Looks to be a night to remember at STC

DINWIDDIE, VA - Well the field is set and excitement is mounting in anticipation for the meet that has become the pride and joy of our state in just it\'s short three year existence, the Southern Track Classic. Meet director, Dinwiddie principal Dan Ward, has done an excellent job at not only gathering the best in our state, but also some great national talent as well.

In the girls\' high jump, the favorite is Oakton senior Bonnie Meekins who boasts a best of 5-10 in the event. However, she reached that height back in January and her best of the outdoor season is 5-7. She will pushed to get back to the 5-10 mark with two 5-6 Central Region jumpers entered with Shoshana Pettes of Armstrong and Angie Jordan of Clover Hill.

The boys\' high jump will be a fun event to watch with two of the best high jumpers in the nation with Keith Moffatt of Menchville and Michael Morrison of Willingboro (NJ) set to compete as both have cleared well over 7 feet. Moffatt is a two-time national indoor champion.

Salem junior Amy Seward will be hoping to better one of her meet records, while set another as she is the top seed in the girls\' long jump and triple jump. Seward has the triple jump meet record, which she set last year at 37-06.75. It is very likely that she will have a better mark than that Friday night as she went 40-01.00 in the indoor season and was a state champion. The meet record for the long jump is 18-06.75, but Seward has already gone 19-04.00. She will have some familar Eastern Region rivals to go up against in both events with Zanishia Usher of Bayside (18-07.00) in the long jump and Yvette Lewis of Denbigh (39-09.00) in the triple jump.

The boys\' long jump appears to be up for grabs with a group of 22+ foot jumper. Lafayette\'s Sintell Crew who was a AA state champion in the indoor season, has the best jump in the state this outdoor season with a leap of 22-05.50.

However, in the boys\' triple jump, if you went by personal bests it would appear that Forest Park\'s Reynold Smith would be the obvious favorite as he has leaped 48-06.50 this season. Smith must be on his \"A\" game though or he may be topped by All-American Melvin Woodhouse of Landstown (46-09.00) or others such as Ryan McCoy of William Fleming (46-05.00), Taylor McFadden of Thomas Dale (46-03.00), and Nick Robinson of Atlee (46-00.50).

Both events in the boys\' and girls\' throws have two obvious favorites with James Robinson junior Steve Huntzinger and Cox senior Lindsay Neuberger. Huntzinger really came on strong during the indoor season as went over 60 feet in the shot put and was a state champion and All-American. Huntzinger also isn\'t that bad in the discus where he has thrown for a state best mark of 169-07.00 this season. Potomac\'s Ivan Parker (58-08.00) in the shot put and L.C. Bird\'s Jim Tiller in the discus (174-08.00). Neuberger has been the top thrower in the state since her junior year where she was a state champion in the indoor and outdoor track season. The Wake Forest signee has been unbeatable this year as she was a state champion in the indoor season in the shot put and was a national champion. She will took to defend her two wins from last year at Southern Track in the shot put and discus where she set both meet records (49-04.50 and 125-02.50).

The pole vault will be a thrilling event on both the girls\' and boys\' side. The girls\' pole vault has four vaulters that have gone above 11 feet with the top seed being Kira Barcus of Atlee who had a stellar performance at the Penn Relays last month where she went 11-08.00. She will be hard pressed by the likes of Centreville\'s Alicia LaRoche (11-07.00), Prince George\'s Rhian Jenks (11-03.00), and Westfield\'s Kathryn Pettine (11-02.00). The boys\' pole vault will have two of the nation\'s best with national indoor champion Chip Heuser of St. Xavier, Kentucy (16-03.00) and our state\'s best, David Sullivan of Centreville (15-09.00). While Heuser got the better of Sullivan at indoor nationals, Sullivan returned the favor at the Penn Relays as he won the event and defeated Heuser.

