Eight VA #1's and Many Meet Records, Southern Track Classic Recap

In its fifteenth year of being run, the Southern Track Classic did not dissapoint. With great afternoon weather it seemed as though it was going to be a perfect evening but the weather did not stay that nice all evening and decided to take a turn for the worse during the 400s. Soon after it began to rain but the speed and talent of the athletes still broke through leading to eight VA #1 times, many of which rank nationally, including many in the later events. 

Southern Track Classic:


Top Performances Recap


Grant Holloway (Grassfield) VA #1 38.08 300 Hurdles

Also the winner of the 110 Hurdles (14.33) and High Jump (6-10)

Grant Holloway has to be a shoe in for athlete of the meet. He cleared 6-10 in the high jump on his third attempt, and really cleared it but then left the competition to prepare for his other races. This seemed quite foolish at the time because he was a real underdog in the hurdles to Yarborough but that did not deter him. It was an extemely close race but Holloway pulled it out to win the 110 hurdle race in 14.33 with a head wind. He then came back and did it again winning the intermediate hurdles in 38.08 to take his place as VA #1 in that event. 


Andrew Hunter  (Loudoun Valley) VA #1 4:14.15 Mile

Andrew ran a near perfect race again, this is a very long string of great races where each of his races the past weeks have all been VA #1s going back to his season opener which was followed by Penn Relays and now Southern Track. He split 65, 64, 64, 61 to win this race from the front. He looked relaxed and faced little pressure from the field the entire race until the end where multiple runners began to push the pace but were unable to even run even with Hunter. Having run this time, and a very impressive 8:16.31 National Sophomore Record in the 3000 it will be very interesting what he runs at States and Nationals moving forward. 


Hannah Christen (Lake Braddock) VA #1 4:57.51 Mile

Unlike the boys race, this race was a much more paced race and had a huge pack come through the first 400 at 77. The next lap things began to get interested where at 600m in the race began to spread out with Christen, Angermeier, and Fleming making a move to separate from the field. At roughly the half-way mark both Christen and Angermeier came through at 2:31 and kept picking up the pace. With one to go Christen began to make her move and separated slightly from Angermeier. Christen powered through and did not look back to take the title in 4:57.51 just ahead of Angermeier who also finished under 5:00 minutes. 


Tyler Powell (Cosby) VA #1 59-7.75 Shot Put

Also 5th place in Discus at 155-6

Tyler Powell stepped up big when it mattered to not only win the Southern Track Classic shot put but to also put himself back onto the top of the Virginia leaderboard. He took a breif hiatus from being chased by the entire state this week after Matthew Zajac threw a then state leading mark of 59-6 last Saturday at Dogwood. Unfortunately these guys are not in the same classification and will likely not meet again unless out at New Balance Nationals. Powell is one of the top seeds however to take the title in both the 6A discus and shot. 


Ricky Morgan (Forest Park) VA #1 47.87 400

Winner of the 400 and 200


Ricky did not let the rain deter him this Friday as he threw down some impressive times on a very wet and slippery track. He had to really run all the way through the line in both races and make sure he came home with the victory. He took the 400 in 47.87 and 200 in 22.28, he has run 21.50 and 46.67 before (last season) and will be an athlete to watch come the state meet. Esepcially if he and his teammate Mustaqeem Williams run because that would mean the greatest 200 field could be racing- Lyles, Williams, and Morgan. 


Ellison Grove (Battlefield) VA #1 2:11.95 800

Ellison seems to be getting closer and closer back to her old form now running a state leading 2:11.95 in the 800. This is very close to her 2:10 personal best. She opened the race up in a 67 and lead nearly the entire race. She did have some company with L.C. Bird's Nichell Scott but this was all Grove's race. It should be noted that it was extremely gusty and raining during this race so this time is just that more impressive. 


Mackenzie Haight  (George C. Marshall) VA #1 9:19.89 


This race was, just as the girls was, a very strategic race. Mackenzie bit his time to wait and make the move at the right time. He lead only for a small portion of this race percentage wise but when he lead, he really lead the race. With about three laps to go he made his move and distanced himself from the entire field. He came through two laps to go right around 7:02 and lengthed his lead to win in 9:19.89 for a full two Miles. This marked the third great distance race for the boys, and the third to produce a state leading time, if you include Holdsworth's 800 a shy off of his own state leading time. 


Matthew Zajac (E.C. Glass) 189-03 Discus

Zajac was at it again throwing the disc further then anyone else in the state. He got out to 189-03 one of his final throws to win the competition. Zajac is a multiple time state champion and as of April 25, a Penn Relays Champion and all-time best discus thrower for the Commonwealth of Virginia. His mark at Penn Relays, 200-9, earned him those honors and make his future coaches at the University of Tennessee very happy of what is to come. He now have only a few more meets to extend that mark even further. 


Derek Holdsworth  (Lafayette) 1:50.61 800

Just off his US #2 time of 1:50.39


The boys 800 certainly did not dissapoint. Whether it was the weather or not (good pun I know) Derek did not care and left the entire field en route to his 1:50.61. Derek has seemingly found a perfect race strategy to leave all his competition behind, and his competition is fast as well. He opened in a 53, went 80 through 600 and closed with a 30 second 200. It will be interesting though to see him square off with Hagen once again but in a smaller field where neither can really get boxed. That could be the best meet of any state meet as well. 


Chantel Ray (Hampton) 14.18 100m Hurdles

Chantel Ray once again showed why she is one of, if not the, best hurdlers the state has ever seen. She cruised to this 14.18 victory and the funny thing is, it is not even close to her season's best. Chantel currently sits #2 all-time in the Commonwealth of Virginia with her 13.53 run at Taco Bell. She will have some great competition at the state meet that should hopefully at least push her through the first set of hurdles. Simply put, she is unbeatable this year so far and leads the state by nearly .8 seconds in a sprint event. 


Hermitage Boys Sprint Medley US #4, VA #1 3:28.45

The Hermitage boys came to do work and that is exactly what they did. They went 22,22, 50, 1:54. Devin Barnes, one of the 5A favorites at 800m was their anchor and he helped hold off a very strong Varina team that would not go away quietly. Hermitage seemed to have the better 200 legs and handed off on the lead both times but Varina's 400 runner took the lead and handed off with a slight lead over Hermitage going into the 800. Barnes however quickly took the lead and never looked back en route to running a new Virginia best this year and US #4. He spoke with MileStat afterwords and spoke about some of their team goals this year that includes making a run at a national title in this event. 


Nicole Grier-Spratley (Edison) 5-8 High Jump


Nicole was the only girl on her "A" game for this large meet and let it show by being the only lady to clear 5-8. Doing so she secured herself in the record books tieing the meet record. She also maintained her positioning as second in the state but actually beat the two girls who have jumped better then her prior to this meet. This mark tied her personal best from this indoor season and is a good sign for her moving forward into championship season. 


All Elite Performances

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights


Very special thanks to our site contributors who braved the weather and provided some great coverage including: Mary Ann Magnant, Tom Veazey, John Herzog, and Sean Leyh.