Many of the top Northern Region individuals and teams will ease their way into the 2010 cross country season in a modified version of the =PR= Kick-Off Relays, which due to this week's excessive hot weather and new VHSL regulations in regards to holding athletic competitions and practices in extreme heat has forced the meet to drop its original schedule of a 4x2 mile relay race and instead run individual head to head 2 mile races. The format change should actually give a much better indication of how some of these teams and individuals match up with one another instead of spread out on different legs and the different strategy involved with a relay race.
The defending Group AAA state champions Lake Braddock and returning 3200 meter state indoor champion Sophie Chase are expected to both open at this meet. Chase won the freshmen 2 mile race last year in her first high school meet ever and a foreshadow to what would be one of the best freshmen years for a female distance runner in state history. It should be a good early season test for the Lake Braddock girls as they try to reload after losing a great senior class of runners with another regional title contender this fall in the West Potomac girls also racing at the Potomac River Running Kick-Off Relays.
Four boys teams with serious hopes of qualifying for the state meet out of the Northern Region will be facing off led by Group AAA #2 ranked West Potomac boys and followed by in this meet by South Lakes, Lake Braddock, and Centreville. W.T. Woodson's Paul Gates had a great track season running a 9:30 for 3200 meters and is looking to translate that performance into a fast 2 mile on the grass at Bull Run Regional Park on Thursday evening.
First race is a 6 PM with the freshmen girls and last race starts at 7:00 PM with varsity/open boys. MileStat.com will be on-site with coverage.