Remember site visitors (as well as making newbies to the sport and website aware) to check out the site's rankings database each week to see updated lists of the top teams and individuals in the state. Performances are entered from the Chancellor Invite and Denbigh Baptist Minuteman Invitational this past weekend and performances will be entered from Clash with the Titans and Run fer da Hills once MileStat.com receives results from those meets. The database lists will become more accurate with more results from meets in the coming weeks. Coaches, athletes, and parents can specify the rankings to help them find how runners and teams might stack up against one another in their classification, region, district, county, grade level, etc. Coaches remember to send in your meet results as MileStat.com will gladly post them. VA Boys Cross Country Individual Times List VA Girls Cross Country Individual Times List VA Boys Cross Country Team Scoring List VA Girls Cross Country Team Scoring List
The first annual Clash with the Titans was held at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke this past weekend on their home cross country course, which saw runners face a moderately challenging 5K course with an always fun flowing creek crossing for runners to attempt to run through. Photo by Janis Lewis The Hidden Valley girls, one of the top teams in the state according to MileStat.com's pre-season rankings, ran without two of their top four returnees but still managed to impress with a home invite victory and a close 1-2 finish between teammates Annie LeHardy (20:45) and Mary Catherine Sowder (20:46). Sowder could potentially be the team's fourth runner based on last year's results, but finished well ahead of an All-State caliber runner in Alisha Royal of William Byrd (3rd, 21:29). The William Byrd boys also had a great upfront running from Caleb Kingery and Kyle O'Conner as the Terrier duo clocked in at times of 17:47 and 17:50 respectively for first and second place finishes on the Hidden Valley 5K course. However, E.C. Glass proved to have superior depth to William Byrd and the rest of the field including three runners in the top ten led by John Adams in fourth place at 18:31. More.... Clash with the Titans Photo Gallery by Janis Lewis - 419 photos total Clash with the Titans Results: High School Boys - High School Girls - Middle School Mixed
The Mountain View pair of senior Thomas Porter and junior transfer Kaitlyn Davis (previously from Jacksonville, NC) swept the individual titles for their team at the 20th annual Chancellor Invitational held on Saturday, August 30th at Loriella Park in Fredericksburg, VA. More... Chancellor Invitational Results: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls Chancellor Invitational Photo Gallery - 1,259 total photos by Brandon Miles. A few more to be added from awards ceremony. Chancellor Invitational Race Videos: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - Developmental Boys - Developmental Girls Chancellor Invitational Video Interviews: Coach Bane (Meet Director) - Kaitlyn Davis (Girls Race Winner) - Thomas Porter (Boys Race Winner)
The Hidden Valley girls, ranked #3 in Virginia in the pre-season rankings, will begin their 2008 cross country in a home invitational at the "Clash with the Titans" with at least 11 schools expected to contend. (Photo by Brandon Miles) Virtual meet scoring preview of this Saturday's Clash with the Titans which is an inaugrual event being hosted by Hidden Valley High School in Salem. The Hidden Valley girls look to put on a strong opener on their home course as they should dominate with many of their runners among the top 10 places in the 11 team invite led by defending Group AA 1600 meter state champ Annie LeHardy. A potential exciting race could be shaping up for first place individually among the boys with Liberty Christian Academy's Josh Morris, a USATF National Junior Olympics All-American in the steeplechase and 5000 meter run, and Hidden Valley's Bryan Lewis. The Hidden Valley boys will be a slight pre-meet favorite on their home course against the Northwest Region's E.C. Glass.
