Grafton Clippers improve over last year’s performances in both Girls and Boys Divisions yesterday over last year’s performances.
While I was crunching some numbers this morning some things came to view that I hadn’t expected. First off, the boys competed in the Region I meet with a different seven than they had last year. While they were missing Kyle King and Matt Garcia as graduating seniors, they also lost Bryce Hartman from this year’s squad. Losing three of your top five is never a coach’s dream scenario Grafton has somehow managed to come out in a good place. Of those returning for this year’s 2nd place performance Dylan Sydnor actually lost 26 seconds from last year, but Conor Wallace and Marc Torres lowered their times by 25 and 35 seconds. One of the most notable performances from yesterday’s meet was the freshman Justin Underwood who as our 5th runner finished only 11 seconds slower than last year’s number three man. His performance along with that of Chad Eldred, Forrest Kidwell and Josh Hall the men managed to finish in 2nd place earning a trophy and a birth to the State Meet next week in The Plains, VA.
On the Lady Clippers team the squad looks like a completely different team. With the loss of top performer Chelsea Page the team was looking for a front runner and luckily Rachel Rabbitt stepped up and has been a consistent top 10 finisher all season. Rabbitt dropped almost a full minute over last years’ Region I performance, but the real story is what happened behind her. Freshman Hope Bloxom crossed the line with an impressive top 10 finish. Meanwhile, Nicole Goff only dropped 5 seconds from last year, but a healthy Ashley Bruce dropped 1.5 minutes! The big difference came with the addition of Deanna Corts and Risa Grandon who along with the help of Rachel Curtis Grafton had all 7 of our girls finishing in the top 30! Then ladies found themselves in 1st place for their first Region I Cross-Country championship trophy. While nobody expects Grafton to take a cross-country trophy at the state meet, it would be awesome if they could finish better than the 55th place currently predicted on MileStat. Wherever they finish the Grafton girls have people sitting up and paying attention and nervous about the upcoming track seasons.
Way to go all!
Congratulations to the Lady Clippers who finished off their perfect district season.
The Lady Clippers were undefeated during the regular season in district competition claiming the regular season championship and then sealed the deal with 5 of their top 7 finishing in the first fifteen at this past week's Bay Rivers District Competition.
The Daily Press quoted Coach Sims, “These girls have some of the best camaraderie I have seen in my many years of coaching, which allows the team dynamic to take precedence and for us to have success,” Sims said.
With the Region I Championships coming up next week the Lady Clippers will be a team to watch. Finishing almost 30 points in front of the next BRD team they seem to be a strong contender for a podium spot next week as well.
1. Grafton 38
2. Jamestown 65
3. Lafayette 94
4. Bruton 127
5. New Kent 131
Top 15 individuals:
1. Eudailey (NK) 19:19
2. Cody (Bru) 19:49
3. Peterson (Laf) 20:02
4. Rabbitt (Graf) 20:09
5. M. Mearns (Jam) 20:30
6. Freeman (Poq) 20:34
7. Bloxom (Graf) 20:47
8. Buscher (War) 20:55
9. Bruce (Graf) 20:56
10. Grandon (Graf) 20:56.2
11. Goff (Graf) 21:01
12. Shannon (Bru) 21:10
13. D. Mearns (Jam) 21:14
14. Gillem (Jam) 21:17
15. Bland (Laf) 21:30
Unfortunately, the Clipper men were less successful. Finishing in 3rd overall they are suffering from the loss of some top performances due to some runners who are feeling the stress in their bodies from a long season. With hopes of some recovery they look forward to the Region I Championships next week and fingers crossed they are looking toward some State qualifying performance.