The 4x800m relays should have some fast and exciting battles. In the girls\' race, Oakton has the fastest time of the year as they clocked a 9:21 last month at the Dogwood Track Classic. However, the big question will be whether or not Keira Carlstrom who is also entered in the 1600, will run on the 4x800. If she does, the other teams will have their work cut out for them as Carlstorm split a 2:12 leg in that 9:21 relay time. If she doesn\'t run, West Springfield (9:27.44) and Kellam (9:28.44) will have a great chance at winning. The 4x800 also looks to be unpredictable with the top seed being Willingboro from New Jersey (7:53.47). Without the other Virginia teams having great knowledge of how good the New Jersey squad is, Maggie Walker (7:58.24), Midlothian (8:01.58), Lafayette (8:03.24), and West Springfield (8:04.24) are hopeful to be in the hunt for the win.

The girls\' hurdles pits the matchup we\'ve all been waiting for all season between Menchville\'s Jelyn Quick and Western Branch\'s Lauren Taylor as they respectively the top two seeds in both the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. The boys\' hurdles appears to be more open with some of AAA\'s best such as Dwight Porter of Menchville (14.20), Nick Robinson of Atlee (14.74 and 38.91), Antoine Woods of Gar-Field (14.87 and 39.44) and AA\'s best such as Devin Canady of Jamestown (14.78) and Jamie McMillian of Nottoway (14.99 and 39.36).

The girls\' sprints will be getting a Northern invader with speedster Juliette Poussot who is the top seed in the 100 meter (11.74) and 200 meter dash (23.88). The Virginia girls will make sure to put up a fight to make sure she doesn\'t come away from Dinwiddie with two wins as the 100 and 200 have some solid entries in Caroline\'s Courtney Green (12.13 100), Western Branch\'s Tosin Oluwole (12.22 100), Bethel\'s Britni Spruill (24.74 200), and Tallwood\'s Faraign Giles (24.98 200).

The athletes in the 100 and 400 meter dash will have to find another gear to be able to catch Heritage\'s two amazing sprinters in Michael Johnson in the 100 (10.62) and Quentin Bowens in the 400 (47.43). While Michael Lewis of Greensville (10.73) and Sherrod Lewis of Patrick Henry (10.89) will make Johnson work in the 100, they will be battling it out for the win the 200 meter dash with their top seed times of 21.63 and 21.86 respectively. They will be joined in the 200 with Bethel star Marcus Satchell (21.74), who will be running the 400 earlier in the night against Bowens with a seed time of 47.74.

The sprint relays should be some barn burners. In the girls\' 4x100m relays, it should be a three battle between three Eastern Region foes with Salem (47.20), Bethel (47.24), and Western Branch (48.66). With having the fastest 100m sprinter at the meet with Johnson, Heritage is the top seed in the boys\' 4x100 at 41.96. Hayfield (42.42), Lake Taylor (42.86), and Centreville (43.04) will also be in the thick of things.

Willingboro has the top seed in both the boys\' and girls\' 4x400 meter relay with times of 3:19.09 and 3:47.24. Phoebus (3:20.24), Landstown (3:20.34), and others could pose a challenge to the Willingboro boys. The girls\' 4x400 is loaded with sub 4 teams such as Bethel (3:55.24), Salem (3:56.01), Gar-Field (3:56.36), Oakton (3:56.71), Phoebus (3:57.64), and Menchville (3:59.24). Should be an exciting way to close out the night of competition.

The distance races will be smoking as the 800, 1600, and 3200 are loaded on both the girls\' and boys\' sides. In the girls\' 800, the top seed is sensational freshmen Shylan Bumbrey of James Monroe who clocked a time of 2:13 just last weekend. She will be pushed with 6 other runners who have gone under 2:20 in the 800 this season with Corvette Johnson of Potomac (2:15.00), Charrisa Bullock of Bethel (2:16.24), Huma Husain of West Springfield (2:16.24), Leslie Treherne of Western Branch (2:18.23), and Natalie Sherbak of Kellam (2:19.57).

