Tucker boys maintain dominance at Lee-Davis Invite

MECHANICSVILLE, VA - Being ranked #13 in the entire nation this past week and the pressure that comes along with such attention, it would be easy for the J.R. Tucker boys to have a letdown performance at the Lee-Davis Invitational held at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville. However, the J.R. Tucker boys maintained their dominance over the state by easily defeating a very solid field that gathered to compete at the Lee-Davis Invite. Four of the top six ranked boys\' teams in the state competed at Pole Green this past weekend.

J.R. Tucker senior and #1 state ranked Michael Chapa continued to roll to yet another impressive individual performance as he set a new course record with his winning time of 15:28. Tucker\'s steady and consistent number two man, Mason McElroy ran another solid race to finish runner-up to teammate Chapa with a time of 16:02. The fab four was completed with Thuom Mathaing (6th, 16:20) and Ben Rickey (16th, 16:49) crossing the line well before any other teams\' third and fourth runners. Michael Peterson continues to gradually improve Tucker\'s fifth runner problem as he ran a personal best time of 17:34 to finish 31st overall. With a team score of 53 points, the Tigers finished well ahead of second place Fort Defiance with 84 points.

The Indians from Fort Defiance continue to look more like the Group AA state championship winning team from a year ago. No team on Saturday had a tighter pack of five than Fort Defiance with a 33 second spread. Senior Daniel Stewart (13th, 16:44), junior Derek Hizer (14th, 16:46), and junior Matt Bailey (17th, 16:55) recorded top 20 and sub 17 minute performances for the Indians. Meanwhile, sophomore Daniel Alonso (21st, 17:12) and junior Robby Corbett (24th, 17:17) finished not far behind their team\'s front three. Weeks ago, Brentsville appeared to have a team that would runaway with the AA state crown this fall, but that is not the case anymore as the defending champs have come back to life.

Another squad that has been a pleasant surprise this fall is Coach Kelbaugh\'s West Springfield Spartans. The #5 state ranked Spartans finished third at Lee-Davis on Saturday with 91 points. The team was led by their young talented sophomore Michael Spooner, who finished third individually with a personal best time of 16:03. Kris Benton (15th, 16:46) gave the Spartans another top 15 individual performer, while Samuel Teka (18th, 17:02), Alex Martis (26th, 17:22), and Leo Walker (33rd, 17:40) finished out West Springfield\'s top five.

The #6 state ranked Douglas Freeman boys finished right behind West Springfield in fourth with 95 points. The Rebels had two top ten performers in Richard Andrews (7th, 16:21) and Cabell Rosanelli (10th, 16:29). Douglas Freeman welcomed the return of top runner Andrews, who sat out from racing at the William & Mary Invitational earlier in the month. The remaining three top five runners were tightly bunched with seniors Andrew Pike (25th, 17:18), Stephen Cox (28th, 17:23), and David Newsome (30th, 17:25).

The Ocean Lakes boys, who have been engrossed in the LiveStrong bracelet controversy as of late, finished fifth overall as they were led by senior Drew Midland, who finished 11th overall in a time of 16:32. The Beach area was represented well with two top five individual performers in Western Branch senior Adam Hutton (4th, 16:05) and Kellam senior Mitch Cooper (5th, 16:13).

The Douglas Freeman girls had an equally dominating team performance compared to the Tucker boys. The Freeman girls compiled a team score of 37 points as they finished well ahead of Maggie Walker, who took runner-up honors with 73 points. The Lady Rebels placed their entire top five in the top 15. Individual race runner-up, Freeman junior Christi Harsha, led the squad with a time of 19:33. The next three finishers for Douglas Freeman were three talented sophomores in Meredith Cox (5th, 19:53), Sonja Lokensgard (6th, 19:57), and Laura Wallace (9th, 20:24). Adding extra depth for the Lady Rebels were seniors Meagan Montgomery (15th, 20:52) and Megan Machich (16th, 20:52) crossing the line together.

The Maggie Walker girls finished a solid second as they had three top 15 performers in Samantha Dealto (4th, 19:48), Emily Wauford (8th, 20:22), and Stella Askin (14th, 20:46). Finishing out their top five were Rachel Leary (22nd, 21:19) and Abby Rhea (27th, 21:33). It must be noted though that Maggie Walker competed without top returning runner Ritchie Vaughan, who has been battling injury this fall. However, even with Vaughan competing, the Maggie Walker girls would have had their hands full with the Freeman girls.

The Kellam girls finished third in the team standings with 102 points as they were led by a surprising individual run by sophomore Ashley Kukura. Kukura transferred to Kellam from C.D. Hylton this past summer and has made an instant impact to the squad. At Lee-Davis, Kukura was the race winner in a time of 19:31 as she pulled away down the stretch from Harsha for the win. The next finisher for Kellam was junior Tara Connor, who finished seventh overall in a time of 20:02 as she looks to return to her top form from last outdoor track season where she ran a 11:33 3200.