CO-ATHLETE & DISTANCE RUNNER OF THE YEAR...SARAH BOWMAN (FAUQUIER, JR)Junior year was the most challenging year for Sarah Bowman. Bowman had gone through her first two years of competitive running constantly improving with no setbacks. However during this past fall\'s cross country season, Bowman suffered her first set back in a back injury, which prevented her to perform at the level that she is capable of. The injury forced her to sit out of state meet competition in cross country and affected her training for the indoor season.
However, Bowman showed great resilience in bouncing back for an amazing spring of racing. In early April at the Taco Bell Classic in South Carolina, Bowman posted the nation\'s fastest time for 800 meters with a 2:07.69 clocking. Less than two weeks after her 2:07 800, Bowman would win the prestigous Penn Relays high school girls\' mile in a season best time of 4:46.95. Bowman would then string together a series of uncontested wins in the 1600 and 800 as she would go under 4:55 for 1600 meters a total of nine times.
While her 1600 meter times were impressive, Bowman was turning more heads with her 800 meter performances this spring. Following her 2:07 at Taco Bell, Bowman would run a string of fast 800\'s with five sub 2:10 performances during her season. At the AA State Meet, Bowman continued her dominance at the state level by winning the 1600 (4:51.11) and 800 (2:10.44) meter races convincingly.
Next it was onto the national stage. Bowman had won her first national title as a sophomore in the mile at the indoors national meet held in Maryland (NIC). However, Bowman did not encounter the same success at this year\'s NIC as she finished a humbling 11th place in the mile race. Entered in the 800 at the adidas Outdoor Championships in Raleigh, Bowman was determined to prove she was in fact one of the nation\'s top female high school preps among middle distance runners. Bowman ran without fear as she dictated the race pace with leading splits of 42 at 300m, 59.60 at 400m, and 1:31 at 600m. Bowman ran away from the field to post the nation\'s fastest 800 meter time in eight years with a smoking time of 2:04.94. The time placed Bowman as #18 US all-time.
With her performance in the Penn Relays mile, Bowman had qualified herself to compete in the USATF Junior Nationals for the 1500 meter run with a good chance of being able to qualify for Team USA and compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Bowman would go onto finish second in the race and earn her spot on Team USA as her time of 4:23.36 would convert to personal bests for Bowman at both 1600 meters (4:42.72) and for the mile (4:44.35).
At Worlds, Bowman led her 1500 meter semi-finals heat through 600 meters (68.17 at 400 meters), but faltered in the last 800 meters to a last place finish of 4:36.13 for a 12th overall placing. While Bowman did not have the race at Worlds she would have liked, she gained valuable experience at the World stage, which can only make her stronger for final year of high school running.
Sarah Bowman\'s Elite Performances
HS Outdoor 1500m (04:23.36) 2004-06-25 USATF Junior Nationals 04:23.36 PR 2004-07-12 IAAF World Junior Championships 04:36.13 HS Outdoor 1600m (04:45.13) 2004-04-17 Apple Blossom Invitational 04:54.64 2004-04-22 Penn Relays Carnival 04:46.95 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 04:52.78 2004-05-06 Loucks Games 04:52.40 2004-05-14 Millbrook Last Chance Invite 04:53.18 2004-05-20 Northwestern District Meet 04:51.24 2004-05-27 Region II Meet 04:48.78 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 04:51.11 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 04:50.02 HS Outdoor 800m (02:04.94) 2004-03-27 Brian Watkins I-95 Invitational 02:10.82 2004-04-09 Taco Bell Classic 02:07.69 2004-04-17 Apple Blossom Invitational 02:12.64 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 02:10.11 2004-05-14 Millbrook Last Chance Invite 02:08.37 2004-05-20 Northwestern District Meet 02:09.07 2004-05-27 Region II Meet 02:10.03 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 02:10.44 2004-06-12 USATF State Meet 02:07.42 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 02:04.94 PR HS Outdoor HJ (005-05.00) 2004-03-27 Brian Watkins I-95 Invitational 05-00.00 2004-04-17 Apple Blossom Invitational 05-03.00 2004-05-27 Region II Meet 05-02.00 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 05-03.00
