All photos by Andrew Kicinski
Distance runners led the Virginia performances from the Liberty Christmas Invitational while athletes from North Carolina schools dominated the sprints, hurdles, field events, and sprint relays. Blacksburg senior George Carter won the 1600 meter run on Friday in a solid season opener of 4:22.72 while doubling back for another first place finish on Saturday in the 3200 meter run by a 15 second margin with his 9:30 performance. A state runner-up last June at the Group AA State Outdoor Championships, Carter is seeking his first state individual title during his senior year of track after leading Blacksburg to two consecutive state cross country team titles.
Bassett's Michelle Church kept Blacksburg senior Sarah Dorrell from achieving a distance double wins herself as Church finished a half second ahead of Dorrell in 5:11. After a 5:12 1600 runner-up performance, Dorrell on the next day defeated Church (3rd, 3:06) and West Potomac junior Sarah Jane Underwood (2nd, 3:04) in the 1000 meter run with a 3:02 victory.
Christiansburg's Rochelle Evans had the top performance in the girls' field events with a top mark of 37'9.25" in the shot put. Evans was a top 3 performer in both the shot put and discus as the Group AA State Outdoor Meet last spring. In a very competitive boys' pole vault event with three vaulters over 14'6", Liberty Christian Academy senior Cody Bingham placed third at a 14'6" clearance. Bingham is one of the state's top multi-event athletes and nearly placed in 3 other events this weekend at the Tolsma Track Center.