Hanover's Lauren Hopper winning the 2007 Lee-Davis Subvarsity Invite in 18:59.
While small in size, the Lee-Davis Subvarsity Invitational will have some great quality in a meet which emphasizes the freshmen and sub-varsity divisions with medals going 25 individuals deep in those races versus 10 deep in the varsity races. In particular, several girls could be pushing to go under 19 minutes on the Pole Green Park 5K course in Mechanicsville as cooler temperatures and dry course should cater to fast times. Tallwood's Octavia Rinehardt as the #4 ranked runner in Virginia and coming off a 18:23 5K personal best run on Wednesday leads a handful of fast individuals racing this weekend at Pole Green including Disney Classic winner Lauren Hopper of Hanover, Hagan Stone Park Classic winner Amanda Lineberry of Lee-davis, and one of the state's fastest freshmen in Abby Badura of Clover Hill. The Jamestown boys headline the varsity boys field as the Eagles look to have a better showing in Richmond than they did two weeks ago at the Maymont Festival.
The Tallwood senior Rinehardt is on a hot streak heading into this weekend as she is one of the few undefeated runners left in the state. Rinehardt will be looking to win her third invitational of the season as she has already scored earlier victories at the William & Mary Invitational and Chesapeake Invitational. She could end up running over two minutes faster than her race last year at the Lee-Davis Invite in which she finished 7th with a time of 20:41.
Hanover sophomore Lauren Hopper would certainly like to defend her title from a year ago at Pole Green in which she clocked in just under 19 minutes in a 18:59 win. Hopper and the Hanover girls traveled down to Florida for the Disney Cross Country Classic with Hopper winning the varsity 3A race with a time of 18:46. Hopper's top time this season came with a runner-up 18:41 to AA top ranked Laura Rapp at the Knights Crossing Invitational. Hopper's experience of racing well at Pole Green should help her in attempting to defeat favorite Rinehardt.
The varsity girls race on Saturday at 11:10 am with temperatures projected to rise just above 60 degrees for the final races of the meet will have another invitational champion from this fall in Lee-Davis sophomore Amanda Lineberry. Lineberry, a 8 second runner-up to Hopper at last year's Lee-Davis Subvarsity Invite in 19:07, is coming off her first invitational win last Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina as she defeated one of AA's top ranked runners in Sabrina Hall with a 18:54 win at the Hagan Stone Classic.
The new kid on the block as Hopper and Lineberry were last year as ninth graders is Clover Hill freshmen Abby Badura. Badura ran an exceptional race at the Octoberfest Invitational held at Great Meadow to place seventh in a personal best time of 18:54, which is fastest among all freshmen in the state so far this fall. She had another solid run in a home tri meet on Wednesday in which she defeated the defending Central Region champion Kristen Wolfe of James River (albeit thanks to Wolfe going off the course for a bit in the final mile) in a 13 second victory at 19:19.
Finishing third in that same Clover Hill tri meet was Cosby junior Jenna Moye with a time of 19:39. Moye defeated Badura earlier in the season at Fork Union with a swift three mile time of 18:33. Moye and Oscar Smith junior Kerry Kelly (19:14 5K season best) could help push an entire top five finishers under 19 minutes at Pole Green this weekend. Four of the top 15 ranked runners in AAA race will be at Lee-Davis with AAA #3 Rinehardt, #10 Hopper, #13 Badura, and #15 Lineberry.
Hopper's Hanover girls look to be the favored team after winning the 3A varsity division at Disney last weekend. The meet should be a great preview of several teams contending for those final spots in the Central Region. With Midlothian and Maggie Walker head and shoulders better than the rest in the region and Douglas Freeman likely to get their act together by championship season, the fourth spot is up for grabs.
However, the way that the Hanover girls have ran as of late might not be the case. Capital District rival Lee-Davis defeated Hanover earlier in the season in a Wednesday meet, but it will be a tougher task in an invitational setting. Mills Godwin and Clover Hill are also looking to be competitive past their district meets and onto the regional meet.
Andrew Colley should be a runaway winner at Pole Green
The Jamestown boys could nearly perfect score in the varsity boys race, but look for Cosby senior Mark Merritt and Lee-Davis senior Robert Reynolds to break up the top five of Coach Townsend's boys. Jamestown junior Andrew Colley should be out for a time trial though as it is hard to imagine anyone will be able to hang with Colley in Saturday's field after he defeated two returning Foot Locker finalists in Griff Graves and Thomas Porter with a 15:39 PR run at the Maymont Festival. A 1-2 individual finish from Jamestown is very possible as junior John Holt is a strong second man for the Eagles.
L.C. Bird, Lee-Davis, and Cosby will be battling for the next team places after Jamestown among teams hoping to run well at Pole Green in November for the Central Region Championships.
8:30 AM Sub-Varsity Girls