CO-ATHLETE & SPRINTER OF THE YEAR...FRANCENA MCCORORY (BETHEL, SO)Francena McCorory burst onto the scene last year as a freshmen by winning three individual state titles (300m indoors, 100m outdoors, 200m outdoors). Her sophomore year was only a continuation of success as McCorory showed such a level of dominance that only the likes of Lashawn Merritt could match this past season. Like Merritt, McCorory was a state leader in three events with sizzling bests of 11.83 in the 100 meter dash, 24.09 in the 200 meter dash, and 54.54 in the 400 meter dash. McCorory went the entire season undefeated against Virginia competition, which is quite a feat considering how critical one small error can be in the short sprints. A district and regional champion at both 100 and 200 meters, McCorory duplicated her feat from freshmen year in winning the individual state crowns at both 100 (11.83) and 200 (24.20) meters. McCorory also showed a hint of what\'s to come from her in the future at 400 meters this past spring. At the All-American Classic in early April, McCorory posted a 400 meter time of 54.54, which would stand the entire season as a state best clocking. The time also qualified her for competition at the USATF Junior Nationals, where should we finish 15th in a time of 55.14. McCorory was also a member of the Bethel 4x400 meter relay team, which posted a state best time of 3:49.64 as they finished fourth at Penn Relays. McCorory\'s 53.5 split was one of the faster splits in the event. If McCorory keeps her steady gains in improvement, she could become of the nation\'s top sprinters by her senior year. With Coach Eddie Williams at the helm, McCorory definitely will have the coaching to get her there because she clearly has the talent.
Francena McCorory\'s Elite Performances
HS Outdoor 100m (00:11.83) 2004-04-09 CNU Captains Classic 00:12.21 2004-05-01 Landstown Invitational 00:12.65 2004-05-21 Peninsula District Meet 00:11.86 2004-05-28 Eastern Region Meet 00:11.95 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AAA State Meet 00:11.83 PR 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 00:12.01 HS Outdoor 200m (00:24.09) 2004-04-09 CNU Captains Classic 00:24.25 2004-04-17 Peninsula Relays 00:24.25 2004-05-21 Peninsula District Meet 00:24.38 2004-05-28 Eastern Region Meet 00:24.09 PR 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AAA State Meet 00:24.20 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 00:24.73 HS Outdoor 400m (00:54.54) 2004-04-03 All-American Track Classic 00:54.54 PR 2004-06-25 USATF Junior Nationals 00:55.14
HURDLER OF THE YEAR...TIERRA BROWN (HAMPTON, FR)Hampton High School possesses a great young talent in Miss Tierra Brown. Brown was a pleasant surprise this outdoor season as she steadily improved throughout the season at her specialty event, the 300 meter hurdles. She kicked her season with two invitational wins at the CNU Captains Classic (45.45) and Peninsula Relays (44.54). At the Dogwood Track Classic, she was introduced to what should be an exciting rivalry for the next two seasons in Hermitage sophomore Queen Harrison. The two talented young hurdlers would battle down to the wire in the Dogwood 300 meter hurdles as Harrison (43.66) ended up getting the best of Brown (43.73). Two weeks later, at the Victor Cahoon Classic, Brown would get a rematch with Harrison and would tie up their series at 1-1 with a winning time of 43.97 over Harrison at 44.30. After taking two more wins at the Peninsula District (43.32) and Eastern Region (43.32) meets, Brown would meet Harrison again for the grand finale at the AAA State Meet. The race was clearly going to be a two person showdown as only Brown and Harrison had dipped under 44 seconds all season. What a dramatic race it turned out to be. Harrison went out extremely fast in the 300 hurdles and was the clear leader after five of the eight hurdles. Between the fifth and sixth hurdles Brown reached for another gear, found it, and caught Harrison between the sixth and seventh hurdles. Harrison then crashed the seventh barrier very hard and went down in a heap as Brown went on to win the race in a very good time of 43.03 (state best time) and the other six hurdlers also went by Harrison, who was still laying on the ground. If it was not for the fall, the hurdler of the year could have possibly been an honor bestowed to Harrison. Brown continued her season into the summer, which she recently completed in competition at the AAU Junior Nationals. Brown posted the fastest time in the preliminary round of the 400 meter hurdles (1:03.06) and would go onto finish fourth in the finals with a personal best time of 1:02.79. The time would stand as another state best for Brown.
