BRISTOL, TN -- The Run Fer Da Hills Invitational course was lengthened from its traditional 3 mile course to a 5K distance at South Holston Dam in Bristol, Tennessee as two of Virginia\'s top returning runners in Abingdon junior Griff Graves and J.J. Kelly senior Brittany Killough hope to have set new course records in their 2006 wins that will stand for a while. Graves won by over a minute in a time of 16:13, while Killough (19:48) finished a decent margin ahead of runner-up Sabrina Hall of Pulaski County (20:21), who helped her squad to a team title at Run Fer Da Hills.
In last year\'s race, Graves finished just off the 3 mile course record held by former Foot Locker finalist and star at Georgetown University in Fleet Hower, but with the different layout this year, was able to get the course record in a different fashion. Graves felt that this year\'s course was definitely harder than the one in the past.
Marion\'s Doug Fender took runner-up honors behind Graves in a time of 17:17 as teammate and 2004 state runner-up Jason Yonts finished fifth in 17:42 after attempting to challenge Graves early on in the race.
Despite Jefferson Forest placing three runners in the top ten with Colin Clark (8th, 17:58), Steven Kadak (9th, 17:58), and Brandon Love (17:59), Christiansburg, led by fourth place finisher Caleb Hughes (17:24), was able to pack it up behind the Jefferson Forest trio to take the team title with 64 points. Virginia swept the top three team places against the Tennessee teams with Christiansburg in first, Jefferson Forest in second (72 pts), and Abingdon in third (152 pts).
Killough, one of the preseason favorites to win the Group A state crown in cross country, started off her fall with a convincing victory in Bristol by finishing 33 seconds ahead of Pulaski\'s Hall. Killough was joined in the top ten by teammate Lauren Bonney (7th, 21:12).
Hall was the top finisher for the Run Fer Da Hills champion squad in Pulaski County. Pulaski (53 pts) took a narrow two point victory over Science Hill of Tennessee (55 pts). Pearl Hall (9th, 21:35) and Ciera Millan (10th, 21:40) also finished among the top ten finishers with Hall.
Jefferson Forest had top three finishing teams for both the boys and girls as the Lady Cavaliers took third with 65 points as Donna Bryant led her squad with a third place finishing run of 20:27. Jefferson Forest sophomore Cameron Dewitt (6th, 21:12) also had a solid individual performance.