub 59 second final 400 to achieve his goal. Webb hit 800 meters in an official F.A.T. time of 1:55.15 and with with everyone in the fieldhouse seeming to be pulling for the Webbmaster, the South Lakes senior combined his tremendous competitive drive with his equal amount of talent to bring it strong down the straightaway and take down the fourteen year old record.
The announced official time of 2:23.68 about 30 seconds later brought an exhaused Webb to his feet and to an unrehearsed victory lap which may have delayed the start of the following race for a couple of minutes; but did not bother anyone a bit.
Webb said, "the best thing about the record was that I was able to do it in front of the home crowd. It just amazes me that every time I step on the track they help to encourage me so much. It means a lot to me."
Webb also came back two hours later to post a 50.6 second split on the South Lakes 4x400 relay team which finished second in 3:24.00 with junior Richard Smith on anchor. Smith also finished third in the 500 dash and posted the fastest split of the day in the 4x800 relay with his 1:53.7 to bring the Seahawks team which included Deven Fellows, Yonathan Kebede and Kanda Karmo from behind to win in 8:00.04.
They won an extremely tight race over a young West Springfield squad which was a close second in 8:01.73 while Oakton was third in 8:02.61 with Matt Maline splitting 1:55.0 on the second leg and Phil Gaeta anchoring in 1:54.7 for the Cougars. Interestingly for South Lakes, Webb now holds the state indoor meet records in the 1,600; 1,000 and 3,200 meter runs but now is not a part of the school record 4x800 relay team for the Seahawks after their winning time of 8:00.04.
The Northern Region produced two other winners in Mark Kupets of Centreville and Matt Maline of Oakton. Kupets, whose previous best in the pole vault prior to the Northern Region meet had been 14-0, improved to 14-10 to win the region title and continued his improvement on Saturday with a state title winning effort of 15-3 with Centreville teammate David Sullivan second at 15-0. Maline dueled back and forth with junior Matt Keally of Ocean Lakes in the 3,200 run and after going through the first 1,600 meters in 4:41, Maline's strength pulled him through the final 1,600 meters in 4:34 as he won in a personal best time of 9:15.20 with Keally second in 9:19.82.
Other field event wins were posted by national triple jump leader Alonzo Moore of Phoebus, who bounded 48-8.75 fro the victory with William Fleming sophomore second at 48-1.75 with Moore also the runnerup in the long jump at 22-5.5 while Eric Thompson of George Washington-Danville was the shot put champ at 54-0.25.
In running events, B.J. Hancock of E.C. Glass won the 55 hurdles in 7.36 to edge Henrico's Kevin Watson (2nd; 7.38) and Brian Ford of Atlee bolted from the start of the 300 dash and won the event convincingly in 34.05 with Ford also posting the fastest split of the day in the 4x400 with his 47.2 anchor leg to move his Atlee squad from sixth place to third place overall (3:24.70).