Northern Region Champs (Day 1): Lake Braddock 9:11 4x800, Fortes 180ft in Discus!

The Lake Braddock and West Potomac girls had a great battle in the 4x800 meter relay on Thursday night for day one of the Northern Region Championships, which resulted in both teams running well under the old meet record of 9:17.56 by a 2005 squad from Lake Braddock. The Lake Braddock girls defeated their Patriot District rivals in a state leading and US #5 time of 9:11.52. West Potomac settled for second in the state's second fastest time of the 2009 outdoor season in 9:15.88 to improve by 12 seconds from their 9:27 Southern Track Classic win two years ago.


The Lake Braddock girls nearly had four legs under 2:20 with Kelly Hagan as leadoff at 2:21.9, Casey Lardner at 2:14.2, Taylor Moore at 2:19.7, and Liana Epstein (pictured right by Ted Plunkett)as anchor at 2:15.0. After finishing a close second to Ocean Lakes for the 4x800 state title indoors, the Lake Braddock girls have established themselves as the clear favorites for next weekend's state outdoor meet to be held at Todd Stadium with their huge drop in time.


It was a very successful first day for the Lake Braddock girls as they are the favored squad to win the Northern Region team title and lead the team scoring after day one with 28 1/2 points. Lake Braddock's Becca Sinickho looked strong in the preliminary rounds of her events as the sophomore posted the fastest qualifying time in the 200 (25.22) and second fastest in the 400 (57.58) behind indoor 500 meter state champ Genamarie McCant of James Robinson (56.33). Sinichko, who has already state qualified in the 300 meter hurdles, garnered a surprising runner-up finish in the long jump with a mark of 17'7".


Sinichko was a runner-up to Tynita Butts of T.C. Williams, who is wrapping up her final Northern Region championships and will go down as one of the greatest athletes ever from the region as she claimed two titles on Thursday in the long jump (19'1.50") and high jump (5'7"). Butts will be anxious to return to Todd Stadium next week and erase the demons of last year's state outdoor meet when she fouled out of the long jump despite being the heavy favorite.


The top boys' performance from day one belonged to South Lakes thrower Quintin Fortes (pictured above by Ted Plunkett) who sent a clear message to the rest of the discus throwers in the state heading into the state meet with his monster effort of 180'10" at Lake Braddock High School. Fortes was just over 2 feet away from breaking one of the Northern Region's oldest meet records as the mark of 183'0" by Phil Vincenses has stood for over 30 years dating back to 1976.


The throw by Fortes has also jumpstarted his South Lakes team, which will contend for the outdoor regional title after taking the indoor title in February. The Seahawks will look to Vincent Brown to score most of the points and the senior has plenty of momentum to score plenty of points on day two after winning the long jump with a season best leap of 22'10.75" and also running the fastest times in the qualifying rounds for the 100 meter dash (10.99), 200 meter dash (22.13), and 110 meter hurdles (14.41). Three wins on Saturday would be huge for Brown and South Lakes' chances of repeating their glory from the indoor regional championships.


Chantilly leads South Lakes though by one point after Thursday's events with 23 points as all of their points came from the pole vault, which they cleaned up with a remarkable four athletes qualifying for state competition with top six finishes including regional champion Wes Sun at 14'6". Sun will be joined in state competition by teammates Curtis Sun (3rd, 14'0"), Joshua Trikakis (5th, 13'3"), and Kyle Cantrell (6th, 13'0").


Despite getting a 1:52.8 split from Leoule Degfae on second leg and anchoring with the current 800 state leader at 1:53 in twin brother Tihut Degfae, the Thomas Edison boys were still not able to come out on top in the 4x800 meter relay as Annandale took the win from the Degfaes and Edison (2nd, 7:58.06) for a 7:58.06 victory to become the ninth and tenth teams under 8 minutes this season in Virginia.


Mount Vernon High School must have a very good hurdles coach or at least their hurdlers are making their coaches look very good as shown by their performances in Thursday's preliminaries with Cameron Clive as the fastest qualifier in the boys 300 meter hurdles at 39.01, while Amira Hill was clearly a step ahead of the rest of the hurdlers in her region with qualifying times of 15.53 and 45.89 in the girls 100 and 300 meter hurdles.


A good example of exhibiting to young throwers why consistency is in important and your second best throw is just as important as your best throw was showcased in determining the Northern Region champion in the girls shot put as both Emily Koppelman of Annandale and Kaylin Newman of Westfield threw for a best mark of 36'3.75" to lead the competition. However, Koppelman's second best mark of six attempts was superior to Newman's to give her the regional crown on the tiebreaker. The tiebreaker win for Koppelman might be a first in the region's history.


Cannot sleep on the West Potomac boys to make a run for the team title on Saturday though as they were the favorites coming into the meet and have the fastest qualifier from the 400 prelims in Jon McCants at 49.87. The team currently sits back in sixth place with 11 points.


Northern Region Championships - Day 1 Results

Northern Region Championships Photo Gallery by Ted Plunkett - 474 photos from Day 1


Below are the performances entered for the meet that met the national silver standard.

HS Girls
300 Meter Hurdles 45.89p Amira Hill Mount Vernon
400 Meter Dash 56.33p Genamarie McCant James Robinson
400 Meter Dash 57.58p Becca Sinichko Lake Braddock
400 Meter Dash 57.84p Loren Dyer South County
4x800 Meter Relay 9:11.52   Lake Braddock
4x800 Meter Relay 9:15.88   West Potomac
4x800 Meter Relay 9:23.84   West Springfield
4x800 Meter Relay 9:25.39   Thomas Jefferson S&T
High Jump 5-7 Tynita Butts T.C. Williams
Long Jump 17-7 Becca Sinichko Lake Braddock
Long Jump 19-1.5 Tynita Butts T.C. Williams
HS Boys
110 Meter Hurdles 14.41p Vincent Brown South Lakes
300 Meter Hurdles 39.01p Cameron Clive Mount Vernon
4x800 Meter Relay 7:58.06   Annandale
4x800 Meter Relay 7:58.79   Thomas Edison
4x800 Meter Relay 8:03.20   West Potomac
4x800 Meter Relay 8:04.29   South County
4x800 Meter Relay 8:08.71   West Springfield
Discus 150-6 Joshua Edmonds Mount Vernon
Discus 157-6 Tyler Sturgill Hayfield
Discus 180-10 Quintin Fortes South Lakes
Long Jump 22-10.75 Vincent Brown South Lakes
Pole Vault 14-0 Curtis Sun Chantilly
Pole Vault 14-0 Matt Hoogland Lake Braddock
Pole Vault 14-0 David Fishman Lake Braddock
Pole Vault 14-6 Wesley Sun Chantilly


National Elites