Lizzie Powell has conquered her battle of heights, now her next battle is cancer Jun 7, 2009

It had been a dream spring junior year for Patrick Henry's Lizzie Powell. Powell had risen to become one of the state's top vaulter with clearances consistently over 12 feet including a state best of 12'7" and state meet record victory of 12'3" to win her first title at the VHSL Group AAA Outdoor State Championships in Newport News. She was taken to her high school prom by the AAA state champion boys' pole vaulter, Deep Run senior Matthew Armentrout. She was just about to celebrate her 17th birthday on Wednesday when on Monday she discovered a lump on her neck in class on Monday morning. Her father, who happens to also be a doctor at St. Mary's Hospital in Henrico County, had her checked out at the hospital on Tuesday and the worst news was revealed on her birthday...she has lymphoma, a form of cancer. Despite learning of the sad news, Powell is in good spirits as the doctors have told her its highly treatable and cureable.   Powell was slated to compete in this past weekend's Elite Track Gala, but instead was present as a spectator to cheer on her fellow club vaulter teammates under coach Val Osipenko. When the top six finishers from the meet were announced and presented their medals, event champion and club teammate Kate Collins of Nelson County gave Powell her first place medal and had her step up onto the podium with her. For virtually all of the spectators, they were unaware of why the girl in street clothes was on the podium, but the meet director presenting the awards was well aware of what was happening at that moment and was strongly touched by the show of camraderie and support that Collins was giving her fellow teammate and friend facing her toughest test up ahead.   Any thoughts and prayers from the Virginia high school track & field community would be appreciated by Lizzie and the Powell family in these trying times for them. For all those who know Lizzie and her family, they are truly great people to be around and deserve our support!

Zach Tennant Posts 3rd Fastest U.S. Time in 1500m at Elite Gala Jun 7, 2009

Zach Tennant a Senior from North Marion blasted the competition by 9 seconds in the 1500m run with a time of 3:54.89 at the Elite Track Gala held Saturday at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, VA.  This was the 3rd fastest time run in the Nation for High School athletes.   Tennant, who recently set new West Virginia State Track Meet records in the 1600m and 3200m will be continuing his outstandng track and field career in the State of Virginia as he accepted an offer from William and Mary.   Photo Courtesy of Elite Track Gala - 7 New Meet Records Jun 7, 2009

Elitest of the Elite Boys Running Events Ben Majors (Fayetteville, NC) Elitest of the Elite Girls Running Events Taylor Wheaton (Virginia Beach, VA) Elitest of the Elite Boys Field Events Marcus Brown (Gaithersburg, MD) Elitest of the Elite Girls Field Events Karimah Shepherd (Chesapeake, VA) 2009 Elite Track Gala Complete Results Elite Track Gala Photo Gallery - 1,932 high quality photos by John Herzog. Elite Track Gala Videos - All running events & several running events   New Meet Records:   Boys 110 Meter Hurdles Vincent Brown (Reston, VA) 13.98   Boys 5000 Meter Run Ben Veilleux (Berryville, VA) 15:11.70   Boys All-Star DMR Montgomery County All-Stars 10:07.88     Girls 400 Meter Hurdles Taylor Wheaton (Virginia Beach, VA) 1:00.52 Girls Triple Jump Karimah Shepherd (Chesapeake, VA) 39'8"   Boys 400 Meter Hurdles Ben Majors (Fayetteville, NC) 52.69 Boys Shot Put Marcus Brown (Gaithersburg, MD) 56'8" Elite Track Classic Performance List Apr 21, 2009

Performance list for the 2009 Elite Track Classic to be held Friday & Saturday, April 24th & 25th in Richmond, VA. 1,203 athletes entered from 70 schools. Revised - April 21st 3:00 PM Updated Elite Track Gala Performance List Jun 3, 2009

