The VHSL Class 5/6 State Meet Preview

Distance Events Preview: 1000m Run/1600m Run/ 3200m Run

Three distance races spread over just one day makes this meet quite interesting. Not only because we will have three great races but also because athletes are going to have to make choices for where to focus and how fast to run.

These events will be run 1600, 1K, and 3200 in that order. The 4x800m relay will be Friday night. Remember that as these athletes who are doubling or tripling will have more races on their legs by the end of the meet. 

In the Class 5 girls distance races Maeve Stiles enters as the favorite in the 3200 and 1600 while Caroline Bowe is the strong favorite in the 1K. Bowe will also be running in the 1600 but the big race here will be the 3200 where XC star Arianna DeBoer (Albemarle), Gabriella Garcia (Midlothian), Liza Neely (Douglas Freeman), and Rachel Mudd (Atlee) will all be meeting. This race could seriously be won by any one of these girls. Strategy will be key. 

In the Class 5 boys races things are even tighter. Jacob Plummer enters as the favorite in both the 3200 and 1600 but too is joined by tough competition. In the 1600 he has Alex Sawyer (Princess Anne) and Colby Burcham (Deep Run) to contend with while dealing with Will Mackenzie (Albemarle), Tristan Brodie (Stone Bridge), and Joe Yung (Albemarle) in the 3200. 

The best race for the Class 5 guys will be the 1K lead by David Beck (Harrisonburg). He leads but is joined by Colby Burcham and Brendan Taylor (L.C. Bird) who all have broken 2:32 this season. They are joined by another four to five guys capable of equalling that task. The key here will be how are Burcham's legs after the 1600 and who will make the move to lead. This one should be a classic. 

Over in the Class 6 distance races we will get a show with athletes battling for the finish and also chasing records. One athlete chasing some seriously fast records is Bethany Graham of John Champe. She leads the way in both the 1600 and 3200 and should be able to win both. The tougher event will be the 1600 with Aniya Mosley (Ocean Lakes) also lining up. 

Mosley, however, will also be focusing on the 1K where she is the defending champion. No runner has ever won a distance event four years in a row and this sophomore will look to keep the streak going Saturday. She will have tough competition from Anna Macon Corcoran (Yorktown) and Kylie Cooper (Franklin County) who both have dipped under three minutes this season. 

The boys races in Class 6 are even more convoluted with it being possible that not a single guy wins two different races. Chris Weeks (West Springfield) leads the way in the 1K, Xavier Jemison (McLean) leads the way in the 1600, and Bryce Lentz (Colgan) leads the way in the 3200. 

Jemison is doubling the 1600/1K and Lentz is doubling the 1600/3200. Other top competitors are Lucas Banerji (Oakton) in the 1K, Reece Shuttleworth (Yorktown) in the 1K, Colin McCauley (Herndon) in the 1600 and 3200, Albert Velikonja (Yorktown) in the 1600, Sean Stuck (West Springfield) in the 1600, Jacob Hamacher (Patriot) in the 1600, and Wesley Bond (Landstown) in the 3200. 

Out of all of these athletes competing and not as favorites on paper it should be noted that Sean Stuck and Albert Velikonja are also defending outdoor state champions and cannot be counted out here. 

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