The Deep Creek boys and Western Branch girls both made the trip from the tidewater area to come out to Fork Union Military Academy\'s Gusy Lacy Track and made the long trip worthwhile as they ran away with the team titles with scores of 122 and 94 points respectively. Finishing second for both boys and girls was Atlee, who will be one of the favorites to win the Central Region crown in late May.
The Deep Creek boys, who have became a national powerhouse as of late in the sprint relays, showed what they were all about as the dominated the relays and sprinting events. Both their 4x100 and 4x400 wins were done in dominating fashion as their times of 41.77 and 3:21.50 most certainly will rank up there with the nation\'s best so far this season once the first national rankings are released. They even showed their great range as their 4x800 squad did very well as they broke 8:10 for the first time this year with a time of 8:09.64. Also showing that Deep Creek doesn\'t have just sprinters was Desmond Perkins, or the \"Perculator\" as his teammates referred to him as they cheered him on to his exciting win over Salem\'s Josh Wrigley in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:56.94. In the individual sprinting events, the boys from Chesapeake also shined. None of them shined more than Deandre Hyman as he finished 3rd in the 100 meter dash (11.16), first in the 200 meter dash with a state best time of 21.63, and capped off his brilliant day with a 47.2 anchor leg on the winning 4x400 squad. Not far behind Hyman was teammate Derron Flood who took second to Hyman in the 200 meter dash with still an impressive time of 21.89 and winning the 400 in a smoking time of 48.99. Flood currently has the second fastest 400 time (48.07) in the state behind All-American Quentin Bowens of Heritage who has a season best of 47.43. The team also got solid point contributions out of the field events as Gary Freeman won the shot put with a powerful toss of 55-0.50. Keshaun Jones won the long jump (21-8) and Steven Brickhouse also finished second in the pole vault (12-6) for the Hornets.
The Lakeland boys were also in attendance to compete from the tidewater area as they did a decent job at trying to break up a complete sweep in the sprints by the Deep Creek boys. Especially doing an excellent job in breaking up a sweep was William Baker of Lakeland as he won the 100 meter dash (11.10) and took third in the middle of all Deep Creek in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.06. Teammate Deandre White looks primed to go after a state title in the 110 meter hurdles as he clocked the fastest F.A.T. in the state with his 14.48 clocking.
White couldn\'t pick up the win though in the 300 meter hurdles (3rd, 39.97) as Atlee\'s Nick Robinson, who managed to score in quite a few events on the day, picked up his sole win of the meet with a stellar time of 38.91.
The boys\' 1600 meter race was hot from the gun as four runners were entered with times of 4:20 or faster with Kippy Keino, Brandon King, Daniel Kane, and Josiah Cadle. The group battled it out early on as Keino took it out in 60, the pace cooled a bit midway, but then gave way to one exciting finish as Keino and King exchanged leads only to have Keino come out as the victor in a personal best time of 4:17.98. King took runner up in also a personal best time of 4:19.25.
The boys\' 4x800 meter relay and 3200 meter run showed why Midlothian over the last few years has been known to have one of the top distance programs in the state. On the opening leg of the 4x800, it was a three way battle initially as Louisa County took the lead with a 1:58 leg from Daniel Kane with Midlothian and Deep Creek right behind him. However, by the next exchange, it was Midlothian all alone as they raced against the clock in hopes of running sub 8, but coming up short as anchor leg Anthony D\'Amato brought it in for a time of 8:01.59. D\'Amato redeemed himself later on in the afternoon though with a big win in the 3200 meter run against Kippy Keino. From the first lap it was Keino leading with D\'Amato drafting right off of them. However, Keino began to slow up on the pace shortly after the 1600 mark as his all out 1600 PR race earlier seemed to be showing its tiring effects upon him. D\'Amato recognized this and made a move with 700 left to take the lead from Keino. As they entered the bell lap, a foot race was on as D\'Amato begin to break away from Keino on the backstretch. Finding a little left in the tank, Keino made one last ditch effort to catch D\'Amato on the final stretch, but D\'Amato matched that move to bring home the win in a time of 9:29.38 with Keino at 9:31.04. Adding onto the great win by D\'Amato for Midlothian was having two other runners breaking 10 with seniors Jason Call (4th, 9:51.80) and Mike D\'Amato (5th, 9:53.53).
