Photo by Frank Locascio Sr.
In Virginia, all hand held times are converted to FAT by adding .24 of a second. In other states depending on event distance, a .24 penalty may or may not be added. As it stands in New York, the North Shore girls 9:21.3 hand held performance in the girls 4x800 meter relay on January 2nd puts them as the #1 ranked team in the nation. In Virginia, their performance would be converted 9:21.54 FAT which would put them a hundredth of a second behind the stellar run by the Blacksburg girls on Saturday at Liberty University with their 9:21.53 (FAT) performance at the Bulldog Invitational.
The relay featured the Stevens twins, who currently lead the nation with the top two times at 3200 meters (both at 10:26). Joanna and Kathleen Stevens later competed in the 1000 meter run posting times just over 3 minutes at 3:00.59 for Joanna and 3:01.93 for Kathleen. Blacksburg teammate Leah Fitchett finished third in the 1000 meter run behind the Stevens twins after winning the 1600 meter run earlier in a time of 5:13.18.
Blacksburg made a sweep of the 4x800 meter relays as the boys' squad posted a time of 8:18.43 as last year's Group AA state indoor and outdoor champions in the relay event attempts to keep pace with Jamestown, who clocked a state best 8:13 on Friday at CNU. Blacksburg ran 7:42 last June at Nike Outdoor Nationals, but lost their fastest leg Brian Hencke (1:53 open 800) to graduation. Blacksburg made a clean sweep of the boys' distance races also with George Carter in the 1000, Zach Link in the 1600, and Frank Locascio in the 3200.
Photo by John Herzog
Christiansburg junior Travis Hudson had one of the best triples in the meet as the only individual to win three events individually with a state best and US #5 clearance of 6'8" in the high jump to go along with first place finishes in the 55 meter hurdles (7.84) and long jump (21'5.75").
Photo by Frank Locascio Sr.
Host school Liberty Christian had some of the top individual performers in the meet including girls long jump winner Dana Mercer (16'11.50") and boys 300 meter winner Demitri Knowles (36.40).
Amber Church of Pulaski County, a Group AA state champion in the 100 meter hurdles and state runner-up in the 300 meter hurdles, had a strong start in her first race of the indoor season taking the 55 meter hurdles in a 8.57 clocking which is not far off her all-time best of 8.51.
Karissa Jenkins, another defending state Group AA champion featured in the Bulldog Invite, won her specialty of the triple jump with a mark of 36'0.50" for the Robert E. Lee junior.
E.C. Glass moved down to Group AA this year and will certainly have individuals and relays contended for state indoor titles in their first year in the classification including their 4x200 meter relay dipping under 1:50 with a time of 1:49.59 at the Bulldog Invite, which also included 55 meter dash winner Dominique Terry (7.41).
Photo Gallery by Frank Locascio Sr. - More photos to be added