Photo by Jacqueline Justice
A freshmen now leads the entire nation in the 55 meter hurdles as Grassfield's Grant Holloway clocked a US #1 7.40 performance in the prelims on Friday at the Suffolk Stars Invitational. Holloway would later win the finals in a time of 7.48 as the freshmen phenom got quite a race from Phoebus sophomore Charles Graham, who was a runner-up for the second straight week (second in finals at CNU last weekend) with a 7.49 clocking.
The previous national leader in the 55 meter dash in Highland Springs sophomore Marcus Taylor was able to lower his season best time of 6.43 to 6.41 in the 55 meter dash, but found himself as the second fastest man in the finals race. Grassfield junior Vincent Lowe was faster with a state best and US #2 clocking of 6.39 to be the first under 6.40 this season.
Wooside senior Aaron Worrell reached out for a US top 10 mark in the triple jump as he just missed his season best five days earlier achieved at Boo Williams with a winning leap of 47 feet even on Friday evening. Worrell was the Group AAA state runner-up last spring in the triple jump and so far is position himself as a state title favorite and contender this indoor track season.
No sub 7 second clocking for Phoebus sophomore Carolyn Brown as she has almost spoiled us running under a time which historically only a few have done in Virginia at such a young age, but Brown was still able to defeat a swift field in the 55 meter dash with her 7.10 clocking on day one of the Suffolk Stars Invite. Northwest Region favorite Meshala Morton of Mountain View was a runner-up to Brown as she tested the state indoor track surface with a personal best performance of 7.15.
A good 4x800 meter relay battle between Northern Region squad Centreville (8:12.23) and Eastern Region squad Grassfield (8:13.18) with both schools giving chase at trying to achieve the state automatic standard prior to their regional meets.
The Forest Park boys ran the nation's fastest 4x200 meter relay time on a flat track as their VA #20 all-time performance of 1:29.85 at the Boo Williams Sportsplex bested even the fastest times nationally produced on quicker banked track surfaces as their relay was anchored by defending Group AAA state 55 meter dash state champ Mustaqeem Williams to be the first sub 1:30 squad in the nation so far this winter. Williams and teammate Joshua Washington later went 1-2 in the 300 meter dash with Williams as the winner in a PR performance of 35.11, while Washington also ran an all-time best in second place at 35.47. Forest Park finished the meet claiming first in the 4x400 event with a time of 3:32.09, which featured the 500 meter dash event winner from earlier in Ricky Morgan (1:06.53).
In a match-up between last year's state indoor high jump champion in Matoaca's Brianna Hayes and last year's state outdoor high jump champion in Crystal Jones of Colonial Forge, Hayes thrived with the competition to clear a new personal best and national leading height of 5'10" on Saturday. With her US #1 performance on Saturday, Hayes joins only four other past Virginia high school athletes to have cleared 5 feet 10 inches or higher during the indoor track season. Jones was second with a season best clearance of 5'6" after winning the outdoor state title last spring as a freshmen at 5'8".
A Group AA squad in the Tabb girls believe it or not became the first 4x400 meter relay team in Virginia to break 4 minutes this season with their 3:59.10 performance as runners-up to the US #1 Wakefield (3:55.50) girls from North Carolina. Tabb's quartet is now ranked US #9 after their performance to close the meet at the Suffolk Stars Invite. Tabb was also second to Wakefield in the 4x200 meter relay as the top finisher from Virginia with a time of 46.81.
The girls 300 meter dash was a smoking race won by Wakefield's Tyra Lea in a US #4 clocking of 39.96, while Indian River's Andrea Wright became the Virginia state leader in the event with the first sub 40 second time of the season in a runner-up US #6 performance of 39.67.
Andrew Hines of Grassfield threw for a state best mark of 57'2.50" in the shot put, which ranks him just a couple inches outside of the US top 10 rankings currently with his big 3 foot PR improvement at the Suffolk Stars meet.
Nick RIchardson of Western Branch and Andrew Gaiser of Forest Park both were in contention for regional cross country titles this past fall, but fell short. Their duel with each other at Boo Williams in the 3200 meter run produced each state automatic qualifying times with Richardson bringing home the victory in 9:34.20 and Gaiser finishing second place in 9:36.48.
Woodbridge has one of the state's top 4x200 and 4x400 meter relays, but loaded up neither this weekend and let some of their top legs focus individually on their racces. In the 500 meter dash, two of their athletes finished among the top 3 between Jewel Christian (2nd, 1:18.78) and Farrah Suber (3rd, 1:20.41).
2013 Suffolk Stars Invitational: