Riding an 10 team title streak, Nansemond River entered the 4x4 down by nine points. It is that race that is our first of three race breakdowns from the 2019 State Championships. You can check out the breakdown below and race video above.
Race Breakdown #1: Class 5 Girls 4x4
Pre-Race: This was a weird day, there had been storm delays and the added break between the 200 and 4x4 relay. That meant there was quite a bit of time between the last race and the start of the 4x4's. To be honest, we thought it was completely over... Bethel had a nine point lead (without a strong 4x4 so we knew they weren't going to score) and Nansemond River basically had to win the event.
That seemed hard at the time because they entered ranked third behind Highland Springs (VA #1 at 3:51) and Mills Godwin who was seeded second at 3:54.00 while Nansemond River was third at 3:54.97. Normally there are just some teams that you can expect to not run their seed time on such a big stage but both Highland Springs and Mills Godwin are not the type of teams to backdown an inch so we thought it was a wrap.
Lane Assignments: Stone Bridge (1), Menchville (2), Nansemond River (3), Highland Springs (4), Mills Godwin (5), Glen Allen (6), L.C. Bird (7), Potomac Senior (8)
First Leg: Being run entirely in lanes this one is always hard to gauge and watch. From our view it was pretty even with L.C. Bird and Mills Godwin at the first exchange followed by Highland Springs and Nansemond River just behind them. The opening split was around 57.
Second Leg: Though all the glory goes to the anchor legs in a 4x4, it is the second leg that arguably plays the most important role in this race. This leg is all about positioning at the break and getting down to the inside saving the distance actually run. First to the break was Gartasia Crawley for Highland Springs. She is then followed by Tre'Breh Scott-McKoy for Nansemond. Both of them are off to the races but Crawley is able to hold off Team War and actually gain some ground down the home stretch. At the exchange Crawley split 54 and Scott-McKoy split 57.
Third Leg: Despite getting the baton down quite a bit (~15 meters or so) it was Nansemond River eating up the deficit on the back stretch. Lauryn Freeman had the carry for Nansemond on this leg and ultimately would split 55. She would pass Highland Springs with about 150m to go and gap them a little bit only to give that lead back right at the line to make it an anchor's race. Just out of the video though was Britton Wilson of Mills Godwin making the race very interesting. She split 52.00, or in better terms ran faster than the Virginia state 400m record, to bring Mills Godwin within a step of the lead heading into the anchor.
Anchor Leg: Here is where the money is made. Races are won or lost on this leg and so are team titles. That must have been in Kori Carter's head as she carried the stick for Nansemond. She had never lost a team title her entire high school career and wasn't about to start. Highland Springs not only put up a fight on anchor, they would ultimately also set a new VA #1 mark and season best but it was not enough as Kori Carter was able to hold onto the lead and win by just 1.25 seconds or a margin of 0.54%.
Section 3 1 Nansemond River 'A' 3:54.97 3:49.68 10 1) Burkley, Julia 12 2) Scott-McKoy, Tre'Breh 12 3) Freeman, Lauryn 12 4) Carter, Kori 12 2 Highland Springs 'A' 3:51.18 3:50.93 8 1) Ross, Kamryn 12 2) Crawley, Gartasia 12 3) Spencer, Kayla 12 4) Taylor, Markayla 9 3 Mills Godwin 'A' 3:54.00 3:54.01 6 1) Barnes, Bahiyyah 12 2) Freitas, Julie 10 3) Wilson, Britton 12 4) Brendle, Renecca 11 4 L.C. Bird 'A' 3:56.91 3:56.73 5 1) Pellot-Rosa, Jessika 9 2) Coleman, Briana 10 3) Johnson, Lyric 10 4) Carpenter, L'Nya 11 5 Menchville 'A' 3:55.96 3:57.77 4 1) Merritt, Morgan 12 2) Windham, Jaelyn 10 3) Allen, Brittany 10 4) Riddick, Arionne 11 6 Potomac Senior High School 'A' 3:57.95 3:58.21 3 1) Hanks, McKenzie 10 2) Baskerville, Tabitha 12 3) Lyons, Khaila 12 4) Metcalfe, Syvanna 12 7 Glen Allen High School 'A' 3:55.82 4:00.39 1 1) Moss, Zion 11 2) Rudd, Riley 12 3) Price, Star 11 4) Mulholland, Lauren 12 8 Stone Bridge 'A' 3:57.33 4:04.21 1) Knowles, Taylor 12 2) Wallis, Lydia 9 3) Barnes, Natalie 12 4) Muller, Suzie 11