10 Dark Horses To Watch
Some people want the Yankees to win every year and others want the Minnesota Twins to occasionally win a few. So here is a list for those not cheering for the favorites. Here are our 10 underdogs who have a chance at winning a state title against some pretty big odds. Ranked with the most likely being first.
1. Makenzie Joiner (4A-400)
Makenzie was the indoor state champion over 500m and third in the 300. She is seeded sixth but definitely still in the hunt. A grueling pace from the start will play right into her hands as she is one of the stronger and not pure speedy fast girls in the field.
2. Koschinya Jefferson (2A-Discus)
She is seeded second in the discus by just four feet but is throwing against a legend in Jocelyn Midkiff. Interestingly enough she is also seeded high in the 100 and 200 meter dashes which could make for quite the triple if she were to pull it off.
3. Rylan Pettit (4A-3200)
Sometimes if you want to win you have to face some adversity in a race. That is exactly what Pettit should expect with his 3200 this weekend. He is seeded fourth with three Loudoun Valley runners seeded in front and behind him. He pulled it off in XC to break-up their sweep and outdoors he wants to breakthrough and win. He will need to conserve himself though in the 1600 if he is out of contention early because this 3200 will be close to nine flat.
4. Jayson Ward (5A-400)
Sometimes you need to ignore the open times and stats and go with your gut. That is the case with Jayson who is seeded third in this race nearly a full second behind EJ Richardson III. He does however own a sub 47 split from Penn and is the type of runner to not back down. We're not saying its going to happen... we're just saying don't be surprised if it does.
5. Sammy Fellah (5A-1600)
The weather is going to be very unpredictable on Saturday. This means the normal paced race may not work. Sammy seems up to that challenge and will also likely have a little more in his legs without the 3200 on his legs like the two seeds in front of him who are both doubling.
6. Aly Conyers (6A-400)
The third 400 athlete who could shake things up is Aly Conyers who just like Joiner was a state champion indoors. She took home the 500 title and outdoors she is going to look for another title. She is seeded 7th but really could run much faster.
7. Yates Hall (3A-High Jump)
Yates is seeded tied for third with two other guys at 6-4 and is four inches off of Limiah Coleman's top seed of 6-8. Coleman is a two-time state champion but it seems like Broadway jumpers could be his kryptonite at the outdoor state meet. Hall is looking to repeat what Walker Hinkle was able to do last year with his 6-6 win.
8. Cooper Albright (3A-800)
Cooper is entered in three events (1600/400/800) and could run well in all three. The one though that he could sneak in and win is the 800 where his competition will also be very tired. Albright is quick on his feet but also strong over the longer distances. Those doubles and triples may spell a surprise for some athletes in this summer heat when Albright comes shoulder to shoulder with them.
9. Rachel Weghorst (1A-3200)
Call us crazy for picking a fourth seed, seeded over a minute behind the leader, but Weghorst is worth the bet. She is a state champion (XC) and you cannot fully count out athletes who have won the big one. She will have to remain in contention throughout to have a chance but we are certain she does have a chance.
10. Caroline Bowe (4A-800)
Caroline is an athlete just beginning to touch her potential. She has run 3:00 for the 1K, broken 60 in the 400, and right now is seeded at 2:16. She will face one of VA's best 800 meter runners ever in Grace Boone but could shock the world. Depending on the heat and how hard Boone had to work in her other events this one could be an upset waiting to happen.