Tierra Brown\'s Elite Performances
HS Outdoor 100HH (00:16.09) 2004-06-16 VA AAU State Meet 00:16.09 PR HS Outdoor 300LH (00:43.03) 2004-04-09 CNU Captains Classic 00:45.45 2004-04-17 Peninsula Relays 00:44.54 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 00:43.73 2004-05-08 Victor Cahoon Track Classic 00:43.97 2004-05-21 Peninsula District Meet 00:44.07 2004-05-28 Eastern Region Meet 00:43.32 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AAA State Meet 00:43.03 PR HS Outdoor 400LH (01:02.79) 2004-03-26 Conn Madden Relays 01:09.22 2004-06-16 VA AAU State Meet 01:04.43 2004-07-31 AAU Junior Olympic Games 01:02.79 PR HS Outdoor 400m (00:57.91) 2004-06-16 VA AAU State Meet 00:57.91 PR 2004-07-31 AAU Junior Olympic Games 00:58.87 HS Outdoor TJ (035-06.75) 2004-06-16 VA AAU State Meet 035-06.75 PR 2004-07-31 AAU Junior Olympic Games 035-04.50
JUMPER OF THE YEAR...SHEEMECA BERKLEY (AMHERST COUNTY, SR)Despite not having won a state title in any jumping event this year, All-American honors as well as a state best should qualify Amherst County senior Sheemeca Berkley as the state\'s top jumper this past spring. Berkley actually won two state titles, but neither were in the jumping events as she took state crowns in both the 100 (11.97) and 200 (24.67) meter dash. At the Region III Meet, Berkley nearly eclipsed the 20 foot mark in the long jump with a winning leap of 19-11. This mark would stand as a state best for the season. Her triple jump mark of 39-03.75 at the VMI Classic ranks as the third best in the state. After winning two state titles, Berkley finished not far away from a national title of her own at the adidas Outdoor Championships with a mark of 18-10.75 for a third place All-American finish in the long jump. Her third place finish was the highest finish by any Virginian in the jumping events at AOC. Her performances during the season helped qualify her for competition at the USATF Junior Nationals where she had solid showings in the long jump (19-3.50) and triple jump (37-7.75).
