The Virginians fared well and were great hosts for the 2008 USATF National Junior Olympic Championships held at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville on Saturday. The Richmond Track & Field Club, consisting mainly of athletes from the Central Region and RIchmond area, saw three of its girls teams finishing among the top three with the youth girls, intermediate girls, and young women division teams all placing third in close team battles for the national title in particular for the intermediate girls and young women.
Barbara Strehler of Trinity ran the fastest time among all Virginians to lead the Richmond T&F Club in the young women's division with a third place time of 18:46. Also earning All-American honors in the race with Strehler from Virginia were Herndon's Hiruni Wijayaratne (6th, 19:08), Maggie Walker's Susannah Piersol (11th, 19:26), Cosby's Jenna Moye (17th, 19:49), and Lee-Davis' Stephanie Cario (20th, 20:01).
In the intermediate girls' race, Clover Hill sophomore Abby Badura was the top finisher from Virginia and the third place Richmond T&F Club with a 13th place effort of 19:26. Earning All-American honors with Badura were club teammates Clarissa Schick (15th, 19:31) of Maggie Walker and Lindsi Arrington (21st, 19:32) of Gar-Field.
Two of the state's best freshmen girls this fall competed in the youth girls 4K race with Sarah Stites (7th, 15:10) of Thomas Jefferson and Megan Moye (14th, 15:19) of Cosby both earning All-American honors with their top 25 finishes in one of the most competitive races of the meet.
None of the boys' teams were able to crack into top 3 award finishes, but there were several outstanding All-American individual performances. The young men's 5K race had three All-Americans from Virginia with Thomas Baker of Louisa leading the way in 3rd place with a time of 16:00 and then closely followed by Jefferson Forest's Josh Morris (7th, 16:02) and James River's Ted Richardson (8th, 16:03). It was a great post-season for all three runners as Baker and Richardson both ran well at Foot Locker South in the seeded race with PR runs, while Morris was not far away from qualifying for NXN at the regionals in Cary two weeks ago.
Harrison Tucker of St. Christopher's had a busy Saturday as he earned All-American honors in the young men's race early afternoon with a 16th place finish (16:16) and then made it back over to St. Christopher's for a home quad meet and ran sub 10 in the 3200 to place second. He then finished his day accepting his All-American award at Hanover High School on Saturday evening.
Ben Dejarnette may be one of the best runners in the state and hold numerous honors, but Atlee teammate Andy Hesse can brag to him that he's now an All-American over him after Hesse took one of the final All-American spots in the intermediate boys race with a 24th place run of 16:42.
Another star runner is on his way to join Coach Morgan and the stellar Midlothian program with 8th grader Sean Willard, who earned All-American honors with a time of 13:47 to place 15th in the youth boys' 4K race.
USATF National Junior Olympic Championships Photo Gallery by Brandon Miles - 2,124 total photos from all 10 races.
USATF National Junior Olympic Championship Race Videos: Young Men 5K - Young Women 5K - Intermediate Boys 5K - Intermediate Girls 5K - Youth Boys 4K - Youth Girls 4K - Midget Boys 3K - Midget Girls 3K - Bantam Boys 3K - Bantam Girls 3K
Pre-Meet Video Interviews: Coach Holdren
Results from USATF.org