VA Penn Relays Day 2: Can Anyone Stop Drew Hunter & Loudoun Valley?

In the final COA of Friday's competition the tens of thousands of fans at Franklin field got the Drew Hunter and Loudoun Valley special. In this DMR we got to see arguably one of the greatest races ever in Penn Relays history. It started off rocky with Colton Bogucki falling twice in the first 200m of the 1200 leg. It was a tough break but he kept fighting.

"I just wanted him to get mad {after Colton fell}" - Coach Joan Hunter

He must have been mad after that because he ended up splitting a very respectable 3:11 despite twice hitting the ground. 

Onto the 400 leg where Nathaniel Thompson split a 49.28 to dip under 50 for just the second time... a feat that really mattered in the long run yesterday.

Then it was Will Smagh's turn in the 800. He would split 1:58.97 after hurdling a couple teams and jostling his way to the front. He pushed with everything he had and handed off 9.03 seconds behind the lead in 7th place.

There wasn't any big "will you be the hunter or the hunted" signs at Franklin Field but that was definitely on every team's mind. As Drew got the baton you could see everyone in the stadium filled with track aficionados bump the person next to them and point at Drew. Everyone knew who he was and what he was capable of. 

It was evident from the gun he was going for it. He opened in 56... which was really fast for him and quickly he was in third place. Then he split 64 to hit halfway at 2:00 on the dot. He was now in second and the fans started to get louder. He was putting air into them and they were making more and more noise. 

Two laps to go and he had cut the lead to just a couple seconds. He was then just a few steps behind and on that final lap his fitness level showed. La Salle was getting reeled in. Step by step he got close until the final 200m where the deficit became history and the kick began. 

They went stride for stride... literally. They powered down the stretch where 30,000 people cheered for Drew Hunter and Loudoun Valley. They wanted to see him win. He leaned at the line and looked disappointed. 

"I thought we lost, I thought he got me at the line"- Drew Hunter

They showed La Salle's name first and the crowd went silent. But then the announcer said wait a second... Then it showed Loudoun Valley at 10:00.01 above La Salle also at 10:00.01. Needless to say the crowd went nuts. Loudoun Valley won by .001 to bring home the distance medley COA title. 

Drew's 1600m split was 4:00.73 officially. 

In the girls' races Nansemond River put on a great show with the killer grey kits that just said WAR on the front and had an American flag on the back. They won the gold watches in the 4x100 running 46.26 to finish third as the top American finishers. They also finished 4th in 3:45.42 in the 4x400 to finish as the second best USA team. 

In the qualifying races T.C. Williams put on clinic running 40.91 (VA #4 All-Time) without blocks to qualify as the second fastest team into the COA final.