The checks are still coming in, but as of today the Western Branch team has raised over $11,000 for cancer research and their team thanks to 100+ miles put in by their coach in 24 hour span and 933 total miles combined by all of the Western Branch athletes who participated in the Tuesday, August 13th event which spilled over to 7 am on Wednesday, August 13th at their school's track in Cheseapeake, Virginia. Western Branch's distance coach Ryan Carroll in memory of one of his friends who was a victim of cancer, honored his friend by raising money for cancer research by completing an incredible task as he circled the track for hours and hours to run a total of 104 miles in less than 24 hours. His Western Branch athletes logged quite a few miles as well to help fundraise for their team for this upcoming year of meets as Blake Theroux put in a total of 60 miles and David Warren ran the second furthest at 54 miles. Natalie Wynn ran the most among the girls with 51 miles, while Kayleigh Lewellyn completed 49 miles. A total of 22 athletes participated in the run-a-thon fundraiser. The team passed team on their breaks from running lounging in the tent areas on both ends of the end zone, taking advantage of ice baths made in kiddie pools, refueling with food and drinks, and even playing a few games of ping pong. More on the Western Branch's long distance method to raise money for their team below. WAVY TV: WBHS track club holds 24 hour relay to raise money WAVY TV: WBHS coach runs 100 miles in 24 hours for cancer research Kale Running: Western Branch HS 24 Hour Relay Results
James Robinson senior Jared Berman scored a major individual win over the Degfae twins of Thomas Edison in Wednesday's scrimmage at Burke Lake with a 16 second PR of 15:28 at home course for the Northern Region Championships. Berman looks to lead his team to bigger things this fall and make a state meet podium run. (Photo by Ted Plunkett) Chantilly, James Robinson, and Thomas Edison gathered their cross country teams at Burke Lake Park's 2.98 mile course on Wednesday, August 27th for a final scrimmage prior to the start of the official season next week. The results showed a highly competitive scrimmage which had two ranked AAA squads in #3 James Robinson and #9 Thomas Edison facing off, while the girls' team scores showed an even more tightly contested meet with only one point separating the three schools and a sixth runner tiebreaker determining the winner.
Presley Parkes had a sensational freshmen year at Millbrook High School earning All-State honors in both cross country and indoor track. She burst onto the scene at the Chancellor Invite last year with a runner-up finish in her first high school race and returns this weekend to Loriella Park as one of the individual race favorites. (Photo by Brandon Miles) Starting this cross country season, MileStat.com will begin taking advantage of the virtual meet scoring feature added this summer to the MileSplit US affiliate sites in the previews of upcoming meets. The scoring uses the times entered in the site's database to generate a hypothetically scored meet based on the best performances of individuals on each team. Since this is the start of the season without any meets being contested prior to this point, the first portion of the season will be using performances from the 2007 cross country season which can sometimes not be a very exact indication of the quality of each team as team rosters can change drastically in one year's time. However, the virtual meets are a great starting point to see where teams and individuals might stack up with one another heading into a meet. As the season progresses with a couple weeks of invitationals and we have more results and times in the database, we will switch over to using 2008 cross country season performances. We begin with virtual meet scoring of this weekend's Chancellor Invitational at Loriella Park in Fredericksburg, VA. MileStat.com's Brandon Miles will be on-site with coverage for the third consecutive year as the opener of the site's cross country meet coverage.
While many area teenagers spent one of their last Friday night’s before school started at the movies, shopping or cheering on their team in a final scrimmage, Clover Hill cross country runners hit the trails. The 20+ team members on hand Aug. 22 ran a combined 293 miles, covering roughly the distance from the school to New York City, all so that they can continue – and perhaps further – their cross country season. The Clover Hill girls’ cross country team snuck up on the field and finished as district runners-up last fall. This year they look to continue that upward trend toward the regional and state meets with a few extra team members and some more practice. Read full story by Sara Page of Midlothian Exchange... Remember to email your newspaper stories this cross country season to firstname.lastname@example.org
Lautzenheiser & Porter are pre-season #1's Photo by John Herzog As the only returning Foot Locker finalists in the state, Midlothian junior Kathleen Lautzenheiser and Mountain View senior Thomas Porter find themselves as ranked #1 in the Virginia heading into the 2008 cross country season which officially begins this weekend. Being the top runner in Virginia will not be an easy position to hold for the entire fall for either Lautzenheiser or Porter though with plenty of talent returning this fall. Northern Region runners Hiruni Wijayaratne of Herndon and Lia DiValentin of Chantilly should be Lautzenheiser's two toughest challengers after Wijayaratne won a state title this past spring for 3200 meters, while DiValentin came just short twice in defeating Lautzenheiser for a state championship in cross country and indoor track last year. Other individuals to look out for include Group A state champion Megan Marsico, private school state champion Megan Fitzpatrick of Bishop O'Connell, and several Group AA runners including 1600 meter outdoor champion Anne LeHardy of Hidden Valley. Porter has yet to win a state championship in cross country or track and will have his hands full to his first title in Group AAA with tough competition from such runners as Ben Dejarnette of Atlee, but the best runners in the state could be found in Group AA with a group of four including Jamestown's Andrew Colley, Turner Ashby's Alex Ott, and Western Albemarle's Tyler Stutzman and Kyle Satterwhite. MileStat.com's individual rankings include top 15 for All-Class, Group AAA, Group AA, Group A, private school, and for each region in Group AAA and AA.
