Seahawk promises to be biggest and best ever

RESTON, VA -- The Third Annual Seahawk Invitational to be held at South Lakes High School this Saturday promises to be the biggest and best ever with over 1,200 athletes representing more than 30 schools scheduled to participate. The horizontal jumping and also the weight throwing events will have the top seeded flights going first continued by the rest of the flights in descending seeded order. With meet director Scott Raczko allowing a gracious maximum of four competitors per event; the horizontal jumps and weight throws will not have finals but each athlete will be allowed four attempts in their respective events, provided they have a legal distance in one of their first three attempts.

The running events begin at 9:00 a.m. also with the girls and boys shuttle hurdle relays. They will be followed by the non-fastest seeded sections of the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs. The distance medley relays are scheduled for an 11:00 a.m. start and at approximately 11:30 a.m. there will be the All Region Indoor Track and Field Awards Ceremony presented by the Northern Virginia Cross Country & Track and Field Coaches Association.

12:00 p.m. will be the re-start of the running events in the regulation order beginning with the girls 4x800 relay. The girls will precede the boys in all events with the fastest seeded sections running first.

Headlining the field event action is Robinson\'s Steve Huntzinger on the boys side and Bonnie Meekins of Oakton on the girls side. Huntzinger is the top seeded competitor in the shot put at 60 feet, 8 inches; a distance he achieved in placing fifth at the Nike Indoor Classic last month. Huntzinger is also the top seed and favorite to capture the discus throw.

Meekins, the AAA state champion in the high jump who also ranked tied for second in the country indoors in that event with a best of 5-10, will be favored once again in that specialty with Meekins also one of the top entrants in the long jump, triple jump and 100 meter hurdles.

Other top performers in the field events on the girls side include Jefferson\'s Molly Mahar in the high jump; Latasha Ewell of South Lakes in the discus throw; Wakefield\'s Fatima Shuler in the long jump and close competition expected in the shot put among Ashley Crocker of Hayfield, Westfield\'s Rasha Bitar, Catherine Muehleib of Lake Braddock and Marshall\'s Carissa Culbreath.

Top boys entrants in the field events include Lake Braddock\'s Martin Delveccio along with Westfield sophomore David Lewis in the pole vault; the West Potomac duo of Alrick Donaldson and Jeremy Beal in the triple jump and Frederick Ballenger of Potomac (MD) in the shot put and discus throw.

In the running events, one of the early races has a chance to be among the best in the boys distance medley relay with Handley and South Lakes squaring off. Handley is expected to anchor Bobby Lockhart, the unprecedented four time AA cross country champ and three time Foot Locker cross country finalist who was the runnerup at Foot Locker nationals this year.

Lockhart has been running very well of late as evidenced by his qualifying for the World Junior Cross Country championships last month in addition to winning the Nike Indoor Classic two mile run in a U.S. leading time of 8:58.04.

South Lakes counters on their DMR anchor with a national champion of their own in senior Richard Smith, who was the Nike Indoor Classic winner of the 800 run at 1:53.97. That time for Smith ranked him third in the nation with Smith also holding down the number two time indoors in the 500 dash (1:04.88) in addition to leading the country in the 1,000 run indoors at 2:28.18.

On the girls side, a late addition to the meet has been a good one with senior Julia Pudlin from The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA in the 1,600 run. Pudlin is coming back from an injury which shelved her past cross country season but the Yale University bound student-athlete posted the top times in Pennsylvania last year outdoors in both the 1,600 (4:56) and 3,200 runs (10:27) in addition to placing eighth at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships during her junior year.

Other top girl performers entered in the running events include Annandale junior Afua Amponsha in the 100 hurdles; an extremely loaded 100 dash field which features 55 dash and 300 dash indoor state champion Fatima Shuler of Wakefield, the Oakton twosome of Kathleen Woody and Jenee Moore, Junique Morris of T.C. Williams and C.H. Flowers (MD) sophomore Tiffany Nesfield.

The girls 1,600 run has Robinson\'s Joanna Rodgers, Kelly Swain of Lake Braddock, West Springfield\'s Huma Husain and Sam Ference in the chase against the Keystone State\'s Pudlin while Nesfield of C.H. Flowers, Centreville\'s Sarah Lewis and Rebecca Weber of Jefferson are the top three seeds in the 300 hurdles.

Centreville sophomore Dacia Barr, the indoor 1,000 run state champ, will be the favorite in the 800 run; Wakefield\'s Shuler will battle C.H. Flowers freshman Dara Jones along with Morris of T.C. Williams and Woodrow Wilson\' s Tiffany Green (DC) in the 200 dash and Dulaney (MD) senior Tenke Zoltani, the 3A-4A state indoor 3,200 champ, is the favorite in that event with her closest pursuers expected to be Mo Hagan of West Springfield and Dulaney\'s Christine Myers.

In the boys running events, Lake Braddock junior Craig Gallimore is coming off an outstanding indoor season which saw him break 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Allen Johnson\'s school record in the 55 meter high hurdles. Gallimore will be the favorite in the outdoor straightaway version, the 110 hurdles, in which he placed fourth at the state meet last year as a sophomore.

The boys 100 dash features Centreville sophomore Daniel Bailey, Washington-Lee junior Sean Somlar who is coming off a leg injury from the football season which shut down most of his indoor campaign, High Point\'s (MD) Troy Corprew and senior Tony Gallo from Wall High School in New Jersey.

The 1,600 run could set up as a duel between the Wakefield duo of Abdi Dubed and Peter Quinzio and the West Springfield trio of Jeff Day, John Cook and James Feeney. The 4x100 relay could be a metro area battle among Woodrow Wilson, Centreville and High Point while the top seeds in the 400 dash are Woodrow Wilson\'s Marco Aguilar and Centreville\'s Daniel Bailey.

The 800 run sets up as a race of Richard Smith of South Lakes maybe having the clock as his most formidable opposition while the 200 dash has W-L\'s Somlar and High Point\'s Corprew as the top two seeds. Ben Stern of Georgetown Day (MD) is the prohibitive favorite in the 3,200 run while the 4x400 relay has Centreville and Wilson as the teams to watch.