Brooke Point senior Katherine Walker completed a late blooming and breakthrough final season of high school in grand fashion on the national stage by winning the girls 5000 meter run at the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina. Walker entered the race with a personal best of 18:06 5K from cross country, but left the race with a huge PR of 16:57 to pull away from Foot Locker All-American Wesley Frazier (16:59) of North Carolina in the end. Also performing well in the event from Virginia with significant PR drops were Northside junior Erin Wheeler winning the slower section in 18:14, while Western Albemarle junior Mattie Webb just missed a sub 18 minute performance in eight place in the fast section at 18:00.88.
Logan Moore, a freshmen at Riverheads High School, won the freshmen 400 title in a time of 50.68 to drop sixth tenths of a second from his previous PR of 51.23. Moore just missed All-State honors at the Group A State Championships with a ninth place finish in the 400 meter dash. Skyline's Thomas Madden placed sixth in the freshmen mile race with a time of 4:27.06.
In emerging elite field event action, Fauquier senior John Billings won the boys discus with a mark of 156'8". Only a sophomore at Matoaca High School, Jamarian Bates hit a significant personal best leap of 23'1.25" to take runner-up in the emerging elite boys long jump, while Western Branch's Josh Marriner took fourth with a mark of 22'9.25". Atlee's Chris Pillow finished tied for fourth in the emerging elite pole vault at a height of 15'0.25", while Justin Dutton of Caroline and Nicole Harding of Western Albemarle cleared matching heights of 10'8.50" to tie for fifth in the girls' vault.
Katherine Walker Story by Chris Hunt of ArmoryTrack.com below....
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Katherine Walker remembered crying last year when she failed to even make the Virginia state meet. She remembered when she talked to her mom, who told her that she could either commit, really commit, or hang her spikes up.
And when she pushed toward the finish line she thought about how far she had come; how she couldn’t believe that she was about to be a national champion. Then she needed to shake it off because North Carolina’s Wesley Frazier was charging hard. Walker made it to the line first, winning the 5,0000-meter run on the first day of the New Balance Outdoor Nationals at North Carolina A & T University Thursday night in 16:57.58.
Walker made her move at the mile mark, escaping a pace that felt too easy.
“I got to the mile around 5:20 and that was about eight seconds too fast, but it felt like it was eight seconds too slow,” Walker said.
When she took off she felt even better.
“I felt like I was floating,” she said.
The senior, who is headed to the University of Virginia, led the rest of the way even when she started to tighten up on the bell lap. Walker still put enough room on Frazier that the freshman couldn’t reel her in.
Frazier finished in 16:59.19 with Nicole Irving (N.Y.) third in 17:10.88.
“I heard my coach saying that I had to go and sometimes when you hear that all you want to say is I’m tired,” Walker said. “But you know what? This is my last weekend running in high school and wanted to give it what I had.”