Hower opens with victory over Kane and Doherty

LEXINGTON, VA -- Foot Locker All-American Fleet Hower returned back to racing as he won the 1600 meter race at the Keydet Invitational in a time of 4:29.18 over Daniel Kane of Louisa (4:29.45) and Brian Doherty of Roanoke Catholic. A solid beginning for Hower, who has never ran a true full season of track. He will be taking his talents to Fork Union next weekend to compete in the FUMA Invitational in most likely his preferred distance on the track, the 3200 meter run. Hower was just one of many great performances at the Keydet Invitational.

Potomac's Brittany Ransom withstood a challenge from Courtland's Shamara Graham (7.53) to win the 55 meter dash in a time of 7.50.

Potomac teammate Joe Robinson had the fastest time coming out of the preliminaries in the 55 meter dash (6.57), but a false start in the finals cost him a shot of winning and improving his time as teammate Antwann Stewart (6.65) took the victory instead.

Joyce Johnson, who looks to be a big point scorer for Charlottesville in the hurdles and the triple at the Group AA State Meet in March, won the 55 meter hurdles (9.18) and placed 2nd in the triple jump (35'07.25").

State champion distance runner Shannon Saunders of Jefferson Forest, not known very well for her speed, looks to be changing that, especially after 1600 meter victory (5:18.72) over last year's Group AA champ and record holder, Shelley Slemp of Marion (5:20.15). Saunders currently holds the fastest 1600 meter time in the state.

Saunders also joined sister Kristin, Cate Jackson, and Carly Sitterley in setting a new school record in the 4x800 as they won that event in a respective time of 10:23.44.

The Jefferson Forest distance boys squad, coming off a surprising 3rd place finish at the Group AA State Cross Country Meet this past fall, were also victorious in the 4x800 (8:41.28).

As they were dominant in the 55 meter dashes, the Potomac boys and girls were dominant in the sprint relays as well. The girls squad won the 4x200 (1:54.10) and took 2nd in the 4x400 (4:24.09). The boys were winners in both the 4x200 (1:37.23) and 4x400 (3:43.01).

Megan Mlinarchik of Broadway continues to be one of the top high jumpers and pole vaulters in Group AA as she won both events with marks of 5'02.00" and 9'06.00" respectively.

Monticello's Jimmy Stevens also looks to be in Group AA state title contention for the pole vault after winning the event at VMI at a height of 13'06.00".

Courtland got wins in both the boys and girls long jump with Tim Jackson (20'04.00") and Shamara Graham (16'01.75").

Christiansburg's Justin Vaught beat out Turner Ashby's Matt Miller on a tiebreaker at the height of 6'02.00" to win the high jump. Along with Spotsylvania's Julius Talley, the high jump contest at the Group AA State Meet should be very competitive.

Louisa County's Verniece Johnson was the better of the Johnson's as she beat Charlottesville's Joyce Johnson to win the triple jump (35'09.75").

To make up for Charlottesville not getting the winner in the girls' triple jump, Tommy Lucas won the boys' triple jump (42'06.25").

Currently the top shot putter in Group AA on the girls' side, Amanda Renalds took that event with a throw of 39'05.50".

The only state best mark of the meet came from Potomac's Ivan Parker with his thunderous throw of 56'11.00".