Middle School State Preview: The Start of Something Big

This weekend will be the first annual middle school state championships and hopefully the start of something big. Just over 500 athletes will toe the start lines in this inaugural set of races and it looks like we could also have some record setting times as well.

The first two races up will be the elementary school 2K races. These races should be quick and exciting with 18 and 30 individuals competing respectively. The top 10 individuals in both of these races and the unseeded 4K races will receive medals.

Then will come the two championship races. Here teams and athletes will be fighting for All-State honors, top 15 receiving awards, and those two team trophies for the top teams.

Up first will be the Girls Championship race at 11:00am. This race will feature 26 teams, over double the 12 teams that make states for high school states, and close to 200 runners.

Favored amongst these teams is Blacksburg who enters the weekend as the strong favorites. They are trailed by Rappahannock, Locust Grove, Christiansburg, and Jefferson Forest who will likely be fighting for the second place trophy.

Regardless though, this meet sets the tone for years to come and its' outcome will affect out sport for years to come.

Individually the favorite and current state leader at 4K is Summer Hamlin of Christiansburg. She has run 15:03 this season, which ranks as the 2nd fastest time ever in VA according to our database. She will have some company though as she chases the clock and attempts to be the first middle school girl to run sub 15.  

Her biggest competition will likely be Abigail Rhudy of Tazewell who finished second to her at the Titan SW Region Championships. Her time was 15:15, just ahead of Allison McDonald of Blacksburg who ran 15:16. Both of these girls are very close to Hamlin and could be stride for stride with her down the homestretch. 

Zoie Lamanna, winner of the Knights Crossing Invite is also a name to watch. She hasn't raced the 4K but that once and was victorious. Since then though she has taken home the state leading mark in the two Mile distance.

Sophie Farley of Fluvanna is also a sub 16 girl to watch this weekend.  

If you thought the girls competition was going to be the only good competition you were wrong. The boys competition is even closer both individually and team wise as well. 

Here we will see 24 teams start with the addition of other qualified individuals to field a race right at 200 athletes. The favorite amongst them is Quinn Parrish who ranks VA #2 now after his win at the MileStat.com XC Invite. 

Just a step behind him though is Joey Wells who took second in that races in 14:13 to Parrish's 14:11. 

Also entered the meet within striking distance via time are: Brody Patterson (14:13), Juan Murias (14:17), Charlie Schilling (14:21), Harrison Whitfield (14:23), Joey John (14:30), Ollie Lambert (14:34), and Anthony Du (14:34). 

This race is literally anyone's to win or lose. 

Team wise it should come down to Blacksburg and Rappahannock who are slated almost even with each other as we head into states weekend. 

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