Performance list for the 2009 Elite Track Gala.   Below is a revised running events schedule for the meet. There is no longer an early afternoon emerging elite division and all competitors will be competing in the evening portion of the meet, which will now begin at 5 PM with the girls 100 meter hurdles and approximately end at 10:30 PM with the final section of boys 5K. Athletes (or coaches on their behalf) must check in at the scratch board at least one hour before their event is scheduled to begin or they will be scratched from their event as redrawing of heats will be done at that time.   Running Events Schedule 5:00 PM Girls 100 Meter Hurdles - 2 Sections 5:10 PM Boys 110 Meter Hurdles - 3 Sections 5:20 PM Girls 100 Meter Dash - 4 Sections 5:30 PM Boys 100 Meter Dash - 4 Sections 5:40 PM Girls 1500 Meter Run - 2 Sections 5:55 PM Boys 1500 Meter Run - 2 Sections 6:10 PM Girls 400 Meter Dash - 4 Sections 6:25 PM Boys 400 Meter Dash - 6 Sections 6:40 PM Girls 400 Meter Hurdles - 2 Sections 6:50 PM Boys 400 Meter Hurdles - 4 Sections 7:05 PM Girls 800 Meter Run - 4 Sections 7:25 PM Boys 800 Meter Run - 7 Sections 8:00 PM Girls 200 Meter Dash - 4 Sections 8:15 PM Boys 200 Meter Dash - 5 Sections 8:35 PM Girls 2000 Meter Steeplechase - 1 Section 8:50 PM Boys 2000 Meter Steeplechase - 2 Sections 9:10 PM Girls All-Star DMR 9:25 PM Boys All-Star DMR 9:40 PM Girls 5000 Meter Run - 1 Section 10:00 PM Boys 5000 Meter Run - 2 Sections   Field Events Schedule 2:00 PM Boys High Jump - Starting Height - 5’10” 3:00 PM Girls Long Jump - Starting Height - 16’0” 3:00 PM Boys Long Jump - Minimum Mark - 20’0” 3:00 PM Girls Shot Put - Minimum Mark - 32’0” 3:00 PM Boys Discus - Minimum Mark - 125’0” 3:00 PM Girls High Jump* - Starting Height - 4’10” 4:00 PM Girls Triple Jump* - Minimum Mark - 32’0” 4:00 PM Boys Triple Jump* - Minimum Mark - 41’0” 4:00 PM Boys Shot Put* - Minimum Mark - 44’0” 4:00 PM Girls Discus* - Minimum Mark - 90’0” 4:00 PM Girls Pole Vault - Starting Height - 7’6” 6:00 PM Boys Pole Vault* - Starting Height - 10’6” * Estimated Start Time - Will immediately start following conclusion of preceding event Elite Track Gala Preview Jun 6, 2009

The excitement is building for this year's Elite Track Gala as the fourth annual post-season meet once again has drawn quality fields to Sports Backers Stadium in fun close to the outdoor season for some, while a tune-up for others as they press on into the summer for national competition.   There are several events in the meet of particular interest starting in the field events with a deep boys pole vault competition which should take center stage as the lone field event still underway as the running events take over in the evening. AAA state champion and NSIC indoor national champion Matthew Armentrout of Deep Run leads a group of six vaulters with season best clearances over 15 feet at his 15'9" best followed by four from out-of-state including two from North Carolina (Aaron Zakula & Kevin Calhoun) and one each from Delaware (Darwin Gibbons) and Maryland.(Erick Artusio).   The discus meet record should be seriously threated with Virginia and Maryland's best facing off with AAA state champion Quintin Fortes of South Lakes at a 180'10" season best and Marcus Brown from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Brown has thrown over 170 feet in the discus and is also knocking on the door of a 60 plus foot throw in the discus, where he is capable of achieving a new meet record at the Gala.   Karimah Shepherd of Grassfield will attempt to garner two wins and two meet records on the runways of Sports Backers Stadium as the NC State bound Shepherd is coming off an outstanding AAA state meet with a state title in the long jump and state runner-up performance over 40 feet in the triple jump. She will be challenged by a group of talented sophomores in Sibohan Ford-Holland of Thomas Dale, Nefertiti Smith of Norfolk Collegiate, and Montasia Golden of Lee-Davis along with Henrico senior Elaine Derricott.   There are way too many girls sharing the current meet record of 5'6" in the high jump, so 2007 Gala champion Pearl Bickersteth of Potomac figures to change all that if she can approach anywhere near her season best and state leading height of 5'11".   On the track, the hurdles will be exciting events to watch in particular with the girls 400 meter hurdles featuring the debut of Marlena Wesh in a hurdles race. Wesh won a historic three state titles last weekend in the sprints, but will be stepping into unfamilar territory in a race against established hurdlers including teammate Taylor Wheaton who ran fabulous times last weekend to win both hurdles state titles including a sub 42 performance in the 300 meter hurdles. Also in the race will be two outstanding athletes in Yvonne Amegashie of Potomac Senior and Becca Sinichko of Lake Braddock as the top four seeds all have the potential to run at 60 seconds or faster in the 400 hurdles. Wheaton is the defending Gala champion in both the 100 and 400 meter hurdles.   The boys hurdles should have some swift times and meet records threatened with Vincent Brown of South Lakes in the 110 meter hurdles and Ben Majors from Fayetteville, North Carolina in the 400 meter hurdles. Brown was a close runner-up for the AAA state title and is closely approaching a sub 14 second time after his 14.05 performance last weekend, while Majors has clocked a 36.84 time in the 300 meter hurdles and will be pressed by North Stafford's Reynaldo Radlin for a time faster than the existing meet record of 54.59 in the 400 hurdles.   James Taylor is another star from the AAA State Championships slated to compete at the Gala as his focus looks to be on the 400 meter dash and the Nansemond River star's pursuit of a sub 47 clocking as he ran a 47.12 in the state finals last weekend as his fifth race of the weekend.   The 800 meter run always produces fast times at the Gala for both genders and this year is no exception with more than a handful of boys ready to dip under 1:55 and likewise for girls under 2:15. Group AA's presence is strong with the boys in having five of the top eight seeds led by Ryan Hagen of Potomac Falls leading the field at 1:53.54. Potomac Falls may make it a sweep of the 800 as AA state 800 champ Christina Lee is back after finishing as a runner-up in the 2008 Gala at 2:13.09. She will be in a seeded section of 8 runners who are aiming to run 2:15 or faster including one of the Eastern Region's best Natalia Kuhn of Ocean Lakes.   The 5000 meter run was contested last year in a very humid and warm conditions at last year's Gala, but it appears race conditions will be pretty ideal this year with a later start and much cooler weather for this year's event. Group A state cross country champion and 1600 meter record holder Ben Veilleux of Clarke County will be ready to roll a fast time well into the 15 minute range and approaching 15 flat, while a pack of girls led by Julie Strange from Loudoun County are aiming for times anywhere from 18 flat to 18:30.   The girls steeplechase is out-of-state dominated with the top four seeds including a pair from North Carolina and New Jersey, while the a trio of Hidden Valley girls will attempt to mix it up with them. Dan Nafziger of Harrisonburg is back to defend his Gala title in the steeple after winning one year ago in hot conditions with a great time of 6:20. Cooler temperatures and later start should bode well for Nafziger and others to drop their time and not do well for Daniel Callan's meet record of 6:15 to stand another year. Thomas Baker of Louisa and John Holt of Jamestown are capable of running under 6:20 as well.   A 100 meter head start should help the runners in the 1500 meter run build confidence in running an equivalent time which would best their current times in the 1600. A trio of girls are fit enough to test running a sub 5 equivalent in the 1500 including Maraya Slatter from North Carolina and Kaitlin harman and Maura Linde from Maryland as the three runners come in with 1600 bests just over 5 minutes this season. Zach Tennant is one of the best milers ever to come out of the state of West Virginia and he will be coming down to Richmond as the favorite in the boys' 1500 meter run with a 4:13 1600 under his best this spring.   The All-Star DMR are always a highlight for each Gala and this year is no exception with some notable DMR anchor legs including recent Charlottesville Dream Mile winner Taylor Gilland coming with his Chapel Hill boys squad to run up against All-Star teams from Virginia as well as Foot Locker Nationals champion Solomon Haile, who will be running on the Montgomery County (MD) All-Star team.   Look forward to a great meet with a fun and festive atmosphere including some colorful play-by-play annoucing from Dustin Yudowitch, music played throughout the day to keep things rocking, Nike Truck on-site giving free gait analysis and footwear recommendations, and most importantly some great performances and track & field action to get the crowd pumped! If you are in the Richmond area on Saturday, come out and watch. Field events begin at 2 PM and running events begin at 5 PM.

