LEXINGTON, VA -- Mills Godwin senior Anne Marie Gordon likes drama apparently. Not only is she in theatre at school, but seems to like to wait till the final attempt when clearing personal best heights in the pole vault. At last March\'s National Scholastic Indoor Championships, Gordon cleared 11\'7.25\" on her third attempt at the height. On Saturday at the Keydet Invitational, Gordon cleared a best height of 11\'9\" in similar dramatic fashion on her final attempt at the height.
Gordon broke the old meet and facility record by one feet and nine inches held by multiple competitors at ten feet. The Godwin vaulter will be looking to improve upon her new best in a few weeks at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada against some of the nation\'s best pole vaulters.
Fork Union showed just why many consider them to have the talent to make for some outstanding distance relays this track season. In the 4x800 meter relay, the FUMA boys loaded down their squad and posted a swift state leading time of 8:07.46 on a less than ideal track to run the state\'s fastest in the event at the Virginia Military Institute Fieldhouse. Fork Union opened with 2:00 splits from Jamie Reichlen and Szymon Rola and then had a 2:08 split from polish newcomer Casper Sluskarcyzk in his first race in the States. Axel Mostrag, one of the nation\'s top returning middle distance runners anchored home the win with a 1:56 split. Their time bettered the old meet and facility record by 13 seconds set by Fort Defiance last year in 8:20. Fort Defiance went onto run 7:53 at the end of the outdoor season to give some perspective of how times run on the VMI track.
Comparing the previous record holder and their later performances has to make Northside senior Catherine White feel good about herself after her distance double in Lexington. White won the 3200 meter run in a state best time of 10:53.09 to lap nearly the entire field. While she was five seconds off her 2006 meet record of 10:48 in the event, she did not have to come back in the mile last year.
White obviously showed she left a decent amount left in the tank for the mile run later in the meet as she broke the meet record of 5:09.58 held by one of the nation\'s greatest high school middle distance runners in Sarah Bowman with a first place run of 5:08.66. In 2003 when Bowman set the meet record, she went onto win her first of two national championships on in the mile only two months later at the Nike Indoor Nationals in 4:48. Breaking Bowman\'s record has to give White a great confidence boost heading into her upcoming races including the mile at the Reebook Indoor Games in Boston at the endof the month.
Atlee\'s Mansfield Murph had quite an impressive run in the 500 meter dash at VMI as while her clocking of 1:19.63 ranks her fourth in the state in the event, put her on a decent 200 meter track and she will run a lot faster. Her time broke the old meet record by three seconds and put her six seconds faster than the next fastest competitor in Latasha Watson of Sherando (1:25.95). Watson certainly is no slouch as she ran under 58 seconds last spring for 400 meters and earned All-State honors in AA.
Previous state leader in the 500 meter dash, Patrick Henry sophomore Natalie Woodford gained another big invitational win with a 42.00 clocking to take the 300 meter dash. The final section of the event featured Woodford and William Fleming\'s Brittany Cabbler as the two athletes were very familiar with one another after the two battled at Liberty University last month in the 500 meter dash with Woodford coming out with a state leading time of 1:19.18 in the event. Cabbler had to settle for second once again in a time of 43.28. Sherando\'s Watson finished third overall as a winner in a previous section in 43.36.
Woodford also ran opening leg for the first place 4x800 meter relay from Patrick Henry as they took top honors with a final time of 10:26.53.
Franklin County\'s Shaundra Cook was a double event winner on the day as she clocked a 8.95 to cross the line first in the 55 meter hurdles, while winning an exciting duel with James Monroe\'s Shionte Preston in the high jump with both competitors clearing 5\'4\".
Adams Abdulrazaaq of Highland Springs played a very key role in helping his team to a fourth place showing with 47 points. Abdulrazaaq nearly won three running events on the day and was not defeated in any of three section races he competed in. He kicked the meet off with a 1:10.42 clocking to hold off a late charge from defending AA 1600 meter state champion Ryan Witt of Sherando (1:10.74) in the 500 meter dash. Later in the meet, the Highland Springs senior claimed first in the 55 meter hurdles in 7.93 and finished second in the 300 meter dash despite winning the final section of the event in 37.14.
Mountain View\'s D.J. Haskins took the 300 meter dash as his 37.01 clocking from section 27 of 28 was the fastest on the meet.
Mills Godwin senior Kim Brown took the 55 meter dash in a 7.54 as she snuck out the win out of section 10 of 12 with final section winner Omni Ashford of William Fleming only hundredth of a second behind at 7.55. Brown almost helped the Godwin to a relay win in the 4x200 meter relay, but a relay exchange zone violation between Brown and their second leg disqualified them and put them out of the race with Charlottesville taking the win in 1:55.67.
Keith Ricks of King\'s Fork pulled out the win in the 55 meter dash for the boys in similar fashion as his 6.57 clocking in the 55 meter dash in section 12 of 13 bettered the finish time of final section winner Joseph Mesadiedu of Patrick Henry (6.60) to break the meet record of 6.61. Ricks also finished second in the long jump with a mark of 21\'9.75\".
Nathan Brame of Radford closed well over the final 400 meters in the boys\' mile run to pull away from earlier race leaders Szymon Rola of Fork Union (2nd, 4:34.15) and Ben Dejarnette of Atlee (3rd, 4:34:31) to win in a time of 4:31.46.
It took a personal best day from Scott Crews of Rockbridge County to surprise the favorites in the field of the boys\' 3200 meter run as he led four runners under ten minutes with a 9:52.34. Rounding out the top four were Daniel Alonso of Fort Defiance (2nd, 9:55.77), Jeremy Haney of Fork Union (3rd, 9:57.71), and Brian Welch (4th, 9:59.65).
J.R. Tucker sophomore Jasia Richardson was not far off best mark in the triple jump of 37\'11\" from outdoors at VMI on Saturday as she leaped to an indoor personal best of 37\'6.50\" to break the old meet record of 36\'3.75\".
Her Tucker teammate K\'Lynne Robinson was also a winner in the field events as she threw for a mark of 37\'7\" in the shot put.
Another Jenkins is making noise in the jumps as while sister Angela Jenkins has graduated and moved onto West Point, Alisha Jenkins is still at Buffalo Gap and picking up wins. Jenkins won the long jump at VMI by a very narrow margin of one quarter of an inch over William Fleming\'s Omni Ashford (16\'5.50\") with a mark of 16\'5.75\".
The Blacksburg girls won the team title as they closed out the meet with a first place finish in the 4x400 meter relay (4:23.04). Quite impressive to win the meet while sitting out almost all of their top distance runners.
Fork Union closed the meet out with wins in the 4x800 and 4x400 meter relay (3:32.64) to put on a late surge to nip Mountain View (51) for the first place team trophy with 52.50 points. Fork Union also had an individual event winner earlier in the meet with Brian Zitterkopf clearing 6\'4\" in the high jump.
Cedric Hudson was Mountain View\'s lone first place finish in an individual or relay event in the meet with a leap of 21\'10\" to take the long jump.
Patrick Henry\'s Allen Molina was a mild surprise winner in the triple jump with a personal best mark of 45\'0\". Molina had a previous best in the event of 43\'10.50\" from last outdoor season.
Justin Smith of Turner Ashby was the lone competitior in the shot put to throw over 50 feet and thus as a result, claimed the win with a mark of 51\'3\".
Harrisonburg senior Tim Beierle failed to match his 15\'3\" state best earlier in the week in the vault or break the meet record of 15 feet, but still picked up the win in the event on an \"off day\" with a clearance of 14\'6\".