The Oakton boys and Midlothian girls will begin the 2008 cross country season as the top ranked teams in the state of Virginia. Not far behind Oakton in the #2 spot is Group AA's top ranked squad in Jamestown. Meanwhile, a trio of Group AA schools are ranked ahead of the next Group AAA school after Midlothian in Blacksburg, Hidden Valley, and Brentsville. Rankings include: Top 10 rankings for Cream of the Crop All-Class Rankings Top 10 rankings for Group AAA, AA, A, and private school classifications Top 5 rankings for each region in Group AAA and AA
Photo by Tom Hoerner Outside of the three-time Group AAA state champions from Midlothian, the next two best teams in the state of Virginia could come from the same district in Group AA's River Ridge District in the Blacksburg and Hidden Valley girls' squads. Blacksburg has won two consecutive state titles in Group AA, while Hidden Valley became a quick upstart last fall with the addition of two star freshmen in Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright. Both teams possess a great deal of depth and talent which will make them major players not only the state stage, but possibly nationally with Nike Cross Nationals aspirations. Blacksburg's sixth runner Trinity Foreman has ran sub 5:10 for 1600 meters, while Hidden Valley's fifth runner Mary Catherine Sowder runs a 11:44 for 3200 meters.
Photo by Andy Paisley The 2007 Peninsula District Championships saw an exciting duel between Gloucester's Hannah Varnell and Hampton's Kristina Woodard for the individual title with both runners posting times well into the 18's with Varnell as a two second winner over Woodard at 18:18. Both return in 2008 and another fast race should be expected between the two. Woodard has been a district runner-up twice in cross country and will attempt to knock Varnell off for her first championship. After running her first full year of track this past year as a sophomore and qualifying for state competition indoor and outdoor in the 3200 meter run with a 11:21 best, Woodard may be ready to make that jump. Varnell leads the Gloucester girls as favorites to repeat their district championship as the Lady Dukes have three of the top six returnees from the 2007 district meet in Varnell, Elisabeth Drake, and Danielle Martin. Freshmen Victoria Luera should also make an instant impact for the team as well individually within the district. Meanwhile, another sweep of the district team titles for the Gloucester program will be no easy feat as the Gloucester boys should have their hands full with two solid returning teams in Menchville and Gloucester.
Since we are not going to be able to watch video online from NBC until they telecast the men's 400 meter dash later tonight which was run at 9:20 AM this morning, MileStat.com was able to find video online of the race from our friends across the pond with the BBC's Olympic coverage. Video of the men's 400 meter finals is embedded in the article. Enjoy Lashawn Merrit's 400 meter sprint to Olympic glory!
Photo by Ted Plunkett The brother of a past cross country state champion and the son of a MileStat.com photographer could be the two runners battling it out at Burke Lake Park in October for the Patriot District boys' individual title. Their close finish for the 1600 meter district title this past spring could have been a sneak peak of what is in store for this fall. West Springfield's Daniel Tobin, younger brother of 2003 VHSL Group AAA state champion Steve Tobin, will attempt to follow in his brother's footsteps in winning a district cross country title as well. Among Patriot District returnees, Tobin was the top finisher at the Northern Region championships as he just missed qualifying for the state meet as an individual with a 17th place run of 15:51. Meanwhile, Plunkett finished sixth in last year's district race (16:12) ahead of a ninth place finishing Tobin (16:29) and improved greatly during the track season including breaking 4:30 for 1600 meters and clocking a time of 9:44 for 3200 meters. Plunkett's dad is Ted Plunkett, who has contributed excellent photos over recent years to MileStat.com, especially from meets in the Northern Region.