Gala entries are now closed - Performance list to be posted soon Jun 2, 2009

A performance list for the 2009 Elite Track Gala will be posted late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning as well as a revised time schedule. Meet management is verifying performances to insure athletes are properly seeded in the meet. Boys 100 - 27 entrants - 10.46 best Girls 100 - 26 entrants - 11.98 best Boys 200 - 38 entrants - 21.34 best Girls 200 - 33 entrants - 23.78 best Boys 400 - 44 entrants - 47.12 best Girls 400 - 31 entrants - 54.44 best Boys 800 - 58 entrants - 1:51.89 best Girls 800 - 32 entrants - 2:13.20 best Boys 1500 - 35 entrants - 4:13.84 1600 best Girls 1500 - 26 entrants - 5:02.90 1600 best Boys 5000 - 32 entrants - 15:14 best Girls 5000 - 18 entrants - 18:24 best Boys 110H - 23 entrants - 14.04 best Girls 100H - 15 entrants - 13.98 best Boys 400H - 30 entrants - 36.84 300H best Girls 400H - 10 entrants - 41.59 300H best Boys Steeplechase - 24 entrants Girls Steeplechase - 9 entrants Boys Pole Vault - 10 entrants - 12-7 best Girls Pole Vault - 24 entrants - 15-9 best Boys High Jump - 12 entrants - 6-6 best Girls High Jump - 7 entrants - 5-11 best Boys Long Jump - 20 entrants - 25-0 best Girls Long Jump - 19 entrants - 20-3.50 best Boys Triple Jump - 21 entrants - 25-0 best Girls Triple Jump - 20 entrants - 41-2.50 best Boys Shot Put - 13 entrants - 59-10.50 best Girls Shot Put - 5 entrants - 38-4 best Boys Discus - 17 entrants - 180-10 best Girls Discus - 7 entrants - 120-1 best

Gala Entry Deadline is 2 days away! Dec 31, 1969

The regular entry deadline for the Elite Track Gala is two days away as after midnight on Thursday, the late entry fee of $10 is assessed to any entry between then and  the final deadline on Tuesday, June 3rd. The meet is drawing athletes from many states outside of Virginia including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Whether you are a state champion or All-American caliber athlete or an athlete who wants another meet opportunity after just missing to advance on from your district or regional competition, the Gala is the meet for you. Don't let the word "Elite" intimidate you from entering. Register online and pay your entry fee online as well through paypal.

Gala Regular Entry Deadline Extended to 5 PM Sunday May 28, 2009

The regular entry deadline for the 2009 Elite Track Gala with no late fee associated with entry is now extended until Sunday at 5 PM. This will allow athletes and coaches deciding on competing based on how the state meet goes time to enter without be charged a late fee. Entry fees can be paid online through paypal. Elite Track Gala - Online Registration