Bethel girls, Menchville's Moffatt get serious in opener

RICHMOND, VA -- Two of the best in the state, the Bethel girls sprint relays and Menchville's national champion high jumper, Keith Moffatt wasted no time in getting serious this indoor season. In their opening big meet performance at the Dragon Relays (formerly Viking Relays) at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond, both showcased their incredible talents.

The backbone of all of Coach Eddie Williams' great girls' track teams has been their amazing depth and excellent relays. This year looks to be no different. At the meet, the Lady Bruins won 4 relays total. The 4x55 (28.97), 4x200 (1:49.33), JV 4x400 (4:46.24), and 4x400 (4:22.13) were all victorious.

Last year's Nike Indoor Classic champion, senior Keith Moffatt started off his year with a bang as he won the high jump in 7'00.00". Such an incredible early season height, it makes you wonder what he will be jumping by the end of outdoors.

The 1600 meter races, saw some competitive duels to the finish. In the girls' race, Norfolk Academy freshmen Ginna Ellis and Menchville junior Megan Isaacs exchanged lead till it was all over on the bell lap with Isaacs' devasting kick to have her finish in at a time of 5:18.82. Ellis finished 2nd in a time of 5:22.19.

The boys' race was equally as suspenseful. Maggie Walker senior John Piersol jumped out to the lead from the start like a jackrabbit as he tried to take kick out of speedster Matt Wolak of Mills Godwin. This strategy was unsuccessful as Wolak managed to tuck in right behind the pacesetter Piersol and blow his doors out on the final lap to win in a time of 4:31.64. Piersol finished with a time of 4:34.28 after an admirable effort in the race.

The 55 hurdles were also close races as well. Menchville's Dwight Porter was a step ahead of the competition as he won the boys' 55 hurdles in a time of 7.70 with Petersburg junior Terry Thornton trailing behidn Porter at 7.79. The girls' race was as close as you get as Jelyn Quick of Menchville outleaned Briana Smith of Manchester to win by one hundredth of a second with her time of 8.33.

Melvin Woodhouse from the newly formed Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, dominated the horizonal jumping events. The talented sophomore won the long jump (22'04.00") as well as the triple jump (45'09.50").

Despite barely missing a win in the 55 hurdles, Briana Smith came back to win the long jump with a leap of 17'03.00".

Megan Morrison, competing from the single A school Sussex Central, won the long jump in a mark of 35'00.75" as she just edged out Maggie Walker's Faith Baskerville (35'00.25").

The two winners of the 4x800 races will be in definite contention for a state title this winter and spring. In the boys' race, Maggie Walker overtook Lafayette in the middle of the race and stretched out their lead to win a meet record time of 8:22.13. The Kellam girls, competing without opening leg Tiffany Howell, managed to still win and put up a stellar time in the process with their 10:19.16 clocking.