1. Lafayette 35
2. York 65
3. Grafton 74
4. Jamestown 119
5. Smithfield 144 (advances to regional with faster sixth runner than Warhill’s)
6. Warhill 144
7. Tabb 170
8. New Kent 191
9. Bruton 243
10. Poquoson 249
Top 15 individuals:
1. Little (York) 16:23
2. Moniak (Jam) 16:44
3. Steck (Laf) 16:52.6
4. Connell (York) 16:56
5. Gemmell-Davis (Laf) 17:00
6. Finkenauer (Tabb) 17:06
7. Osborne (York) 17:13
8. Warring (Laf) 17:24
9. Menzies (Laf) 17:27
10. Watrous (Laf) 17:27
11. Eldred (Graf) 17:35
12. Basso (Smi) 17:36
13. Savage (NK) 17:37
14. Wallace (Graf) 17:40
15. Sydnor (Graf) 17:46
Track Athletes Only Grafton Team to Advance to State Level
Goff, Nicole – 10th
Grandon, Risa – 19th
Page, Chelsea – 28th
Bruce, Ashley – 31st
Girls 4x400m Relay
Grafton Girls – 8th (Made it to fastest heat - 5-7th only 2 seconds off their time)
(Wozniak, Beaudoin, Grandon, Goff)
Girls 4x800m Relay
Grafton Girls – 4th (3rd is Jamestown with only .04 of a second between us)
(Comer, Rabbitt, Grandon, Goff)
Girls High Jump (In High Jump, anything can happen, wind, heat, all bets are off on this event.)
Young, Julia – 2nd
Sears-Lentz – 19th
Girls Pole Vault
Packard, Melanie – 7th
Girls Long Jump
Beaudoin, Caroline – 4th
Young, Julia – 18th
Wallace, Conor – 29th (Only 1.3 seconds between 1st and 29th)
Wallace, Conor – 10th (Top 14 times are under 51 seconds)
King, Kyle – 2nd (1.04 seconds behind 1st)
King, Kyle – 1st (1.53 ahead of 2nd)
Torres, Marc – 35th
King, Kyle – 1st (3.12 seconds ahead of 2nd)
Sydnor, Dylan – 28th
Boys High Jump (In High Jump, anything can happen, wind, heat, all bets are off on this event.)
Jordan, Taylor – 17th
Pressey, Kenneth – 18th
Coming off of an unexpected championship last year Grafton boys return to the scene of the crime, Harrisonburg, VA.
Expected to take at least 28pts and could take as many as 30 Kyle King is going for the triple win. Something not many try, and sadly often ends up like a replay a bid for the Triple Crown, two legs could happen without any questions, it’s the 3rd event, the 800m that could be the outlier. Kyle has it in him to take all three, he just has to race for place and ignore the clock, something that is harder said than done. If Conor Wallace can manage to take points in the 200m, he could help Grafton find a place on the podiums, it will most likely not be enough for a repeat title, but it would be nice to show them we are a serious program. If only they had one more horse like Gorwitz or Gunnerson in their stable, they could really take notice. Nobody’s like Stover, so we’ll see if the track gods can favor us once again this year.
On the girl’s side, we have six performances ranked in the top ten. That’s not a typo. Two of these performances are relays, something the Lady Clippers have never done. We cannot emphasize enough how much one athlete makes all the difference in the dynamic of the team. For the girls this season it has been freshman Nicole Goff. Who finds herself sitting at the 10th place going into the meet, but the five girls in front of her are only a second away. This is sure to be a great race to watch. Without a doubt, she has contributed more than we will ever be able to articulate. She has pushed all of the girls on the middle/long distance squad to a new level. Something that is very evident when you look at how sophomore Risa Grandon and juniors Caitlin Comer and Rachel Rabbitt have all three dropped significant time this season. These four girls stand a very good chance at medaling as a team, with an outside shot at a win. They are ranked 4th going in, but they have many people’s full attention. In the jumping events they dynamic duo of Caroline Beaudoin and Julia Young will once again be jumping together in the long jump. Caroline had a national qualifying jump at the District meet and Julia Young will be high jumping going into the meet with a 2nd place seed against a girl who is 6’2” and only jumping 5’7”. Haigh likes the odds against her! Caroline Beaudoin is also a key member of the 4x400m relay team. The girls put in an amazing effort at the Region I meet and if the weather cooperates, Wozniak, Beaudoin, Grandon and Goff could find themselves in the thick of things. These four girls race exceptionally well, so since they are in the fast heat, they could but up at the front.
Kyle King finished 4th @ Penn Relays with a time of 4:12.16. When the front four made their move after the half, he stayed with them and it proved to be a smart move.