Sheemeca Berkley\'s Elite Performances
HS Outdoor 100m (00:11.97) 2004-04-07 Brookville Dual Meet 00:12.28 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 00:12.92 2004-05-01 VMI Classic 00:12.68 2004-05-17 Seminole District Meet 00:12.36 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 00:12.50 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 00:11.97 PR 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 00:12.72 2004-06-25 USATF Junior Nationals 00:12.19 HS Outdoor 200m (00:24.67) 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 00:26.13 2004-05-17 Seminole District Meet 00:25.97 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 00:25.57 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 00:24.67 PR HS Outdoor 400m (00:59.47) 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 00:59.53 2004-05-17 Seminole District Meet 00:59.47 PR 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 00:59.48 HS Outdoor HJ (005-02.00) 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 05-02.00 PR HS Outdoor LJ (019-11.00) 2004-04-07 Brookville Dual Meet 018-09.00 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 018-00.50 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 018-02.50 2004-05-01 VMI Classic 018-05.25 2004-05-17 Seminole District Meet 018-04.00 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 019-11.00 PR 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 018-09.25 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 018-10.75 2004-06-25 USATF Junior Nationals 019-03.50 HS Outdoor TJ (039-03.75) 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 038-02.00 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 036-10.00 2004-05-01 VMI Classic 039-03.75 PR 2004-05-17 Seminole District Meet 037-05.50 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 039-03.00 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 037-11.25 2004-06-25 USATF Junior Nationals 037-07.75
VAULTER OF THE YEAR...ASHLEY EARLY (WESTERN ALBEMARLE, SO)Ashley Early, a cheerleader converted pole vaulter from Western Albemarle, quickly emerged as the state\'s best pole vaulter this past year. During the indoor season, she won the AA State title and earned All-American status at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships with a 11-7.75 personal best clearance. Early continued her dominance through the spring as she went undefeated against state competition. Early hit her best hit of the season at the Jefferson District Meet with a 11-7 clearance and then easily won her second state title at the AA State Meet as a 11-1 clearance was all she needed to secure the win.
HS Outdoor PV (011-07.00) 2004-04-08 Charlottesville Tri Meet 011-00.00 2004-04-21 Monticello Tri Meet 011-00.00 2004-04-24 Dogwood Track Classic 011-06.00 2004-05-21 Jefferson District Meet 011-07.00 PR 2004-05-27 Region II Meet 011-06.50 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 011-01.00
THROWER OF THE YEAR...TIERA HUBBARD (WILLIAM FLEMING, SR)Few athletes have held such a dominance over the last three years as William Fleming senior Tiera Hubbard has held over the shot put rings across Virginia. With her winning throw of 42-01.25 at this year\'s AA State Meet, Hubbard had achieved the feat of winning three consecutive state titles in the shot put. Her throw at the AA State Meet was a personal best for the season and ranked her number two in the state. Hubbard was also a state runner-up in the discus throw as she finished second to Stone Bridge\'s Geona Adeka (133-1) with a personal best toss of 120-1.
Tiera Hubbard\'s Elite Performances
HS Outdoor D (120-01.00) 2004-04-10 Faster, Farther, & Higher Invite 112-10.00 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 110-09.00 2004-04-24 Cosmopolitan Invitational 111-06.75 2004-05-01 VMI Classic 109-09.00 2004-05-21 Blue Ridge District Meet 105-09.00 2004-05-28 Region III Meet 105-08.50 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 120-01.00 PR HS Outdoor S (043-10.50) 2004-04-10 Faster, Farther, & Higher Invite 039-01.50 2004-04-17 Appomattox County Invitational 038-11.00 2004-04-24 Cosmopolitan Invitational 039-06.00 2004-05-21 Blue Ridge District Meet 037-08.00 2004-06-04 VHSL Group AA State Meet 042-01.25 2004-06-18 adidas Outdoor Championships 041-07.75
RELAY OF THE YEAR...BETHEL SPRINT RELAYS (4X100 & 4X400)If you want to find a team deep in the sprints, you\'ll have to look no further than Coach Eddie Williams\' Bethel squad. Bethel had the states two most explosive relays in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. They showcased their full potential at the Penn Relays in April. The 4x100 relay team of Crystal Carrington, Britni Spruill, Essynce Roberts, and Francena McCorory sprinted to a time of 46.56 to win the Large Schools Section at Penn Relays as well as post the state\'s fastest time for the season. Later in the same day, the Bethel girls finished an impressive fifth place in a stacked field for the Championship of American 4x400 meter relay with their time of 3:49.64. The relay was made up by Shakira Pinnock (60.3), Britni Spruill (56.3), Essynce Roberts (59.5), and Francena McCorory (53.5). Their time of 3:49.64 stood throughout the season as a state best. At the state meet, the purpose of their relay teams was to pickup the wins and not worry about time. They took care of business in the 4x100 meter relay as they won without the services of top sprinter McCorory in a time of 48.45. However, they were not as fortunate in the 4x400 meter relay. Going into the final curb, Bethel anchor leg Britni Spruill was fighting off Kecoughtan\'s anchor leg for the lead as their legs became entangled and both runners hit the track. Tallwood anchor leg Faraign Giles sidestepped to the two fallen runners as Tallwood would go onto win the race, while Bethel did not score in the event. While the unfortunate fall was disheartening for the Bethel relay, the state team title victory was not. The Bethel girls pressed on to compete at the adidas Outdoor Championships and put their best four quarter horses on the track to see what they could do against the nation\'s best. The Bethel girls came away with All-American honors with a fifth place finishing time of 3:50.56 as the relay included Pinnock, McCorory, Spruill, and Megann Lawrence. Only Spruil graduates from this group of four and Essynce Roberts, who was on the 4x400 meter relay team at Penn returns as well. Bethel should have some dynamite relays once again next year.
