The Altavista boys will be favored to repeat as Group A state team champions with three returning All-State cross country individual finishers in Daniel Blanks, Sean Farney, and Forster McCracken. Lebanon's Jon Ulrich won his first state title last fall as a sophomore in a dramatic photo finish but chip-timed outcome and should be hard pressed again for another victory at Great Meadow. Read more...
The George Mason girls tallied the lowest team score out of any of the VHSL state cross country champions last November and figure to be putting up a low score card this year at Great Meadow since they are returning the majority of their top seven from 2010. The Mason girls are led by the Estrada sisters, Julia and Eva. Two-time defending individual state champion Katlyn Ayers of Strasburg finally took her talents to the track as well this past spring after only running in the fall in previous year, which saw her post solid times around the oval of 5:07 in the 1600 and 11:25 in the 3200. Read more...
Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half marathon, has confirmed that he will be racing in the eleventh edition of the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, September 4th. (via Competitor Running)
Photo by Victah Sailer of Photorun.net Woodrow Wilson High School (Portsmouth, VA) graduate Lashawn Merritt returned to competition after a near two year ban from the sport at an IAAF Diamond League meet in Stockholm, Sweden over this past weekend. Merritt, an Olympic and World champion at 400 meters, had been suspended from competing in any track meets since testing positive for a banned substance 21 months ago. Merritt had an impressive return after such a long layoff in finishing as a close runner-up with a time of 44.74. Merritt's ban has been lifted in time for him to compete at the 2011 IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea later this summer. Watch Race Video & Interview
The Trinity boys aim to better than they were last year with their entire top five returning from the 2010 VISAA Division 1 state cross country champions. Trinity runners continued to develop over the track season with four runners under 10 minutes for 3200 meters in Guy Shelby (9:40), Chris Cantone (9:51), Reider Strehler (9:56), and Mac Strehler (9:57). Also returning is the Division I individual state champion Scott Newton, who broke 16 minutes last fall at Foot Locker South. Outside of the Trinity top 4 and Collegiate's Newton, Avery Martin of Fork Union may be the next best individual in the private school ranks after running a 16:18 5K last fall as a member of Midlothian's cross country team then running 4:27 for 1600 meters and 9:53 for 3200 meters on the track at FUMA.
The Bishop O'Connell girls will look to maintain their dominance and extend their streak of VISAA state cross country titles to five straight years. Contending squads from Episcopal and St. Catherine's will try to close the gap on O'Connell while battling each other for the second spot as well. Neither returning state champ Hannah Frazier nor Bishop Sullivan teammate Colleen Schrader run track in the spring, but Frazier and Schrader are the leading individuals among the returnees list from last fall.
Recent Western Branch High School graduate Keilah Tyson matched her 11.39 state record performance from the AAA State Championships in June with a runner-up finish (and 1.7 wind legal time) in the finals of the 100 meter dash at the Pan Am Junior Championships last weekend. Tyson made the U.S. team for the Pan Am Junior Games held in Miramar, Florida orginally as an alternate replacement from one of the original team qualifiers at the US Junior Nationals. Another incredible feat for the University of Kentucky signee Tyson in placing second against the best junior age sprinters on two continents (North America & South America). Watch video interview with Keilah Tyson at Pan Am
Several facility record performances at Cannonball Cooper Age Group Championships from high school athletes including Desmonae Gray of Western Branch in the 100 meter hurdles (14.97) and triple jump (37'8"), Trey Holloway of Grassfield in the 110 meter hurdles (14.30), and April Wilson of Thomas Dale in the 400 meter dash (57.13). Complete results and race videos are posted.
Osbourn Park girls, a pre-season top 10 ranked team in Virginia, are making a return trip to Pennsylvania.
Jonathan Russell of Broad Run High School just missed making the finals of the 400 meter hurdles at the World Youth Championships in Thursday's semi-finals round. Russell, a rising senior, finished third in his heat with a time of 52.06 which the performance found himself on the outside looking in as the odd man out (9th place, 8 advance) for the 400 meter hurdles finals. Making the U.S. team and representing the country at an international level was certainly a big step for the Group AA state 300 hurdles and 200 dash state champion.
Great story on James River High School graduate and recent US women's 100 meter hurdles champion Kellie Wells. Story focuses on her childhood abuse and death of her mother during high school, which were just some of the major obstacles in her life to overcome to be where she is today as the current World leader in the hurdles. (via ThePostGame)
Photo by Victah Sailer of PhotoRun.net Broad Run rising senior Jonathan Russell came out strong in his opening round of the 400 meter hurdles at the World Youth Championships in France today. The Group AA outdoor 300 meter hurdles state champion placed second in his preliminary heat with a personal best time of 51.94, which is the second fastest among all qualifiers moving onto the semi-finals behind his heat's winner Yahya Ibrahim Barnawi of Saudi Arabia (51.93). Virginia's own Russell and fastest qualifier Barnawi may be battling for gold later in the meet if both make it through the semi-finals.