The boys\' field events were filled with some great performances and one of the bests was by Forest Park\'s Reynold Smith as he leaped to a mark of 46-7.50 in the triple jump.
Unknown to many prior to this meet, Nathan Fritsch of Woodberry caught many offguard when he reached an incredible height of 6-8 in the high jump.
Manchester\'s William Collins also did very well in the throws as he tossed for 158-8 to win the discus.
Ross Nicoll of Western Albemarle may have a good shot at winning the Group AA state title in June if he keeps vaulting the way he did at Fork Union as he won the pole vault in 13-10.
Pre-meet favorites on the girls\' side, Salem, for unknown reasons, decided not to show up, while their boys team made the trip. The Western Branch girls seized the opportunity left by the absence. Possessing a good balance in the sprints, relays, and distance and one dominating individual in the hurdles, made the win look too easy. That dominating individual in the hurdles was none other than Lauren Taylor as she left the competition in the dust with her times of 14.74 and 43.73 in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. Both times rank as state bests. Taylor also won the long jump at a leap of 17-9.50. Maybe one of the comeback stories of the season is Western Branch\'s Leslie Treherne. Now a junior, as a freshmen Treherne was one of the top middle distance talents in the state. Her sophomore year however, she suffered a back injury which forced her to sit out the track season. Recovered from the injury, Treherne played basketball in the winter, and now has just bursted onto the track scene this past month. At the CNU Captain Classic last weekend, she made everyone aware that she is back as she won the 800 in a time of 2:18. This weekend at Fork Union, she reinforced her return by winning the 400 meter dash in a smoking state best time of 56.63. Teammates Modulope Oluwole and Amber Blain also won individual events in dominating fashion for Western Branch as Oluwole was victorious in the 100 meter dash (12.59) and Blain likewise in the 1600 meter run (5:12.97). The icing on the cake for the Western Branch girls were their two relay wins in the 4x100 (48.66) and 4x400 (4:00.95). With Taylor, Treherne, Oluwole, Blain, and others making up this Western Branch squad, they could be in the thick of things at states in June.
Finishing second to Blain in the 1600 with a time of 5:21.54, Forest Park\'s Beth Fahey came back with a sensational 3200 meter race. Atlee\'s Tiffany Cross set a quick early pace in hopes of state qualifying as she went through the 1600 meter mark in 5:24. She appeared to be opening up a decent lead on Fahey, but with two laps left it appeared that Cross was slowing down as Fahey was picking it up. Before entering the bell lap, Fahey ran down Cross and took over the lead. Cross tried to go with her but the quick early pace had caught up to Cross as Fahey then outdistanced her for the win in a time of 11:26.50 as Fahey just met the automatic state qualifying mark. Cross finished in at a respectable time of 11:33.97 for second.
Cross\'s teammate, Kira Barcus had no problems in winning the pole vault as there was no one close to her top mark of the day at 10-0.
It was all Midlothian for both 4x800 meter relays as mentioned before the Midlothian boys were victorious, but it was the girls\' win that was maybe even more impressive and very surprising to many. They were a team on a mission to break 10 and they crushed that mark. With a strong opening leg from Erin Prillaman (2:25) as well as another 2:25 leg from anchor Amanda Creamer helped make sure that barrier was broken as they set a meet record time with their 9:48.22 clocking.
Creamer and Prillaman also made noise in the 800 later on in the day. Creamer set the early pace as they went through the 400 mark at 75 with Prillaman and Atlee\'s Heather Photakos running off her shoulder. Prillaman then made a move to take the lead on the curve going into the back stretch. Then Photakos made a move of her own as she took the lead on the curve after the backstretch. Prillaman countered Photakos move to the front with a strong kick for the final 100 meters to win in a time of 2:26.40.
The Midlothian girls also got another individual event winner out of Nikki Arrington as she won the discus with a throw of 119-0.
There were many other great performances in the field events. Joyce Johnson of Charlottesville looks to battle it out with Amherst County\'s Imani Moorman for the best triple jumper in AA as she won that event in 38-0.