Written as if States were this weekend (July edition)
This weekend will be a big one. We have Tuscarora on the girls side and Albemarle on the boys side searching for the repeat with Atlee, Deep Run, and John Champe in the hunt to end the streak. Individually Ali Ibrahim and Bethany Graham lead the way in search for that first state title.
The first race up will be the girls championship race. The pre-race favorite is definitely Bethan Graham who was unable to run last year. She is hungrier and faster than ever before. She does however have Lily Snow, Ellie Desmond, Rachel Mudd, and Ava Hassebrock right behind her.
In the race itself we are expecting these girls and maybe a couple others to be in a group together until the water crossing. That is really the place where a race is won or lost these past few years. We expect Bethany Graham to go for the lead between the water and two mile mark but the question is who will make the move with her.
This race should be one of the fastest races of the weekend. Team wise Tuscarora currently looks too tough to defeat. Freedom, Albemarle, and Atlee though are close for that second spot.
The next race will be the boys race with Albemarle looking for the repeat title. Deep Run, John Champe, and even L.C. Bird will also be in the hunt. Expect this one to be very close between these teams and potentially even Princess Anne.
Individually Ali Ibrahim looks to be the favorite but you cannot count out Brendan Taylor, Kameron Helmlinger, Colby Burcham, and a few others who will be together at least halfway thru the race.
Just like last year, this race will not be decided to that final 400m homestretch run.