The rivalry between Lashawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner built up into a highly anticipated men's 400 meter finals at the 2008 Olympic Games. Wariner had more victories and the Olympic gold medal. Merritt had started the year with a series of wins over Wariner including an Olympic Trials title. The 2004 gold medalist bounced back though with revenge wins against Merritt on the European circuit after the trials and leading into Beijing. Their times were nearly identical in the semifinals at the Beijing Olympic Games, but the finals was a different story. Merritt, a 2004 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, won Olympic gold in dominant fashion with nearly a full second on Wariner in an all-time best performance of 43.75. Team USA made it a clean sweep of the medals with Wariner (2nd, 44.74) and David Neville (3rd, 44.80). Four years removed from becoming a World Juniors champion at 400 meters, Merritt is now an Olympic champion at 400 meters. Congratulations Lashawn Merritt!!!
The Brentsville boys pulled off a magical run to a state championship last fall when few were expecting them to. The odds are stacked against them once again not only to win another state championship, but possibly have to fight their way out to advance out of their own district with heavy graduation losses from the 2007 state champion squad. The Northwestern District after all qualified three teams for the 2007 VHSL State Championships with Sherando and Millbrook keeping their state qualifier teams more in tact from last year than Brentsville. Photo by John Herzog Sherando looks to be the pre-season favorite to win the boys' team title in the Northwestern District as they return six runners under 18 minutes with Colby Witt and Danny Stiefvater as their top runners. Witt (4:34 1600, 9:45 3200) and Stiefvater (4:35 1600, 9:45 3200) had outstanding spring track seasons as the Sherando pair are the top two performers from the track among returnees in both the 1600 and 3200 meter races. Along with teammate Scott Guichard, Sherando has three returning All-District runners from the 2007 Northwestern District Cross Country Championships.
Several cross country scrimmages have already taken place this month. If you would like the results of your scrimmage posted on MileStat.com, please email us at email@example.com. MileStat.com had not previously posted results from scrimmages from previous years before on a regular basis, but why not even enter times from more meets into the database. Greater Danville Preseason Jamboree (Altavista, Chatham, Chatham Hall, Dan River, Franklin County, George Washington, Jefferson Forest, Halifax County, Peaks View, Tunstall) Clover Hill vs. Gloucester Scrimmage Chantilly, Robert E. Lee, & West Springfield Scrimmage
Gar-Field high school graduate Sheena Johnson (now married and known as Sheena Tosta) became an Olympic silver medalist on Wednesday with her second place finish in the finals of the women's 400 meter hurdles in Beijing. Photo by PhotoRun.net Tosta had finished one spot out of a medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Despite having some struggles leading up to the Olympic finals, Tosta was able to close strong at the Beijing Games to pick up the silver medal. The 2004 Olympic Trials champion had finished third in the 2008 Olympic Trials and also ran a subpar race in her opening round to sneak into the semifinal round as the last qualifier based on time. She made a quick turnaround in the semis to run the fastest time of the round heading into the finals. In the finals, Melanie Walker was simply the superior hurdler to all in the field as the Jamaican won gold with an Olympic record time of 52.64. Tosta took runner-up to Walker with one of her faster times of the year at 53.74. In her prep days as Sheena Johnson, Tosta was one of the most decorated female track and field athletes in Virginia high school history as she won a total of nine state championships at Gar-Field High School from 1997 to 2000 including a record number of four in one state meet. Tosta won four individual state titles at the 2000 AAA State Outdoor Championships including a state record time of 40.94 in the 300 meter hurdles as well as impressive times and marks in the 100 meter hurdles (13.8), long jump (20-2), and triple jump (40-7.25). Tosta's race should be shown tonight on NBC (granted much later after the actual race). Remember that tomorrow is the epic showdown between Portsmouth, Virginia native Lashawn Merritt against 2004 gold medalist Jeremy Wariner in the men's 400 finals. The men's 400 finals will go off at 9:20 am on Thursday. Olympic Games Track & Field Results
