Not all of the state has been shut down due to this weekend's storm as more rain than snow has found its way into the Hampton Roads area at least on Friday allowing day one competition of the Atlantic Coast Invitational to occur at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. Many teams slated to the attend from the west and north were unable to attend, but many local schools were able to participate on Friday.
Photos by Ryan Kelly
There were a handful of national caliber performances produced from those attending. The boys 55 meter dash had a colossal match-up between US leader and Oscar Smith sophomore Joel Coleman against Landstown's Darrell Wesh with a 6.40 season best entering this weekend. Wesh got the better of Coleman and matched his time from earlier this season to tie him as a national leader with a 6.36 clocking and blowout victory against the co-national leader Coleman in second place at 6.52. Wesh is knocking on the door of the all-time top 25 list, which has a cut-off at 6.34.
Jamaican native and Bethel junior Samantha Scarlett ran a sensational time in the finals of the girls 55 meter hurdles with her US #4 performance of 8.09. Scarlett also moves to #19 all-time in Virginia high school history in the 55 meter hurdles just behind teammate Courtni Pannell, who posted a 8.08 clocking last year. The Bethel program is certainly blessed right now to have two of the all-time best in the hurdles on their team at the same time.
There was no Anthony Kostelac lurking to run down their anchor leg this time, but if Kostelac and Albemarle had been in the race, there would likely been little chance that he could have been able to make up a gap on the Grassfield boys 4x800 meter relay. Grassfield bettered their time by a full 10 seconds from their last relay race with the state's second fastest time at 8:06.55 and automatically qualify for state competition. Western Branch ran an impressive time of 8:14 for second place considering they competed without their top runner Blake Theroux who was in the New Balance Collegiate Games 1000 tonight at the New York Armory.
The girls pole vault featured the state's top returning vaulter and the one of the top performers this season with Lizzie Powell of Patrick Henry and Stephanie Oleson of Henrico. Powell is making her comeback from beating cancer (see MileSplit US story on Powell this past week) and Friday was only her second meet back as she works to regain her top form. Powell vaulted a height of 11 feet for second place with Oleson taking the win exceeding her previous best by an inch at a height of 11'8".
Photo Gallery by Ryan Kelly - Friday's events to be posted on Saturday
Below are the performances entered for the meet that met the national silver standard.