Saturday is going to be a long-action-packed start to the new decade. We will have stellar competition in the sprints, hurdles, relays, distance, and in field events too at the 12th annual Bulldog Invitational. Here we preview some of the best events and why we are excited for them.
Girls 55m Dash
- Top Seed: Junyce Hasberry 6.93
- Reasoning: This race could be the fastest 55 of the season and see our first sub 7 time too.
Girls 300m Dash
- Top Seed: Aaliyah Pyatt 38.33
- Reasoning: This is going to be the start of a huge rivalry... mark it down. Here Pyatt is going to face off with Madison Whyte of Heritage Newport News who as a FRESHMAN has already run 38.85. Now with competition we expect her to run even faster. This race could be close.
Girls 500m Dash
- Top Seed: Aaliyah Pyatt 1:14
- Reasoning: Pyatt opened the season with a US #1 and after a trip up to the Armory she is ready to prove once again that she is the girl to beat at this distance.
Girls 1000m Run
- Top Seed: Maeve Stiles 2:59
- Reasoning: You have Holland, Allen, Holland, Kemp, Heinen, Palisca, and Horsley in this race. That means eight girls seeded 3:09 or faster so you know this race is going to be very very fast.
Girls 1600m Run
- Top Seed: Bethany Graham 4:50
- Reasoning: This is going to be Graham's season opener... with the VA Showcase around the corner this could mean she is going to really put the hammer down to see what type of shape she is in, she will also want to hit that state qualifying mark so time will be key.
- Other Big Names: Maeve Stiles, Angie Allen (NC), Kyra Holland, Hailey Yentz, and Jette Davidson
Girls 3200m Run
- Top Seed: Bethany Graham 10:29
- Reasoning: This race is going to be fast up front but also in the battle for second between Yentz, Graves, and frosh Murphy. This is going to be a state meet level race.
- Top Seed: Zariyah Black (NC) 8.02
- Reasoning: Oscar Smith is in the house! They have a staggering five girls seeded in the top eight with all having ran 8.72 or faster. This team is legit and this could be a big meet for them. They are joined by Junyce Hasberry and Aniya Seward, two other strong hurdlers from the 757 in that top group.
Girls 4x200m Relay
- Matchup: Highland Springs vs Oscar Smith
- Reasoning: Both teams are looking for a sub 1:40 performance and to take over the state lead, this race almost certainly will lead to that new state leading time.
Girls 4x400m Relay
- Matchup: Massaponax vs Heritage NN
- Also In This Race: Strong Teams From Battlefield and Highland Springs
- Reasoning: If our counting serves us correctly, Ponax and Heritage should be anchored by their 300m stars so this one could get interesting. Both teams are flirting with that sub 4 mark so this should be a battle between all four teams until the final straight.
Girls Pole Vault
- Top Seed: Emory Pafford 12-9
- Reasoning: She is joined by Abby Tershak and Alyssa Rice who are all seeded at 12 feet or higher. Only four girls have ever broken 13' indoors in VA and this meet could seriously have two or three. This should be the field event competition of the weekend.
Boys 1000m Run
- Top Seed: David Beck 2:29.6 - Sam Rodman 2:29.66
- Also In This Race: O'Brien, Donnelly, Hamacher, Burcham, Kennedy, Wilson, Moyar, and Perkins
- Reasoning: This race could see three or even four boys dip under that 2:30 barrier. This one is going to be packed up front for the first 600 and an exciting foot race the final two laps.
- Top Seed: Michael Bourne 7.44
- Reasoning: He is joined by Wilson, Wilson, Carlisle, and Rice who all have ran sub 7.80 this season and are ready for a big mark. Though Bourne is a heavy favorite, this race shows us what nearly every final in the state will look like at states with athletes from four classifications in this one. This should be a very exciting race.
Boys 4x200m Relay
- Matchup: Norview vs Highland Springs
- Reasoning: The first sub 1:30 of the season could be upon us. This race is going to be fast and also a great preview of what the state final in Class 5 could look like. Buckle up for this one.
Boys 4x400m Relay
- Matchup: Battlefield vs Highland Springs vs Jefferson Forest vs LCA vs Maury vs Lee Davis
- Reasoning: The entire final section is going to be fast and close. If these teams hold to their seeds we are going to be seeing some fast times and potentially some sub 3:30 times as well. No better way to close out the meet.
Boys 4x800m Relay
- Matchup: Glen Allen vs Harrisonburg vs Parry McCluer vs Albemarle
- Reasoning: GA enters seeded at 8:10 followed by these other teams close behind. That means the season's first sub eight could be this weekend and that multiple teams could achieve it. Harrisonburg has looked strong all season and if they fully loaded this race they could win. This one should be exciting.
Boys Pole Vault
- Top Seeds: Braden Underwood - Drew Philhower 15-0
- Reasoning: Both guys enter this meet seeded at a solid 15'. That means we most certainly will not only see the bar raised way up there but that multiple guys will be competing against each other to reach new heights. With the national pole vault summit just a few weeks away this should be a good tune-up competition for the elite pole vaulters like these two.
Boys Shot Put
- Top Seed: Michael Calhoun 53-1.5
- Reasoning: We have seven guys seeded 47 or better in this competition so its going to be a great competition over in the throwing ring. 53' is the state leading mark and that could be bested this weekend. In fact, it may take a new state leading mark to just finish inside the top two.