To say the least, many track & field fans in the United States have been extremely disappointed with the coverage by NBC at the 2008 Olympic Games from Beijing despite NBC's promises to provide the greatest amount of coverage online and televised of the games from previous Olympics. Instead of watching live finals of the events which expect to haul in more medals than swimming and Michael Phelps, we are expected to watch re-runs of gymnastics, qualifying rounds of beach volleyball, trampeline competitions, and other borderline sports which should never take precedent over the event that is actually called athletics and has deep origins in the original Olympics held in Greece in track and field. While other countries have been enjoying plenty of uninterrupted coverage online, NBC has blocked much of the Olympics coverage from being published and shown live online in the United States until it has been shown on television which has shown very few events in entirety as other countries have shown. NBC please thank track & field at the end of the Olympic Games when we surpass the Chinese in the medal count and carry your ratings despite your disregard that you could also have boosted your internet ad revenue and viewership if you had put together a more open and user friendly platform for our sport's devout and large fanbase to view track and field online live and in replay through online videos. Despite MileSplit joining with Universal Sports (a combination of NBC sports & WCSN) as partners this past summer, I have no reservations in publicly stating my disapproval and frustration with NBC's pathetic coverage of track & field and not adapting with the new age of internet coverage. I certainly would have been willing to pay a subscription fee to have watched a full version of the women's 10K finals live instead of waiting till 1:30 AM on Saturday morning to watch a tape delayed version of the race with simply uninformed commentators and too many commercial breaks. A very angry track fan - Brandon Miles of MileStat.com
Western Branch's state champion hurdler Kevin Newsome (pictured right by John Herzog) will not be back to defend his AAA titles in the 55 meter hurdles and 110 meter hurdles this upcoming year as the two-time state champion transferred to Hargrave Military Academy for his senior year to prepare for his future college football career, which a verbal commitment would currently have Newsome going to Michigan. Newsome's transfer was major and sudden loss to both the track and football teams at Western Branch. This is not the first time that football has taken away a state champion hurdler with still much untapped potential left on the track. Granby's Chris Bell won multiple state titles in the 110 meter hurdles from 2004 to 2006, but never bothered to compete at a national meet in high school due to the focus being on football immediately after the state track meet. Granted both Bell and Newsome clearly had or have the talent to compete at big-time college football powerhouses (some tout Newsome as one of the top two high school football recruits in Virginia), but could it have hurt to still leave the door open to compete in the hurdles as a collegiate? Freep.com article: Kevin Newsome answers critics at national showcase The Roanoke Times: Hargrave's postgrad team lands star
Photo by Ted Plunkett The Thomas Edison boys returned to their old glory last year in winning the National District cross country title after a drought which spanned several decades to 1979. Much of their team is back for 2008 led by the Degfae twins as the squad will look to pursue their first state meet berth in many years out of the Northern Region. Leoule and Tihut Degfae give them a great front two as both have ran well under 16 minutes for 5K and will be two of the top runners in the Northern Region in cross country. The 800 meter specialists on the track have great range to be also strong cross country runners as Leoule was 10th and Tihut finished 19th at the state meet last November. Leoule Degfae was also the Foot Locker South champion in the junior boys race.
Today's District Previews (8/22): Peninsula & Piedmont Tomorrow's District Previews (8/23): River Ridge, Seminole, Southeastern MileStat.com will spend much of the month of August hyping up the upcoming cross country season with plenty of pre-season articles and coverage. Currently, we are providing in-depth previews for all of the AAA and AA districts in Virginia. Other pre-season coverage to come later this month... Preview Articles - In-depth articles with breakdown of top teams and individuals by classifications. Pre-Season Rankings - Find out who the coaches of Virginia think are the best teams and runners heading into the cross country season as well as a pre-season list from MileStat.com's Brandon Miles. Interviews - MileStat.com will talk with coaches of the top returning teams and top returning individual athletes. Group AAA District Previews: Beach - Capital - Cardinal - Cedar Run - Central - Colonial - Commonwealth - Concorde - Dominion - Liberty - National - Patriot - More to come! Group AA District Previews: Battlefield - Bay Rivers - Blue Ridge - Dulles - Jefferson - Massanutten - Northwestern - More to come!
