With many schools shut out from finding a nearby indoor invitational to compete in this weekend, teams went outside this weekend in polar bears across the state including at Douglas Freeman High School in Richmond with 13 area high schools competing. With a sunny day and temperatures staying into the 40s for the majority of the day, conditions were decent enough for some quality times to be run on the 400 meter outdoor track. Many district and regional qualifiers occurred at the meet as well as several state automatic qualifying and national caliber performances.
In the 500 meter dash, a pair of twins from Atlee High School in Marques and Michael Atkinson flew around the 400 meter oval including a 47-48 second split through 400 meters. The Atkinson twins finished with the state's two fastest record times in the 500 meter dash with Marques as the winner at 1:05.53 and Michael as the runner-up at 1:05.80. The two times would stand as the nation's #4 and #5 ranked times this season, but no reputable national indoor rankings list includes performances from meets held outdoors during the winter season. Nonetheless, the Atkinson brother now add to an emerging competitive 500 state race with the likes of Taylor Sykes and Joel Coleman also.
The boys 1000 meter run was another event in the meet at Douglas Freeman which saw the winner clock a time which would rank high on the current national indoor list and leads the state in this "winter track" season. Mills Godwin senior Grant Pollock ran a huge PR to become the first in the state and second in the country this year to run under 2:30 with his 2:29.37 victory. Pollock ran virtually a 2:29 1000 meter time trial with a distant second place to him at 2:42. Pollock has exhibited great range this season as he posted a 9:30 3200 earlier this month at CNU.
J.R. Tucker sophomore Claire Tito had a breakthrough meet in automatically qualifying for the state meet in the 500 meter dash with a VA #7 performance of 1:17.85, while later adding a second win the 300 meter dash with a 42.68 clocking. Tito just missed qualifying for the state outdoor meet last spring as a freshmen with an 8th place finish in the finals of the 400 meter dash at the Central Region Meet.
Despite not being the greatest day for big marks in the jumps and field events, L.C. Bird's Jeremy Jones was able to earn himself a ticket to the state meet with his best leap of 44'9" in the triple jump. The performance on Saturday was a remarkable foot and a half personal best improvement for the Skyhawks junior.
Below are the performances entered for the meet that met the national silver standard.
|1000 Meter Run||3:06.55||Lauren Hopper||Hanover|
|1000 Meter Run||3:08.39||Anna Gordon||Hanover|
|300 Meter Dash||42.68||Claire Tito||J.R. Tucker High School|
|300 Meter Dash||42.74||Kaytlen Keller||Mills Godwin|
|4x200 Meter Relay||1:49.53||Mills Godwin|
|500 Meter Dash||1:17.85||Claire Tito||J.R. Tucker High School|
|55 Meter Hurdles||9.05||Mackenzie Scott||Hanover|
|55 Meter Dash||7.51||Shyra Molton||Patrick Henry (Ashland)|
|1000 Meter Run||2:29.37||Grant Pollock||Mills Godwin|
|300 Meter Dash||35.63||Michael Atkinson||Atlee|
|300 Meter Dash||36.03||Rex Owusu||Mills Godwin|
|300 Meter Dash||36.40||Byron Robinson||Thomas Dale|
|300 Meter Dash||36.43||Lorenzo Fields||Thomas Dale|
|300 Meter Dash||37.03||Clark Thornhill||Douglas Freeman|
|300 Meter Dash||37.27||Tony Green||Patrick Henry (Ashland)|
|300 Meter Dash||37.48||Quintin Fulgham||Thomas Dale|
|300 Meter Dash||37.54||Shaowei Tu||Atlee|
|300 Meter Dash||37.67||Max Owusu||Mills Godwin|
|300 Meter Dash||37.91||Carlton Edwards||Henrico|
|300 Meter Dash||38.01||Dyhu Harrison||Hermitage|
|4x200 Meter Relay||1:33.50||Mills Godwin|
|500 Meter Dash||1:05.53||Marques Atkinson||Atlee|
|500 Meter Dash||1:05.80||Michael Atkinson||Atlee|
|500 Meter Dash||1:06.70||Shaowei Tu||Atlee|
|500 Meter Dash||1:07.50||Eric Prince||Mills Godwin|
|500 Meter Dash||1:08.67||Kaleb Lindsey||J.R. Tucker High School|
|500 Meter Dash||1:09.50||Jake Zimmerman||L.C. Bird|
|500 Meter Dash||1:09.93||Jeremy Jones||L.C. Bird|
|Triple Jump||43-2.5||Tony Green||Patrick Henry (Ashland)|
|Triple Jump||43-8||Quintin Fulgham||Thomas Dale|
|Triple Jump||44-9||Jeremy Jones||L.C. Bird|