VHSL Class 5/6 State Meet Day One Recap

In a noteworthy contrast, two girls' teams in Class 5 and 6 opened large early leads, while both boys' meets were closely contested, as Day 1 of the VHSL State Indoor Championships concluded its first day of events at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.

And in fitting fashion, the opening segment of the meet featured a tinge of tradition, particularly in the Class 6 meet.

In the Class 6 girls' meet, Thomas Dale scored 28 points, double the total of second-place Robinson. Eighteen of the points came in the triple jump with Madison McConico winning the event in 41 feet, 0.5 inches, and teammate Devyn Parham placed second with a hop, skip and jump of 40 feet, 8.5 inches. Even though Parham is just a sophomore, she and McConico have been able to improve together because of the daily competition at practice. "You always need someone to push you," said McConico.

Parham also won the high jump with a leap of 5-6.

The Dale girls' team has enjoyed a wealth of talent in the jumping events, particularly in the form of Class 5 state meet record holder Titiana Marsh, a 2018 alum, who won her first state jumping title as a freshman and eventually would top 42 feet in the triple jump.

In the boys Class 6 shot put, Grassfield senior Jordae Edwards was favored to win because his seed throw was over two feet further than the other competitors. When asked about finding motivation, Edwards added, "I needed to go out there today and let my coaches, family and friends see me do my thing."

Yet, three minutes later, Edwards, whose Grizzly team, under throwing coach James Nixon, has fared well in the shot put and discus for the past decade, mentioned a conversation that helped propel him to a personal-best throw of 58-3.

"I talked with our school record holder the other day."

Lo and behind, that would be 2017 grad Seth Harrell, who won the shot-put state title as a sophomore, eventually tossing the eight-pound steel ball 59-4.75. Harrell was also a star offensive guard of the football team, who at 6-3 and 320 pounds was primed to block for the jet sweep, especially if gridiron coach Martin Asprey ever wanted to design a running play for his star wide receiver, a guy named Grant Holloway.

Meanwhile, the West Springfield earned a split in their signature event, the 4x800, but it took a Herculean effort by the Langley girls' team of Elena and Lila Pesavento, Corinne Jaggard, and Lila Waters, whose time of 9:17.85 topped the Spartans by three seconds and earned the Saxons their first championship in the event since 1993.

However, the boys' quartet of Henry Anderson, Sean Cochran, Kyle LaJoye and John O'Donnell overcame an early lead by South Lakes, as well as a late surge from Yorktown's Owen McArdle, to pull off the win, West Springfield's third in a row indoors. The Spartans finished in 7:53.32 to top Yorktown (Lucas Keith, Jack Blocher, Jack Levine, McArdle) by 2.67 seconds.

Perhaps a new tradition was started in the Class 5 girls pole vault as Glen Allen netted 26 points, with Emily Romano's 13-foot clearance winning the event. Teammates Meredith Baham and Sam Romano placed second and third at 12 feet and 11-6. For the day, Glen Allen tallied 34 points to grab a 15-point lead on Highland Springs at the end of Day 1.

For years, Atlee, just up the road past the north end of I-295, was well known as "Vault Central," but GA coach Matt Walton and his team may be on to something, especially if they can hold on for the state win over favorite Nansemond River.

Speaking of the pole vault, Walton was prophetic about his five vaulters potentially scoring. "We'll need every single point." As the Warriors of Nansemond River prepare for Saturday's events, we'll see how profound Walton's statement becomes.

Other winners from Friday


Class 6 High Jump - Terric Jones (Oscar Smith) - 6-4

Class 5 High Jump - Lamont Victoria (Prince George's) - 6-6

Class 6 Triple Jump - Miles Lanham (Annandale) - 46-8.5

Class 5 Triple Jump - Deondre Hardy (Nansemond River) - 45-9

Class 5 Shotput - David Anderson (Kecoughtan) 53-6.5

Class 5 4x800 - Glen Allen (Eric Fagan, Carson Hackley, Dorian Frick, Ben Hagerich) - 8:01.00


Class 5 High Jump - Emmani Shaw (Norview) - 5-6

Class 5 Triple Jump - Kaitlyn Cook (LC Byrd) - 37-10.5

Class 6 Pole Vault - Viviana Rodriguez (Osbourn Park) - 11-6

Class 5 4x800 - Albemarle (Courtney Hughlett, Dylan Stasko, Madelyn Gypson, Caroline Hughlett) - 9:45.00