It was a tight district meet for the boys team title at the 2007 Massanutten District Meet. The first ever Massanutten District Cross Country Championships had three teams separated by only five points with Spotswood in first with 42 points, Harrisonburg in second with 46 points, and Turner Ashby with 47 points. Spotswood is the back with a squad ready to defend their district title and hopefully with a little bit more breathing room this year as the team has aspirations to not only win a growingly more competitive Region III Meet, but be a team to be reckoned at Great Meadow for the state meet. Photo by Tom Hoerner With two of the district's top returning individual runners in Caroline Young and Molly Skidmore, the Turner Ashby girls return as favorites to repeat their district team title from a year ago. Skidmore is the only returning female with a sub 20 minute 5K performance to her credit with a 19:58 run at Foot Locker South last November, while Young proved herself as the top miler in the Massanutten District with a 5:15 1600 and won district titles in both the 1600 and 800.
While the Thomas Jefferson boys as district champions again can almost be a certainty, there is very few definites among the Liberty District girls on who will be this year's team and individual champions. Langley's Lauren Shaw won the district title in 2007 with a time of 18:22 as her time put her just two seconds ahead of Stone Bridge's Stephanie Paradis at 18:24. Both are back and neither slowed down in the track as Shaw ran a 5:11 for 1600 meters and qualified for state competition in the event. Photo by Ted Plunkett Paradis won a close race over Shaw for the district 1600 meter title with a time of 5:11 as well, but her success on the track really came in the 800 with a 2:15 season best and capping off her season with a third place finish in the 800 meter finals at the VHSL Group AAA State Meet. Other individuals who could mix it up with both Shaw and Paradis come from Thomas Jefferson's amazing rising sophomore class of runners which look to make the girls squad at TJ as possibly the team to look out for at the state level instead of their boys. Lisa Junta and Stephanie Marzen, sophomores at Thomas Jefferson, are the district's top returning 2 milers at 11:23 and 11:28.
Photo by Brandon Miles Despite being one of the state's best cross country teams and possessing two of the state's top distance runners in Kyle Satterwhite and Tyler Stutzman on their roster, the Western Albemarle boys could certainly not coast through the Jefferson District Meet with a formidable Louisa County squad as well as another top individual in AA 1000 and 800 meter state champion Logan Collins from Orange County. With Collins and several members of Louisa's squad now graduated, the Western Albemarle boys might not have to go into full throttle mode at the district meet this season as they approach bigger championship races at the Region II Meet, VHSL State Championships, and possibly NTN regional qualifier race.
Photo by Ted Plunkett The Potomac Falls boys just missed qualifying as a team to the state cross country meet last year, yet find themselves as a darkhorse this year to contend for the AA state title and at least for a top three finish at Great Meadow with all their top runners back from a solid 2007 team. Josh Hardin leads the defending Dulles District champions as he was 26 second winner over teammate Ryan Hagen at last October's district meet. Hardin finished his outdoor season with a 5K personal best performance of 15:33 at Nike Outdoor Nationals. The Panthers have three runners behind him who have ran well under 17 minutes for 5K in Hagen, Robert Mott, and Brian Robinson which could lead to a sweep of the top four individual places at the district meet this season.
The Midlothian boys have owned the Dominion District in the past decade with a streak of district cross country team titles which stretch into the late 1990s. Despite heading into what might be considered a "down year" for the Trojans, another district title seems to be in the cards as they are led by arguably one of the most talented runners to ever run for legendary Midlothian coach Stan Morgan in rising sophomore Brayden Burleigh, who ran the equivalent of a sub 4:20 mile this past June for 1500 meters. Photo by Brandon Miles Midlothian's Burleigh will be the pre-season individual favorite as he torched the district course at Pocahontas State Park last October in a personal best time of 15:41. Burleigh, an All-State athlete as a freshmen in both cross country and indoor track as well as Nike Indoor Nationals champion in the freshmen mile, will face his biggest test in the district from James River's Ted Richardson. Richardson had a breakthrough sophomore year as he recorded personal bests in the 5K of 15:39 and 3200 meters of 9:37. Burleigh and Richardson could be a great rivalry in the district for the next two years
Photo by Ted Plunkett The Oakton boys were already expected to run through the Concorde District again as they have done the past few years. Now with Dante Morales coming over to the defending district champions from Fairfax, Oakton has the top three fastest returning 5K runners in the district with Morales and the Hendricks twins, Neal and Brian. Two other All-District performers are also back in Chris Weil and Patrick Fulghum as Weil broke 4:30 in the 1600 and Fulghum went under 10 minutes in the 3200 this past spring. Chantilly has a potential individual champion contender and an athlete who could break up the Oakton guys up front in junior Christopher Foley. Foley ran a personal best of 9:31 this past spring in the 3200 meter run and earned All-State honors in the event with an 8th place showing at the AAA State Meet.