The boys\' 800 will also be cooking with the top seed being national champion Richard Smith of South Lakes at 1:51.74. The field will include familiar 800 studs such as AA state champion and last year\'s race winner, Steve Carlson of Louisa (1:54.55), and Dogwood Track Classic 800m champion Matt Wolak of Mills Godwin (1:55.28). Coming down from their regular distance, the mile, are two of the nation\'s finest distance runners in national indoor mile champion Bobby Curtis of St. Xavier (KY) and the national indoor mile runner-up Alex Tatu of Thomas Dale. Both will be showcasing their great speed they are known for in the mile. Curtis has clocked a 4:08 1600 spring, while Tatu has ran a 4:12.

The girls\' 1600 meter run will be a \"catch me if you can\" race with Keira Carlstrom as the obvious race favorite as she brings into the race a jaw-dropping 4:51 PR and coming off a 10:30 3200 performance last weekend. While she has a 11 second better time than the closest seed, Dacia Barr of Centreville (5:02.24), Barr and others will be hoping that the competitive field will push many of them under 5 minutes. In that competitive field with Carlstrom and Barr are Megan Isaacs (5:03.24), Jennifer Boyd of Hickory (5:03.34), Maureen Hagan of West Springfield (5:03.34), Shannon Saunders of Jefferson Forest (5:06.82), and Delaney Moje of Western Albemarle (5:08.10).

The boys\' 1600 meter race will look to be three-way colossal battle between John Handley\'s Bobby Lockhart, Oakton\'s Phil Gaeta, and Brian Dalpiaz of New York. Lockhart is a Foot Locker Cross Country National runner-up, World Cross Country Championship qualifier, and a two miler indoor champion. As a senior, Lockhart has yet to meet his best time he ran in the mile as a sophomore (4:08), which is due to the fact that he rarely runs it in competitive races and has been focusing primarily on the 3200. However, he will be tested at the shorter distance and definitely pushed with Gaeta and Dalpiaz in the field. Gaeta was a national indoor champion in the mile (4:14) and has amazing quarter speed (49) as well as a strong 800 time this outdoor track season (1:52). Dalpiaz, also has concentrated on the longer distances like Lockhart and was the Penn Relays 3K champion (8:24) and will be looking to run a quick 1600 time down in Dinwiddie. He isn\'t make the trip all the way down from New York to run slow. The 1600 meter race at Southern Track, maybe Derrick Robbins of Denbigh\'s best shot at getting the national freshmen class record for the distance. The full mile record is roughly around 4:15 and Robbins has ran a 4:17 1600 this outdoor track season. While it may not be smart to try and run with that front trio, he will have a chase pack including some quality runners such as last year\'s Single A champion Guy Alton of New Kent (4:19.24), Western Branch\'s Brandon King (4:19.25), and Louisa County\'s Daniel Kane (4:20.73).

The girls\' 3200 meter run will have Virginia\'s top girls trying to catch Foot Locker National qualifier Laura Stanley of North Carolina, who has ran a 10:49.24. The Virginia girls will be led by Shannon Saunders of Jefferson Forest who went just under 11 during the indoor season. Atlee\'s Tiffany Cross (11:07.43), Warren County\'s Emily Harrison (11:10.24), and Kristyn Shiring of North Stafford (11:11.67) will be hoping to join Saunders in the sub 11 club.

Matt Keally is the only runner entered in the boys\' 3200 that is in the sub 9 club as he has gone under the mark twice with the most recent being a 8:58 at the Dogwood Track Classic. The field is deep with John Crews of Rockbridge (9:11.03), Bryce Ruiz of Jamestown (9:11.46), John Piersol of Maggie Walker (9:14.02), Fleet Hower of Marion (9:17.64), and Christo Landry of Thomas Jefferson (9:18.79) all hopeful that they come as close to 9 flat as possible.

The field events will start at 5:00 PM with the boys\' high jump, boys and girls\' long jump, boys\' discus, girls\' shot put, and girls\' pole vault getting underway. The running events will began at 7:00 PM when the gun goes off for the girls\' 4x800m relay. From there with a night of fast and exciting racing action on the speedway at Dinwiddie High School track, the meet plans to conclude at 10:40 PM with the boys\' 4x400m relays. Nonetheless, it will certainly be a night to remember.