VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- The Beach District Meet will be held on Wednesday at the Sportsplex 5K course in Virginia Beach. Both Ocean Lakes boys and girls\' teams will be looking to defend their team titles from last year, while Cox senior Eddie Judge will be making an assault on his own course record as the defending Beach District champ.
Judge won last year\'s race in a course record time of 16:40. On two occassions this fall at mid-week meets, Judge has bettered the time with 16:36 and 16:32 5K clockings on the Beach District home course this fall. Judge became the Eastern Region\'s most dominant runner last year as a junior as he won regional titles during both indoors and outdoors for 1600 (indoors/outdoors) and 3200 meters (outdoors only). Judge hit both of his personal bests for 1600 and 3200 meters at the AAA State Outdoor Track and Field Championships with times of 4:24 and 9:38 respectively.
Judge really made a statement and name for himself on the state scene at the William & Mary Invitational last month when he won the \"A\" division in a time of 15:40 on the 3.05 mile course at Eastern State Hospital over a strong field that included the likes of Nick Bax from DC school St. Alban\'s and Axel Mostrag from Fork Union. Bax recently challenged Virginia\'s top ranked runner in Mike Spooner for over two miles at the Glory Days Grill Invitational two weekends ago.
Judge\'s toughest challenger may come from his teammate Charlie Celesia, who finished right on his heels with a 16:33 5K in the October 12th meet at Sportsplex that gathered all of the Virginia Beach schools. Celesia also picked up a big win and personal best at the Lee-Davis Invitational two days later in a time of 16:27 as Judge skipped out on the meet (probably SAT testing).
Cox has a very solid front three with Judge, Celesia, and John Lapke. Lapke has a 5K personal best of 17:04.
However, the defending champs from Ocean Lakes have the edge on Cox coming in because of their superior depth. The depth was shown in their last encounter in an invite at the Chesapeake Invitational. Ocean Lakes finished second behind Eastern Region favorite Hickory and 20 points ahead of Cox as they put seven runners ahead of Cox\'s fourth finisher in Braden Boyd (41st, 18:03).
Ocean Lakes was led at Chesapeake by the son of Bayside head coach Lanny Doan in junior Caleb Doan (11th, 16:49). Another Doan in Conor Doan was the 7th finisher for Coach Mike Nestor\'s Ocean Lakes boys in the same meet ahead of Cox\'s fourth runner. Corey McFadden is the team\'s top returning finisher from last year\'s district meet as he finished ninth in 2005. David Jeffers also returns for Ocean Lakes as a All-Beach District performer in cross country.
However, freshmen Drew Paisley, sophomore Seth Cunningham, and senior Jason Kowalski have been running very strong this fall to make things difficult for their teammate Jeffers and any other runners in the district to crack in the top 15 this Wednesday.
Other top individuals in the district include the Bayside senior duo of David Kidd ad Nick Lauter and Kellam sophomore Bobby Peavey. Kidd and Lauter had impressive races at the Chesapeake Invitational to clock best times of 16:41 and 16:42 respectively, while Peavey backed up his 4:34 1600 last spring as a freshmen this fall running under 17 minutes at Sportsplex on three occasions including a 16:49 best on October 12th.
Last year\'s team battle for the Beach District girls was fierce between Ocean Lakes and Kellam with single digits separating the two teams. Both teams have the top two squads in the district once again this fall.
The defending champs from Ocean Lakes have looked solid far this season as they have been led by sophomore Stacey Nobles, who is one of the top individuals in the Eastern Region. Nobles led Ocean Lakes to a close third place showing at the Chesapeake Invitational, which turned into virtually a Eastern Region preview meet on the home course for this year\'s regional meet at Bells Mell Park.
Nobles ran a personal best of 19:00 to finish 16 seconds off of defending AAA 1600 meter state champion Kristy Tobin of Great Bridge. Coach Nestor\'s team is very young with only one senior in Amanda Garrett in a top seven filled with underclassmen.
Peri Bowman has had a great freshmen season so far as the team\'s second runner as she dipped under 20 minutes at the Chesapeake Invite in 19:58.
The sophomore class is very loaded and will keep Ocean Lakes a force to be reckoned in the Eastern Region with for the next three years with Nobles, Anne Reiner (5:16 1600, 20:41 5K) and Natalia Kuhn (2:21 800, 19:59 5K).
Kellam is led by the top returnee from the 2005 Beach District meet in last year\'s runner-up in Ashley Kukura. Kukura has already bettered her 2005 district time this fall at Sportsplex with a 19:13 clocking on September 27th. However, Nobles will be a tough test as the Ocean Lakes sophomore has ran a 19:17 best on the course this fall.
Joining Kukura to make for another Kellam squad to challenge Ocean Lakes will be sophomore Samantha DeRidder (11:29 3200, 19:36 5K), senior Chelsea Webb (20:15 5K), and Jeanna Garland (12:45 3200). DeRidder has ran a 19:44 best on the Sportsplex course this fall.
Top individuals outside of Kukura and Nobles in the district include Tallwood junior Octavia Rinehardt and Landstown senior Shannon Ralston, Both Rinehardt and Ralston have sub 20 minute 5K performances under their belt this season with Rinehardt running her 19:45 best at a Sportsplex meet, while Ralston went 19:55 at the home of the 2006 Eastern Region Meet at Bells Mill Park for the Chesapeake Invite.