Photo by Ted Plunkett The boys' individual title figures to be wide open this fall with a handful of returning runners having realistic shots at making a run for first at Pole Green in late October. Nathan Puckett of Hermitage pulled a mild upset off last year over a group of favorites, so the door is always open in the district for another surprise. Roger Cooke would like to follow in the footsteps of not only teammate Puckett, but the past three Colonial District champions reigning from Hermitage with John Vial as the district champion in 2006 and Alex Bowman also as the race winner in 2005.
Photo by Ted Plunkett She did not run cross country last fall, but Colonial Forge's Colleen Wade came out of nowhere in the spring to emerge as one of the top freshmen distance runners in the state. Wade earned All-State honors in a stellar double at the state meet with a 5:10 performance in the 1600 from the slow section and coming back later in the heat to finish seventh in the 3200. Wade, the younger sister of former Colonial Forge star K.C. Wade, also won a pair of district titles in the spring and also took the Northwest Region title in the 3200. She should translate her track success into some more glory this fall on the country course.
Photo by Ted Plunkett Amanda Tomlin of Prince George is a relative unknown outside of the Central District. However, she started to make a name for herself this past spring with a breakthrough outdoor track season in which she posted personal bests for 800 meters (2:22), 1600 meters (5:19), and 3200 meters (11:37) as well as qualified for her first state meet. She expects to make it to her first cross country state meet out of the Central Region Meet this fall. The Central District some years has a tough time having one individual qualifier much less two individual state qualifiers, but this year is a special year for the district with the likes of Prince George's Tomlin and Colonial Heights sophomore Catherine Pulley. Pulley was not far off Tomlin's track times this past outdoor season as only a sophomore as she clocked in at 11:44 for 3200 meters and 5:29 for 1600 meters. Pulley will be leading the defending district team champions from Colonial Heights, who return four All-District cross country performers (not including Pulley) and will be heavy favorites to repeat.
Ever wonder what would happen if two teams never seem to face each other went head-to-head? Have a meet coming this weekend and want to see how your team might stack up? Need help deciding what events to put your athletes in during track? Just want to scout the competition? Leveraging the power of our extensive performance database, we now have a feature that allows you to build a virtual meet with whatever teams you like. Choose the teams and parameters you want and then view the results! Here is a great one I just built based on the 2007 cross country season. I put two of the top returning boys teams in the state in Jamestown and Oakton against each other in this virtual meet, and excluded graduated seniors. Here is what it looks like! To build your own start here. To make it easy to access this, you'll start to see this "virtual meet" feature linked to in various places on the site.
Tim Smith, a recent graduate of Cave Spring High School, has been selected to compete on the 2008 Teva U.S. Mountain Running team. The junior men's team of four American runners will complete in Switzerland this September at the World Mountain Running Championships as 20 nations will be represented. Smith, a 2008 VHSL Group AA state indoor champion at 3200 meters, will run an 8.38 kilometer course at the World Mountain Running Championship with a difficult climb of over 2,400 feet during the race. While Smith's home course at Cave Spring was one of the fastest and flattest in the Roanoke Valley area, the Nike Indoor All-American and school record holder in two events is no stranger to performing well on some challenging and hilly courses as shown with his races last fall in cross country including becoming the first high school runner to ever to break 16 minutes on the 5K course at Wolf Branch Farm with his 15:48 win at the Runnin' With The Wolves Rocktoberfest. Smith will be competing at University of Richmond this upcoming year and will have a future Spider teammate with him on the U.S. Mountain Running Team with fellow incoming recruit Levi Brandt of West Virginia. One of Richmond's top current runners in Andrew Benford ran at the 2006 World Mountain Running Championships and was the highest junior men's finisher ever from the U.S. with a 12th place effort.
