The two year wait for another Oatlands Invitational was well worth the wait. Just minutes ago we were treated to one of the best races we've seen here and the third fastest ever.
Heading into the race there were quite a few big names slated to compete. You had the strong contingent of Loudoun Valley girls, many of the northern Virginia teams, and of course the showdown between Bethany Graham and Taryn Parks of Pennsylvania.
Just as expected the race went out fast. That has been Graham's style recently and today was on different. There was however a difference insofar as she had competition pushing with her this time with Parks right on her hip at the mile.
Together they ran and on the second mile Graham pulled just a little bit ahead. That was basically how the entire race ran with Graham leading Parks just a little bit to keep it very interesting.
As the athletes rounded the turn it looked as though Parks was making some kick but that Graham was also kicking and would not be caught.
Bethany ultimately crossed the line in 17:58, the third fastest time ever at Oatlands with Taryn Parks second in roughly 18:08, the fifth fastest time ever at Oatlands. Parks' time was also the second fastest non-Virginia time ever too.
Coming in third was sophomore Juliette Whittaker of Mount de Sales Academy (MD).
This win marks the 10th invitational win in a row for Graham. To put that in perspective the other two longest streaks we could find in previous years was Libby Davidson's eight invitational wins in a row over two years and Weini Kelati's seven wins over two years.