Gar-Field to be one hotly contested meet

DALE CITY, VA -- The 2002 Gar-Field Invitational is shaping up to be a hotly contested meet with some top athletes in the state expected to come, especially in the field events and sprints. The meet has gathered teams from within the host school\'s district and region as well as a decent drawing from teams out of the Northern Region and Central Region. Along with that, the host school, Gar-Field appears to be the meet favorite, after amounting some impressive wins at a few invitationals already this season.

To start off with the field events, every event seems to have a few athletes in each which rank up with the state\'s best.

In the girls\' long jump, there is a strong trio of jumpers in Kharya Brown of Gar-Field (17-08.00), Ebonie Jones of L.C. Bird (17-07.50), and Briana Smith of Manchester (18-00.00) as all three will be looking to come close to the 18 foot mark. Likewise in the boys\' long jump, the Gar-Field duo of Tyree Carr (22-01.00) and Derek Liggins (23-00.00) will be trying to go 1-2 for the homestanding Indians as both expect to go over 22 feet.

Manchester\'s Smith will be trying to get a double win in the horizontal jumps, but Brooke Point\'s Shaundra Johnson may stand in her way as the top seed in the triple jump at 36-06.00 with Smith seeded second at 36-00.00.

Gar-Field also has the top two seeds in the boys triple jump with Eric Lewis (46-00.00) and Larry Evans (45-00.00).

Talented freshmen Ashley Haislip of Lake Braddock appears to be one of the favorites in the girls\' high jump as she is entered at 5-04.00.

Gar-Field\'s Larry Evans was the only man left standing jumping with national champion Keith Moffatt at the indoor state meet as he took runner-up honors there. This weekend he\'ll hope to win it all as he is the top seeded high jumper at 6-06.00. He will be challenged though by newcomer Maggie Walker\'s Luke Hostetter, a soccer player who recently just came out for track under the request of coach Jim Holdren. With only a few weeks of practice under his belt, Hostetter has already gone 6-04.00.

The shot put for both boys and girls will showcase two of the state\'s best in Ivan Parker of Potomac (54-00.00) and Tiffany Evans of Gar-Field (45-06.00). However, both will face stiff competition in the discus events. On the girls\' side, Lake Braddock\'s Jessica Sawers has thrown for 127-03.00, while on the boys\' side it looks to be a battle between two familar rivals of L.C. Bird\'s Jim Tiller (174-08.00) and Manchester\'s William Collins (158-08.00). Both compete in the same region (Central) as well as the same district (Dominion).

The Central Region also brings two of the meet\'s top entered pole vaulters in Maggie Walker\'s Brian Edmondson (13-06.00) and Douglas Freeman\'s Liz Arnold (10-00.00).

With so many of the top individuals in the field events, Gar-Field should already have a good sized lead on the competition on both the boys and girls side heading into the running events. However, the Indians only rack up more points in those events, especially in the sprints, hurdles, and relays.

Gar-Field\'s Antoine Woods will look to give his team a serious amount of points in the hurdles as he is the top seed in the 110 meter hurdles (14.88) and he is seeded third (39.44) in most likely the race of the day, the boys\' 300 meter hurdles. In the race, there are four sub 40 second hurdles in Lake Braddock\'s Craig Gallimore (38.04), Potomac\'s Antwan Stewart (39.20), Woods, and Manchester\'s Kip Burns (39.60).

The Gar-Field girls will rely on their relays as they are the top seeds in both the 4x100 (48.54) and 4x400 (3:56.36). They will face some strong competition in both events with Manchester (48.90) in the 4x100 and Lake Braddock (3:57.74) in the 4x400. The Gar-Field girls could also pull off a possible 1-2 in the 400 meter dash as they have the top two seeds in Tonnetta Harris (57.65) and Raina Brown (58.92).

The Manchester girls should be a strong push though against the Gar-Field girls with Briana Smith and Kwadena Caple leading the way for the Lady Lancers. Along with Smith\'s possible points in the jumps, she will also look to contribute a considerable amount of points in the hurdles as she is entered with the top time in the 100 meter hurdles (14.70) and is seeded fifth in the 300 meter hurdles (47.50). She will be closely challenged in both contests though by Brentsville\'s Jacqueline Bailey who is recently coming off an excellent performance at the John Handley Invitational where she won athlete of the week honors with a double win in the hurdles. Bailey is seeded second in the 110 (14.80) and first in the 300 (44.50).

Caple will also do her part in helping to put up a fight for her squad as she is seeded second in both the 100 meter dash (12.20) and 200 meter dash (25.00).

Look for a possible double win in the sprints from Potomac\'s Joe Robinson as he is seeded second in the 100 meter dash (10.60) and first in the 200 meter dash (21.80).

The distance events should have some quick times posted as there are many talented runners set to compete.

Many will be looking forward to watching superstar freshmen Sarah Bowman of Fauquier run. Little is known and talked about this little girl from Fauquier County, but she packs some powerful speed as she showed it last weekend at the John Handley Invitational when she made easy work of the 5 minute barrier with her time of 4:58. Many spend their entire high school career, even college trying to break the mark, but Bowman took it down within her first few months of high school track racing. She will look to do it again this weekend at Gar-Field as she is entered in both the 1600 and 800. In the 1600, her stiffest competition will be C.D. Hylton\'s Jemissa Hess as the junior is seeded second with a time of 5:07. In the 800, Bowman may meet her match in the speedy Corvette Johnson of Potomac who has clocked a 2:15 already this season. However, this race will be very competitive and will probably push the two to some incredible times.

In the boys\' 1600, Douglas Freeman\'s Graham Kearney will be the obvious race favorite as he went sub 4:20 during the indoor season. Kearney will be doubling back to run the 800 later, which he is the top seed in with a time of 1:57.64. He\'ll have a much harder time winning this race with sub 2 runners such as Maggie Walker\'s J.D. Ridgeway (1:58) and Lake Braddock\'s Gilbert Elston (1:58.04) entered.

John Piersol of Maggie Walker should have a runaway victory in the 3200 as no one is close to his seed time of 9:14, while the girls\' 3200 will be a foot race between Douglas Freeman\'s Julia Siegel (11:30) and Hess (11:33).

The meet is broken up into two sessions, the morning and afternoon section. The morning session begins at 9 AM with the field events and the slower sections of the 3200, 1600, and 800 meter runs. The afternoon session begins at 12:30 with your regular meet order for running events with the 4x800 meter relay.