First Team100m: Kharya Brown (Potomac Senior, Jr)
200m: Francena McCorory (Bethel, So)
400m: Faraign Giles (Tallwood, Sr)
800m: Sarah Bowman (Fauquier, Jr)
1600m: Natalie Sherbak (Kellam, Sr)
3200m: Melissa Dewey (Hayfield, Jr)
100m Hurdles: Andrea Wheeler (Lakeland, Sr)
300m Hurdles: Tierra Brown (Hampton, Fr)
High Jump: Ashley Gatling (Deep Creek, Fr)
Pole Vault: Ashley Early (Western Albemarle, So)
Long Jump: Sheemeca Berkley (Amherst County, Sr)
Triple Jump: Shayla Jemmott (Salem-VA Beach, Sr)
Shot Put: Tiera Hubbard (William Fleming, Sr)
Discus: Geona Adeka (Stone Bridge, Sr)
Second Team100m: Fallon Hutcherson (Potomac Senior, Jr)
200m: Marie Fields (Courtland, So)
400m: Britni Sruill (Bethel, Sr)
800m: Tasmin Fanning (Western Albemarle, Jr)
1600m: Jessica Fanning (Western Albemarle, Sr)
3200m: Amanda Patterson (Midlothian, Jr)
100m Hurdles: Jacqueline Bailey (Brentsville District, Sr)
300m Hurdles: Queen Harrison (Hermitage, So)
4x100m: Potomac Senior
4x800m: Lake Braddock
High Jump: Ashley Haislip (Lake Braddock, Jr)
Pole Vault: Nancy Barr (Patrick Henry-Roanoke, Fr)
Long Jump: Angela Jenkins (Buffalo Gap, So)
Triple Jump: Octavia Best (Prince Edward County, Sr)
Shot Put: Susan Lucas (Giles, Jr)
Discus: Whitney King (Radford, Jr)
Third Team100m: Tosin Oluwole (Western Branch, Sr)
200m: Octavia James (Heritage-Newport News, Jr)
400m: Shylan Bumbrey (James Monroe, Jr)
800m: Kelsey Snowden (Lake Braddock, Jr)
1600m: Stefanie Slekis (Forest Park, So)
3200m: Emily Harrison (Warren County, Sr)
110m Hurdles: Keshia Ashe (Kecoughtan, Sr)
300m Hurdles: Ashton Bishop (Gate City, Fr)
4x800m: James Robinson
High Jump: Beth Meyer (Roanoke Catholic, Jr)
Pole Vault: Anne Marie Gordon (Mills Godwin, Fr)
Long Jump: Christina Ford (Bethel, Sr)
Triple Jump: Rachel Butler (Lee-Davis, Fr)
Shot Put: Kathy Howard (Lee-Davis, So)
Discus: Ashley Hayes (Radford, Jr)