It was certainly a Good Friday for Virginian distance runners at the Raleigh Relays in the elite invitational 3200 meter high school races held in the midst of the big college meet at NC State University. Lafayette senior Kurtis Steck had an incredible race to run a personal best 3200 meter time by 12 seconds to win a loaded race with many of North Carolina's best distance runners in a time of 9:08.49. Steck's time is a new state leading performance and ranks US #7 nationally. After a disappointing finish to his outdoor season last spring with 23rd place finish at the Group AA State Outdoor Meet in the 3200, Steck has certainly came out strong in his final high school outdoor track season on a mission to end on a good note. Steck won over a deep field as shown with 11 runners breaking 9:20 including teammate Jason Menzies (10th, 9:16.21) as well as Group AA state cross country champion Nick Link (8th, 9:13.68) of Blacksburg.
In the girls' race, it would be tough for Cave Spring junior Katie Fortner or any runner in the field to keep up with Wesley Frazier of Ravenscroft School in North Carolina, who joined a short list of high school girls to ever break 10 minutes for 3200 meters in 9:57.70 victory to shatter her own meet record of 10:21.84 from last year. However, Fortner found herself in a pack racing for second place which the 4:49 miler was able to use her speed to break away to run a big personal best effort of 10:36.82 and become the new outdoor state leader in the 3200 meter run. Fortner moves up to US #8 in the current high school national outdoor rankings with her race in Raleigh. Next girls' finishers from Virginia were two Blacksburg runners in Emily Beatty (15th, 11:04) and Claire Ewing-Nelson (17th, 11:17).