States is a special time of year. It is the Super Bowl of our sport and something athletes work years for. This year will be no different here at Boo Williams where 60 events will be contested and 78 state champions crowned. Also up for grabs will be four team titles that are even harder to achieve. These competitions will be over both genders for the VHSL Group 5A and VHSL Group 6A athletes.
Starting the competition will be the girls 5A competition. This meet will feature twice defending Champions Nansemond River of Suffolk against Albemarle and Mills Godwin fighting for a likely second place finish. That is not to say that the Warriors will not have to fire on all cylinders to even have a chance at this title, they just have a whole lot of depth. Mills Godwin and Albemarle though have one huge superstar and some other strong runners around them.
Individually many of these same athletes deciding the team title will be the focus of attention. The biggest of these names has to be Britton Wilson (Mills Godwin) who not only ranks as the top sprinter in the state but as the top sprinter in the entire nation for 300 and 500 meters. Her toughest competitor and arguably the second biggest star in 5A is Kori Carter (Nansemond River).
Unfortunately they will not meet in the 500 in which Carter won last year but will meet in the 300 in which neither has won since 2016 (Wilson). This matchup will prove to be the single best matchup of the year for the entire country and likely could see one of the fastest times ever. Both athletes will be coming off of many other events so the playing field is level and the track ready for some fast times.
The other big name in 5A on the girls' side is Albemarle's Ryann Helmers. Ryann is the cross country state champion and entered in the 1600 and 3200m runs. She is the strong favorite for both races.
The other track races will also be favored by just a few girls. Kori Carter leads the way in the 55m dash and 55m hurdles and Lily Snow (Deep Run) leads the field entered in the 1K. In the relays it is Albemarle (4x8) and Highland Springs (4x2/4x4) leading the way amongst entries.
In the field events Jordan Hardy (Hampton) is favored in both horizontal jumps (long and triple) and Khaila Lyons (Potomac Senior) is favored in the high jump. Both are underclassmen with Hardy being a freshman and ready for some huge marks. Hometown hero Jalani Davis (Bethel) is the favorite in the shot put and VA #5 all-time Gennifer Hirata (Stafford) is the favorite in the pole vault.