Kyle said, "The first 800 was slow (around 2:10), but I closed well and held it down for va."
That he absolutely did! His time ranks him 7th in the US and 1st in VA by over 4 seconds!
On December 6, 2009 C. Matt Gutridge ran a 3:09:30 for the inaugural Three Bridges Marathon, just getting under the 3:10:00 minimum entry standard. This time qualified him for the Boston Marathon, but with a wedding in 2010, Gutridge knew he’d have to pass on the 2010 marathon and set his sights towards the 2011 Boston Marathon.
A little over a year later and Gutridge not only bettered his time, but impressed more than a few of his runners on the Grafton High track and cross-country team. “Gutty’s doing work,” said senior Kyle King, who runs with Gutridge during many of his track workouts. "I knew he was ready for this race when the last long run he had he did the last few miles under six minutes each."
Gaining the respect of many around him among the faculty and staff, Gutridge set a goal of under 2:50:00, finishing 2:49:27. 540th overall 398th in his age division (180-39) and 501st among male entrants. Charlie Baynard said he now owes his coach a milkshake for achieving his goal. Something Coach offers to some of his athletes as a reward for their hard work.
Rehan Talibi a 2010 graduate tweeted, “Impressive and Inspirational”. I would tend to agree, a milkshake is the least we can do!
Girls Results – 2011 – BRD Indoor District Meet Results
The Lady Clippers earned a 3rd Place finish, only 11 ½ points out of 2nd Place, with two District Champions and twelve All-District performances, the most in Grafton history. Outstanding performances included:
Girls Shot Put
3rd Place - Heather Dimmock 27-08.00 – All-District
Girls High Jump
2nd Place – Brianna Dimmock 4-10.00 – All-District
5th Place - April Keith 4-06.00 – All-District
Girls Long Jump
1st Place – District Champ! Julia Young 16-11.00 – All-District New Indoor School Record!
2nd Place - Caroline Beaudoin 16-05.50 – All-District
Girls Pole Vault
1st Place - Melanie Packard 8-00.00 – All-District
4th Place - Mo Waldman 6-06.00 – All-District
Girls 55 Meter Hurdles
4th Place - Leotie Fukawa 10.48 PR – All-District
Girls 500 Meter Dash
4th Place - Nicole Goff 1:23.71 PR – All-District
Girls 3200 Meter
3rd Place - Rachel Rabbitt 12:17.20 – All-District
Girls 1000 Meter Run
5th Place - Risa Grandon 3:16.09 PR – All-District
Girls 4x800 Meter Relay
2nd Place 10:08.43 [b]– All-District New Indoor School Record! (Taking almost 14 seconds off the previous record!)
Relay Members were: Chelsea Page, Rachel Rabbitt, Risa Grandon and Nicole Goff
Boys Results – 2011 – BRD Indoor District Meet Results
Boys Pole Vault
3rd Place - Miller Trant 9-06.00 [b]– All-District
Boys Long Jump
6th Place - Nic Kurz 19-10.50 [b]– All-District– New Indoor School Record!
Boys 4x400 Meter
3rd Place 3:40.43 – All-District
Relay Members were: Nic Kurz, Matt Garcia, Kyle King and Conor Wallace)
Boys 1000 Meter Run
1st Place [b]- District Champ! Kyle King 2:35.03 – All-District
5th Place - Matt Garcia 2:46.85 – All-District
Boys 300 Meter Dash
1st Place - District Champ! – Conor Wallace 36.54 – All-District New Indoor School Record!
Virginia Tech High School Invitational
Running Friday night Chelsea Page led the way with a very respectable performance in the 3200 meter run giving her a 7th place finish with a time of 11:49.51. She's still ranked in the top 7 in the AA field, but Mattie Webb and Krista De Ceault are sitting at 10:44 and 10:45 respectfully, so they will be a hard duo to beat come the state meet. Kyle King was up next in the men's 3200m run with a 9:23.46 time that would earn him a 4th place finish in the meet ending Grafton's competition for the night. Interestingly, all 4 of Virginia's top for times were 3200m athletes who ran in Kyle's heat.
