Coverage

2009 CNU HS Showcase-Plunkett Gallery Jan 11, 2009

Photos taken by Ted Plunkett from the 2009 CNU Showcase held at Christopher Newport University Freeman Center, Newport News, VA on January 09 and 10.

VA Indoor Week #6: Less than a 15 min drive separated 2 US #1 performances in girls jumps Jan 9, 2009

State Best Performances this weekend... Girls TJ - Karimah Shepherd (Grassfield) 40'6.50" US #1 Girls LJ - Tiffany Harris (Churchland) 19'10.75" US #1 Boys Mile - Tyler Stutzman (Western Albemarle) 4:14.91 US #2 Girls 4x400 - Menchville 3:58.88 US #2 Boys 300 - Taylor Sykes (Great Bridge) 34.38 US #2 Girls 1000 - Paige Johnston (Midlothian) 2:58.68 US #3 Girls 300 - Marlena Wesh (Landstown) 39.73 US #3 Boys 4x400 - Albemarle 3:24.26 US #3 Girls 55 - Brittany McCants (Kempsville) 7.16 US #4 Girls Shot - Jaleesa Williams (First Colonial) 41'5" US #4 Girls 2Mile - Melanie Rice (Marion) 11:16.34 US #4 Girls 55H - Taylor Wheaton (Landstown) 8.14 US #4 Boys 55H - Vincent Brown (South Lakes) 7.52 US #5 Boys 4x200 - Green Run 1:31.75 US #5 Boys 55 - Damien Thigpen (Stonewall Jackson) US #8   A short 15 minute drive separates CNU's Freeman Center in Newport News from the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. On Friday night, two US #1 marks in the girls jumping event were produced at two meets being held in the small radius of 10 miles on the Peninsula. Photo by Ted Plunkett At the CNU Showcase, defending AAA state outdoor long jump champion and Churchland senior Tiffany Harris on her final attempt leaped past defending AAA state indoor long jump champion and T.C. Williams senior Tynita Butts (US #2 19'7.25") with a US #1 mark of 19'10.75" to catch Butts off guard who had all put packed it up after her short lived US #1 performance in the long jump passing on her previous attempt. Video: US #1 19'10.75" Long Jump by Tiffany Harris Grassfield's Karimah Shepherd had already possed the nation's best mark so far in the triple jump at 40'2.50", so she decided to extend her gap on the rest of country by launching another huge jump with a 40'6.50" mark on Friday at the Southeastern Invitational held at the Boo Williams Sportsplex. Video: US #1 40'6.50" Triple Jump by Karimah Shepherd Photo by John Herzog Western Albemarle senior Tyler Stutzman was victorious in a loaded mile field at the Montgomery Invitational gathering top runners from Virginia and Maryland hoping to impress for a Millrose Mile berth in a full mile race. The pace was conservative through the halfway point at 2:12, but Stutzman had an impressive negative split with a 2:02 final half to win in a US #1 time of 4:14.91 as he broke open the race with a 60 second third quarter mile. The top four finishers were all from Virginia with Stutzman, Kellam's Bobby Peavey (2nd, 4:16.35), Edison's Leoule Degfae (3rd, 4:16.92), and Mountain View's Thomas Porter (4th, 4:22.87). If the Millrose selection committee wanted the best field possible, it would not only select race winner Stutzman, but ask Peavey and Degfae to join him. Photo by Ted Plunkett Top performances on day two at CNU were produced by Midlothian's Paige Johnston and Landstown's Marlena Wesh. Johnston appears to be a front runner to win her second AAA state 1000 meter title in three years after her US #3 performance this weekend of 2:58.68 to become the first female under 3 minutes this season so far in Virginia. Wesh, a winner on Friday in the 55 meter dash, completed her season opening meet with the nation's fastest flat track time for 300 meters at 39.73. Photo by Jesse Hutcheson The Southeastern Invitational at Boo Williams Sportsplex produced five state leading times and marks including a US #2 300 victory for Great Bridge's Taylor Sykes (34.38) over Nansemond River's James Taylor (US #3). Taylor had ran a US #8 and state best time of 6.36 in the 55 meter dash on Friday. The meet also showed a very promising future for the state in the sprints with the state's best freshmen present. Great Bridge freshmen Shakeela Saunders outdueled James Robinson freshmen Genamarie McCants in the 300 meter dash, but it was another underclassmen McCants in Kempsville 10th grader Brittany McCants who made the strongest impression with her state best and US #4 7.16 clocking on Friday night. The Albemarle boys did not load up a 4x800 meter relay while at the New York Armory this weekend for the Hispanic Games as they focused on individual events with Zachary Vrhovac leading the Patriots by winning the 800 meter run in a US #4 time of 1:56.76. Albemarle also showed they might have more than just a 4x800 meter relay capable of winning a state title as their 4x400 meter relay clocked a US #3 time of 3:24.26 to move ontop of the state leaderboard in the relay. More to come from this weekend's meets including results, photos, and video! Photo Galleries: CNU Showcase by Ted Plunkett Southeastern Invitational by Jesse Hutcheson

CNU Showcase Performance List Jan 6, 2009

Performance list for the 2009 CNU Showcase to be held Friday and Saturday, January 9th and 10th at Christopher Newport University's Freeman Center in Newport News, VA.

Athlete Spotlight: Marlena Wesh Jan 8, 2009

Virginia's best sprinter will be making her season debut on Friday at Christopher Newport University. Landstown senior Marlena Wesh (pictured left by John Herzog) will be hoping an Oklahoma victory tonight in the BCS championship football game will kickstart a big weekend for her as the future Sooner is slated to compete in the 55 meter dash, 300 meter dash, and 4x400 meter relay at the CNU Showcase. Wesh, the defending AAA state champion indoors in the 55 and 300 meter dash as well as outdoor state champion in the 100 and 200 meter dash, took advantage of her fall break from meets to visit many schools including LSU, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Georgia, and her final visit to Oklahoma. The high school star from Virginia Beach did not even think about attending any in-state schools. "I needed to get away and to a place where I know that nobody in Virginia would be. I didn't even know where Oklahoma was when I visited." Thankfully for the Sooners and Wesh that she found her way to Norman, Oklahoma to take full advantage of the five official visits that a high school athlete is allowed by the NCAA instead of potentially rushing into a decision after earlier college visits. Read more...

CNU Showcase Meet Summary Jan 11, 2009

Despite having an invitational being held nearby at the Boo Williams Sportsplex, the CNU Showcase still ended up being one of the best if not the best meet of the weekend drawing local and out-of-state school as the meet has annually done. The meet featured a US #1 performance by Tiffany Harris of Churchland in the long jump as the event turned out to be a exciting duel between two returning state champions in indoor champion Tynita Butts of T.C. Williams and Harris. Butts was the national leader for a short time with her 19'7.50" mark earlier in the competition and thought the mark would be good enough to win the competition as she had packed it in to conserve energy for the 55 meter dash finals coming up, but Harris had other plans. On her final jump, Harris leaped to a personal best mark of 19'10.75" to move ahead of Butts to win the event and ontop of the national leaderboard.

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