Photo by John Herzog
The Dominion District Meet came down to the final 50 meters before Kristen Wolfe of James River pulled away with the victory over Kathleen Lautzenheiser of Midlothian. At the Central Region Meet on Saturday at Pole Green Park, it was Lautzenheiser returning the favor with it taking literally the last strides by both to determine the winner with both clocking in at 18:21. There will definitely be challengers from the other regions, but it could be a repeat finish next week between the two gunning for the AAA state title as there has been little separation between both in their last two encounters.
The Midlothian girls also won their third consecutive regional title with six in a tough top 15 to crack with many individuals from other schools capable of earning All-State honors next week. The top six for the Lady Trojans included Lautzenheiser, Samantha Dow (7th, 19:13), Amy Witt (9th, 19:25), Erin Stehle (12th, 19:31), Shannon Roplewski (13th, 19:35), and Krista Willard (14th, 19:37).
Maggie Walker girls had three runners earning All-Region honors to spark their regional runner-up finish (76 pts) with Clarissa Schick (5th, 19:09), Natalie Davis (10th, 19:27), and Susannah Piersol (15th, 19:38). The predicted teams to finish in the top four held to form with Midlothian, Maggie Walker, Douglas Freeman (3rd, 99 pts) and Hanover (4th, 134 pts).
Photo by John Herzog
Jason Witt comfortably won his third straight Central Region title in a time of 15:56. Former teammate Mark Merritt lead the field out early, while Atlee's Ben Dejarnette was running off of Witt after two miles, but Witt as well as his Midlothian teammates broke away from the rest in the final mile. Midlothian boys had an impressive showing up front with Witt, runner-up Michael Hammond (16:04), and fourth place finishing freshmen Brayden Burleigh (16:06). Midlothian tallied 53 points to win their second straight title. However, their depth issue at the fifth spot allowed Douglas Freeman to finish only 10 points behind in second with 63 points.
Freeman was led by a gutsy performance by Lewis McPherson coming back from his district meet collapse and the team's depth also helped with five runners in the top 25. The Colonial District boys dominated the team standings with their four representatives taking places two through five with Freeman, Deep Run (3rd, 112 pts), Maggie Walker (4th, 137 pts), and Hermitage (5th, 139 pts). Maggie Walker was one of the biggest surprises of the meet since they finished fourth in their district meet last Saturday as well.