On to Saturday, first up was Mariah Wozniak. For those who've been wondering where she's been, Mariah tweaked her knee almost a month ago and has slowly been rehabbing and babying it in hopes of finish up the indoor season. Well, she didn't disappoint. While it wasn't a season PR, it was a respectable time of 1:26.6 and a 27th place finish. This was in a field where top 16 were all under 1:22.00 making it clear that they weren't messing around. Fear not, Mariah's still ranked 9th in the state for her 1:22.5 performance earlier in the season, so only time will tell how her season settles out.
Our final representative in the sprints was Conor Wallace in the men's 500m. Conor went in ranked 27th in the meet, and finished in 18th with a time of 1:09.42. While Conor would have loved to have been under 1:09 on the East Coasts fastest track, he did move into 9th place in the state in AA competition narrowly edging out our own Matt Garcia for the fastest 500m runner at Grafton so far this season. I feel a showdown in the making!
Chelsea Page rounded out the weekend for us in the women's 1600m with a 5:33.68 which put her in the 12th place and only a little over a second off of her indoor personal best. While she's 17th in the state in the 1600m, I would never bet against Chelsea in post-season competition in either event, she somehow always finds another gear. Unfortunately, Kyle didn’t have anything left in his achilles for the 1600m and was forced to scratch. What a shame he scratched, it would have been worth watching.
Next up for the Clippers: Jamestown Invitational - Boo Williams Sportsplex Jan. 31st.
The results from the last three meets have been posted! Whew! We have been busy! We cannot tell you have impressed we are with the progress that the team has been making. We currently have 39 District Qualifying Performances, 30 Regional Performances and 7 State Qualifying Performances. WAY TO GO!
Looking ahead we have a meet on January 31st. This is an additional meet. We will be getting more information out to parents and athletes soon, but we wanted to make sure that you had that on your calendars. There will be no relays at this meet, so those athletes that normally run only relays may not be entered. We will enter as many as we can, but understand that for some of our athletes this will be their last chance to qualify for the District/Regional/State meet. The entries will be based on those athletes that we feel have worked the hardest going into the meet, those who are closest to the District/Regional/State standard and those that may need some fine tuning before the district meet. The District meet will be on February 7th @ Boo Williams. As soon as we get a meet schedule we will share that with you.
We would also like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your support. You've been at the meets, yelling, cheering and helping this to be the successful season that it is. We hope that everyone has enjoyed their season and we look forward to seeing all of you again soon!
Until then, check out the links below to find out how everyone has been doing in December and the beginning of January!
See you at the track,
Coach Pregler aka Momma P!
DAILY PRESS ALL-STARS: Grafton's Kyle King, boys cross country
This season turned out to be a learning curve for Grafton cross country runner Kyle King.
Without the help of older teammates, the senior was forced to switch his training regimen — despite winning the boys cross country state championship in 2009.
King — fearing the disappointment of not repeating as state champion — found his groove two meets into the season and rode it all the way to his second consecutive state Group AA championship, clocking a time of 15 minutes, 21 seconds for 5 kilometers.
King is the Daily Press Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
"Ever since I took my first step across the finish line last year, my focus has been on you can't win the state title during your junior year and not go back and win it again," King said. "That would just be embarrassing. I knew that I couldn't expect anything less for myself, and that's how I approached it, as something that I had to do."
After finishing three seconds behind first-place runner Derek Armstrong of Western Albemarle in the Maymont Cross Country Festival, King found his 2010 stride during the Albemarle Invitational. The Clippers' captain notched his first victory of the season by 26 seconds and never looked back.
"Kyle thinks about races ahead of time, and he plans out race strategies and works hard to execute those race strategies," Clippers coach Robert Pierce said. "Yet he is a good enough runner that he can be flexible within a race and make adjustments as he has to."
King learned more than he ever would have thought about making adjustments this season.
"Overall, it was a different type of season, but I just had to figure out how to handle it," King said. "I got to know myself a little more than I had."
Daily Press 2010 Girls Cross-Country All-Stars
Chelsea Page, Grafton, Junior
Nicole Goff, Grafton, Freshman
Rachel Curtis, Grafton, Sophomore
Rachel Rabbitt, Grafton, Sophomore
Copyright © 2010, Newport News, Va., Daily Press