A list of invitational meets for September 7th in the state of Virginia with plenty of important pre-meet information on each. MileStat.com will have on-site coverage at the Monroe Parker Invitational (photo/video), Great Meadow Invitational (photo), Newport News Invitational (photo), Fork Union Invitational (photo), and Blue Demon Invitational (photo).
At the Blue Demon Invitational in Christiansburg on Saturday, Cave Spring's Katie Fortner and Blacksburg's Bonnie Angermeier will see each other for the first of many times likely this season as the two top ranked runners in the 3A classification. Fortner and Angermeier battled down to the finish line last November at Great Meadow for second place in the Group AA state race (pictured above). Competing in the same classification, region, and conference, Angermeier and Fortner will get familar with each other in several local invitational races prior to championship season as well starting this weekend.
Atlee's Nathaniel Hall is back to defend his title from a year ago at the Fork Union Invitational when he clocked a winning time of 15:23 on the 3 mile course at FUMA. Hall battled injuries during the track season, but appears to have gotten a strong summer of training to get back into top shape for the start of cross country season. The top competition on Saturday for the two-time Central Region cross country champion Hall should come from last year's Northwest Region champion and last week's fastest performer at the Ragged Mountain Cup in Albemarle's Ryan Thomas as both figure to be in the mix among the state title individual contenders in the new 5A classification later this season.
8:00 AM CHECK IN 9:00 AM-MIDDLE SCHOOL - 2.5K 9:30 AM GIRLS' COLONIAL - 3 MILES 10:00 AM GIRLS' PATRIOT - 3 MILES 10:30 AM GIRLS' SABRE - 2 MILES 11:00 AM BOYS' COLONIAL - 3 MILES 11:30 AM BOYS' PATRIOT - 3 MILES 12:00 PM BOYS' SABRE - 2 MILES 12:30 PM AWARDS
Two of the state's best programs for both boys and girls in cross country make their season debuts at the Great Meadow Invitational between Oakton and Midlothian. The Oakton girls and boys should be competitive for team wins, while the Midlothian boys are expected to be the team to beat in the 4A classification. The mystery is the Midlothian girls, who on paper do not seem to have one of the stronger returning squads in recent history, but their team always seems to reload with new faces each fall whether they be incoming freshmen or transfers. There is no unknown about the Oakton girls as they figure to be one of the teams competing for the 6A state team title this fall led by returning Foot Locker finalist Allie Klimkiewicz.
It is certainly going to be "different" seeining runners from Prince William County and former Northwest Region schools such as Battlefield, Patriot, and Osbourn Park on the starting line this weekend at Burke Lake Park for the Monroe Parker Invitational, which has traditionally been reserved and exclusive to Northern Region only schools. With the demise of the Northern Region due to the new 6 class system and schools such as those forementioned, the Monroe Parker Invitational has opened up to allow those schools to compete on the course which will be racing later in November on the historic 2.98 mile course for the 6A North Region Championships, which will arguably be the best and toughest region in cross country this fall in the state of Virginia and probably for falls to come. The all-time times list at Burke Lake Park is quite sacred to the fans of Northern Region history and Osbourn Park's Nick Causey may make an assault to crack that all-time list at some point this fall with his talents as the reigning Group AAA state 1600 meter champion.
Madeleine King will be wearing a new singlet on Saturday at the Newport News Invite. An All-State private school cross country runner last fall as an 8th grader at Norfolk Academy (18:42 5K best), King makes her race debut for Ocean Lakes on Saturday after transferring over during the summer months. Ocean Lakes girls will be racing without their top 2 All-State caliber runners Nicole Park and Olivia Bethune, so the talented freshmen King along with new teammates Erica Jackson, Rachel Boyce, and Nicole Clanton will look to showcase how deep that the Ocean Lakes girls will be this fall and try to win the Newport News Invite without their top two returnees, but will not be easy to do with Group 2A state title favorites Maggie Walker also coming down to race at the always fast Newport News Park 5K course.