Coverage

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

Athlete Spotlight: Karimah Shepherd Jan 10, 2009

Photo by Andy Paisley The Southeastern District is currently the home of the nation's #1 ranked boys triple jumper in Jeffrey Artis of Western Branch as well as national leader on the girls' side with Karimah Shepherd of Grassfield. Artis had already established his name last year as the multi-event athlete helped lead his team to indoor and outdoor track state titles, but Shepherd's name still was not mentioned often enough among the group of top jumpers in the despite being the only Virginian to leap up over 40 feet in the triple jump in 2008. Its safe to say that all in Virginia in know her name now and many across the nation are learning about Shepherd as well as she just leaped to her second 40 foot mark of the season in the triple jump at this past Saturday's Southeastern Invitational in Hampton. Read more...

Southeastern Invitational Performance List Jan 7, 2009

Performance list for this weekend's Southeastern Invitational to be held at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, January 9th and 10th.

Athlete Spotlight: James Taylor (with video interview) Jan 15, 2009

Photo by John Herzog       It is not very often in track that an athlete comes along that has the leg turnover of Maurice Greene coupled with long strides of Daniel Komen. Usain Bolt showed the world that it was possible for a six foot five man to run the 100 meter dash and run it well this summer in Beijing, and James Taylor is putting on the same display here in Virginia with his great times in the shorter distances.       Standing tall at around six feet 4 inches, the senior from Nansemond River has made his impact on numerous events already early this season. Holding some of the nations best marks in the long jump and 300 meter dash, Taylor has started his indoor season off the right way. Read more...  

Athlete Spotlight and Video Interview: Amanda Smith Jan 15, 2009

Photo by John Herzog       Amanda Smith in her first year at Grassfield High school, has accomplished more than most people accomplish in their entire high school year. The freshman from Chesapeake made her mark on the eastern region and the state early in her career, and has come out blazing again this year.       One of the many girls in recent years to win state championships in their freshmen year, Smith will look to carry her success into her sophmore year this year. Off to a good start, the Grassfield sophomore has clocked a 1:17.35 in the 500 meter, and has experimented with the 1000 meter run. With a 3:01.68 performance alone at the Southeastern Invitational Smith has earned herself a spot on the national rankings list, and is currently number two in the state behind Midlothian’s Paige Johnston. Read more... Video Interview: Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith Interview Jan 15, 2009

ReidTaylor from Lynchburg College: An interview with Grassfield Sophomore Amanda Smith after her win at the Southeastern invitational.

Southeastern Invitational Meet Summary Jan 12, 2009

Karimah Shepherd's US #1 triple jump mark (40'6.50") on Friday jumpstarted the Southeastern Invitational, while the Menchville girls closed out the meet on Saturday with a US #2 performance (3:58.88) in the 4x400 meter relay. Three other US top 5 performances were produced over the two day event at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. The fast section of the boys 300 meter dash lived up to its billing as it went down to the finish line between Taylor Sykes (pictured above by Jesse Hutcheson) of Great Bridge and James Taylor of Nansemond River. The two Southeastern District sprinters pushed each other to US #2 (Sykes 34.38) and US #3 (Taylor 34.40) times, which the only faster time (John James NY 34.21) in the country this season was produced on the fast banked track of the New York Armory.

James Taylor Interview Jan 15, 2009

ReidTaylor from Lynchburg College: An interview with James Taylor after the Southeastern Invitational

Southeastern Invitational Jan 10, 2009

Photos taken by Jesse Hutcheson at the Southeastern Invitational held at Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, VA on January 10, 2009.

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