Meet survives snow storm for stellar performances

FORK UNION, VA -- Despite the adversity meet director Winston Brown and his crew faced with today's snow storm with a large number of teams and individuals not allowed to travel to the meet, the Fork Union Invitational survived the storm as those in attendance were able to witness some stellar performances.

Coach Brown also has to be pleased with how his Fork Union squad and distance stud Kippy Keino performed. Fork Union held off a strong DeMatha team from Maryland to win the title. Keino had the track performance of the night as he won the 3200 meter run in a scorching time of 9:19.90, which broke the meet record held by his older brother Martin (9:30.1) and in the process beat Foot Locker All-American Fleet Hower (2nd, 9:47.9). To put in prospective how impressive Keino's time is, the facility record at the 160 meter indoor track in the Estes Center is 9:10, set by Bobby Lockhart at the Region II Meet. Lockhart ran that time in February of his junior year, while Keino ran 9 seconds shy of that time a month earlier in his junior year. This could quite possibly be the breakthrough run Keino needed to put him with the elite in the nation. Along with Keino's win in the 3200, Fork Union also picked up a victory in the 4x800 (8:45).

The highest finishing girls' squad from Virginia was the Kellam girls from Virginia Beach as they took second to T.W. Andrews of North Carolina. The strongpoint for the squad was their relays as their 4x800 (10:00.03) and 4x400 (4:16.6). Jessica Smith, Kelley Taylor, Natalie Sherbak, and Tiffany Howell made up both formidable relay squads. Howell also contributed individual for the squad as she picked up a win in the triple jump (35'05.00"). Kellam also got another win in the horizontal jumping events as Crystal Bonds won the (17'02.00).

The St. Catherine girls continue to impress in the distance events. Along with taking second to Kellam in the 4x800 (10:02.7), they got a pair of individual wins out of Morgan Barry in the 1000 (3:04.2) and Elizabeth Harrison in the 3200 (11:27.5). Lucy Trice also gave a solid contribution to the squad as she won the high jump (4'10.00").

Brittany Yates of Tallwood went a personal best height of 9'09.00" to win the pole vault.

Despite not feeling well, Lindsay Neuberger managed to destroy the shot put field to win with another amazing mark of 47'04.00". Falcons teammate Heather Mullis ran a strong race to win the 500 in a time of 1:20.6.

While no Virginia boys team was quite as competitive as Fork Union was, there were some great individual performances nonetheless.

The pole vault event was competitive with Maggie Walker's Brian Edmondson, Tallwood's Shawn Kole, and Dinwiddie's Wayne Odom. Odom ended up topping out at 12'06.00" to leave Edmondson and Kole to duel it out at 13'00.00". Edmondson ended up beating Kole on a tiebreaker at 13 feet to win the event.

Just as he is the sole distance runner on his squad, Thomas Jefferson's Arthur Vandenesse ran the 1600 meter race pretty much solo from the gun as he went onto win the race in an exceptional clocking of 4:36.9.

Defending Group AA 500 meter champion, Steve Carlson of Louisa, looks to be starting to regain his form after being injured early in the season as he finished 2nd in the 500 (1:08.9) to James Adams of North Durham-NC (1:08.8). Carlson showed off his widely known lethal kick as he sucked up nearly four runners in just the final 40 meters.

Josiah Cadle of Western Albemarle made his return to racing scene after his injured plagued cross country in strong fashion, though not exactly as he planned. Cadle was originally entered to run the 1600, but missed the race. However, Coach Brown kindly let Cadle jump in the 1000 instead and Cadle took full advantage of the opportunity. After Salem's Josh Wrigley took the pace out hard in the beginning of the race, Cadle eventually tracked down the fading Wrigley on the last lap to take the win in a Group AA state qualifying time of 2:38.7.

Jim Tiller of L.C. Bird was the top performer in the boys' field events as he won the shot put with a throw of 53'05.75".