They're Finally Here! The RVA Relays Preview

Finally the time has arrive for the first annual RVA Relays presented by Despite the meet being in its first year, it has garnered 30+ teams and well over 800 athletes! It will not only be the largest invitational in Virginia this weekend but also the most hype as well.

For those unaware, the RVA Relays are made to be better then the old Brentsville Relays, the most epic meet ever. We will have seven high school races including four relay races that are all 5x2500m. The final two relay races though are game changers. The Boys Championship relay race goes off at 7:50pm, under the lights! The Girls Championship will then follow also under the lights at 8:50pm.

To make this happen at Pole Green Park we have rented six banks of mobile lights to light up the corners of the course. This will be the perfect amount of lights to safely light up the course but also remind the athletes they are very much running in the dark!

As for the races themselves we are in for a show in the Championship "A" races under the lights. In the first race of the evening session we have quite a few teams that could make some waves. Deep Run, Midlothian, Fauquier, Glen Allen, Maggie Walker, and Forest Park should all be very much in contention. Of these teams Maggie Walker and Forest Park have the best 5K teams so far this season. Midlothian and Fauquier on the other hand enter the season as the favorites amongst these groups. They have not raced full strength yet and thus have something to show.

Entering the race the favorite for this type of race is Maggie Walker due to the size of their team and top level talent. You have to remember that this is a very fast 2500m loop and you are going to need speed to win and not just your normal 5K runners. Having many runners to pool from will help on those 4th and 5th legs and they also have Ryan Buscaglia who will likely anchor them in hopes of a victory.

Midlothian and Deep Run could also have some heavy hitters anchoring them with Randy Hahn and Bashir Mosavel-Lo. The winning team and the fastest split of the meet will win custom MileStat backpacks! So there is a lot on line besides the team title too.

On the girls side we could be in for a legendary race and some epic anchor splits. Leading the way on the team front has to be Maggie Walker, Patriot, and Ocean Lakes. All three of these teams are deep and star-studded. Maddie King (Ocean Lakes), Emma Call (Maggie Walker), and Rachel McArthur (Patriot) are all going to put a show for that backpack.

Entering the race and based purely on this season's performances Maggie Walker and Call are the favorites to come away with the title. They have the depth but also Call. Call has been running superbly so far this season winning the Newport News Invitational and finishing in a close second at William & Mary. The kicker though is the fact that she is more of a 1000m runner then XC girl. That means this type of race does nothing but favor her.

If you look on the leaderboards this season you will not see Rachel McArthur's name. That is because this is her season opener and that also means she is fresh and ready to compete. After going #7 all-time in the state in the 3200m and top 10 all-time int he 1600 she is ready to roll this XC season. She is the defending 6A State Champion and also only a junior. She split 4:50 to walk down Blacksburg at the Penn Relays, could she have another race like that Saturday?

These and many other questions will be answered this weekend. With medals, trophies, and of course backpacks on the line we are going to see some of the best races.

Though there are some cool awards, nothing is going to be better then getting to race in the RVA Relays. Just picture it. You are the anchor leg, it's fall weather and a cool 63 degrees out. You're looking back to the incoming runner as the lights show them coming around the bend dead even with another competitor. You get the baton, turn, and you're off to the races with 500m of darkness straight ahead of you to the first lights. That is what the RVA Relays are all about.