Photo by John Herzog When healthy, Osbourn Park's Nolan Compton is one of the best runners at the Cedar Run District Meet. Compton missed much of the cross country season last fall due to injury, but came back on the track in the spring to run personal bests for 1600 meters (4:29) and 3200 meters (9:50). Compton and teammate Richard Arena should be the individual leaders of the district, but Osbourn Park's front running still likely might not be enough to overtake a deeper squad in the defending district champions from Battlefield. The Osbourn Park girls appear to be the pre-season favorites to win the Northwest Region team title as their team will have defending district and regional cross country champion Ariel Karabinus running out in front. Fauquier's Emma Helsel had an exceptional outdoor track season this past spring clocking of times of 5:08 for 1600 and 11:24 for 3200.
Photo by Mark Howard The Draper Mile was held on Friday, August 1st in Blacksburg, VA with a decent turnout of area high school runners for the fast downhill mile race. The Blacksburg girls particulary had a very strong showing with their probable top five for this upcoming season clocking in at times of 5:02, 5:05, 5:11, 5:12, and 5:24. Draper Mile Results
The USATF National Junior Olympics wrapped up on Sunday with only several high school athletes from Virginia making the trip to Nebraska. Meanwhile, a much larger delegation of Virginians will be in Detroit, Michigan this week for the AAU National Junior Olympics with many Eastern Region athletes competing. Live Results at aauathletics.org AAU National JO Results by Day: Day One - Day Two - Day Three - Day Four - Day Five - Day Six - Day Seven Day 8 (Saturday, August 2nd) Highlights: Dejor Simmons closed out a remarkable week in Michigan at the AAU Nationals by winning national titles in both the 100 and 200 meter dash on Saturday in the intermediate boys division. Simmons first won the 100 meter dash in convincing fashion with a 10.54 clocking with second place in the finals at 10.85, while the Green Run rising junior was a big winner again in the 200 meter dash at 21.55. Bethel's Ja-Vell Bullard added a third individual national title to his collection for the year as put on a thrilling finish to overtake Bernard Goodwyn from Delware in the final stretch for a 47.32 victory in the finals of the young men's 400 meter dash. Taylor Sykes of Great Bridge and Darryl Brickhouse of Nansemond River also competed in the same finals race as they placed seventh and eighth respectively. Keith Ricks did not win a national title like Simmons in the 200 meter dash, but rolled out an even faster time and the state's fastest performance of the year with his 21.19 clocking to earn All-American honors in a third place finish in the young men division finals. An All-Star team of athletes competing for the Norfolk Real Deal Track Club put up a stellar time to win the AAU 4x400 national title in the young men's division as the quartert of stars Darryl Brickhouse, Sherrard Marrow, Keith Ricks, and Ja-Vell Bullard clocked in at 3:10.57 to close out the meet with a first place finish in relay action. Day 7 (Friday, August 1st) Highlights: With 16 runners breaking 49 seconds, it was very competitive for the eight spots of athletes advancing onto the finals in the 400 meter dash for the young men division. Three Virginians in Ja-Vell Bullard, Taylor Sykes, and Darryl Brickhouse al made the cut with Nike Outdoor Nationals champion Bullard as the third fastest qualifier at 47.41. Great Bridge rising junior Taylor Sykes was just off of Bullard's time winning his heat in a new personal best time of 47.55 (previous best of 47.87). It was only the second time that Sykes has ever broken 48 seconds. Nansemond River's Darryl Brickhouse also needed a personal best performance to advance onto the finals as he nearly broke 48 seconds for the first time as the sixth fastest qualifier at 48.06. Two other Virginians also had solid performances, but failed to make the finals in Bethel teammates Sherrard Marrow (48.38) and Austin Cuffee (48.81). Marrow earned All-American honors earlier in the week in the 400 meter hurdles. Cosby's Andre Redd was the last qualifier to the 400 meter dash finals in the intermediate boys prelims with a 49.78 performance. Redd just completed his sophomore year and first season of track at Cosby with a 48.17 personal best at 400 meters, but has competed in AAU summer track since a young age. Churchland's Tiffany Harris had an outstanding race in the prelims of the young women 400 meter dash as she ran a personal best time of 55.86. Harris had a previous all-time best in the event of 56.69 from the AAU Regional Meet and had not broken 57 seconds during the school year at Churchland.