A pair of Virginia's best 5A athletes will make the trip to this weekend's New Balance Nationals harboring expectations of finding their way to the medal stand.
Lost in the shuffle of some magnificent performances among the young men and women within the 5A and 6A classifications was a solid group effort by the boys' sprinters from Potomac High in Dumfries.
In the day's first event, the 6A boys shot put, Washington-Lee once again was the first team to put its stamp on the victors' podium.
Hannah Waller is fairly new to track, but it hasn't taken her long to make waves on the national level.
For Centreville track standout Caden Billak, winning a 6A state championship in the long jump was like a dream.
Although Stafford's Gennifer Hirata won the 5A girls pole vault with a clearance of 12-6, there was plenty for Patrick Henry sophomore Abby Tershak to celebrate on Friday.
It would be hard to find fault with T.C. Williams junior Nyla Ward for scratching on all three of her attempts in the 6A long jump. After all, there haven't been many opportunities this indoor season to jump in a real pit.
Standing in the middle of the track oval at the Boo Williams Sportsplex on Friday afternoon, the uniqueness of her team's Day 1 team lead was not lost on thrower Indya Hansley.
The Bullis girls ran an absolutely dominating performance in the 4x200m in Lynchburg on Saturday afternoon.
Masai Russell ran a nearly perfect 55mH race to win on Saturday at the VA Showcase
Loudoun Valley rocked the VA Showcase on Friday
A breakdown of the top field action from Friday's events at the VA Showcase
Brian Herron set a World Junior record on Friday at the VA Showcase in the 300m
The Bullis girls performed up to expectations on Friday at the VA Showcase
The Oscar Smith Tigers were not ready to roll over.
Stafford's Philip Lambert couldn't contain his excitement.
As Kori Carter completes her sophomore year at Nansemond River, it's hard not to mention her name without also invoking the name of the greatest female prep hurdlers in Team WAR, and Virginia history.
There were several nasty red marks on Mills Godwin's Britton Wilson as she sat down at a picnic table on the far end of the track after watching her Eagles compete in the 4x400.
Grassfield thrower Taylor Gorum couldn't have picked a better time to hit her peak.
Under longtime coach Dave Davis, the Sharks have flourished in athletics in its first year, in spite of a team roster stacked with freshmen and sophomores.
As soon as Connor Scott got off his first practice throw with the shot put in the Todd Stadium circle on Friday afternoon, he knew it was going to be a good day.
In spite of the shared vacation mode felt by many of the athletes, there was no shortage of effort or accomplishment under the blue skies that blanketed Norfolk.
The meet turned out to be a great way to spend the first half of a resplendent spring weekend
In a 20-minute span, Micaiah Harris shocked the crowd at Boo Williams, as he won both the 6A 55-meter hurdles (7.37) and open 55 (6.41). While the races totaled only 110 meters, the distance he has traveled, away from a shadow cast over him, has been much greater.
Leading into the state 5A/6A finals on Friday morning, Milestat webmaster Nolan Jez initiated a conversation with former Bethel coach, and now meet official, Eddie Williams about the potential outcome of the 5A boys showdown. Jez was leaning toward Lee-Davis scoring 50 points and having the capability to win, while Williams questioned how they could make it to 50.
On Friday afternoon, I decided to give a short, impromptu quiz to several of the coaches and co-workers at the Boo Williams Sportsplex. It wasn’t a tough test; in fact, it was only one question. To my surprise and amusement, many of the test takers failed.
One of the most electrifying performances from last weekend’s 5A/6A state meet came from Nansemond River senior Syaira Richardson. The Ohio State-bound senior placed first in three of the 5A girls’ individual events, and one relay, setting a new state meet record in each one. Her performance paralleled that of another Ohio State track athlete who once won four gold medals while setting, or tying world records in each one – Jesse Owens in 1935.
Osbourn Park's Sydney Banks continued a phenomenal sophomore season on Friday afternoon with a leap for the record books. On her last high jump attempt at 5-10, Banks cleared the bar and put the exclamation point on a performance that earned her a first state title, a Virginia 6A state meet record and #3 VA clearance of all-time.
Much like the amplifiers of guitarist Nigel Tufnel from the movie and band Spinal Tap (look it up!), for the past three state meets, Battlefield pole vaulter Emily Harrison had only gone up to eleven.
The only relay run on Friday was the 4x800; however, all four of the races provided a great ending for the first day of competition.