Photo by Dave Watt
Two of the state's best 4x800 meter relays in the Lake Braddock and West Potomac girls faced off at day one of the Patriot District Championships on Wednesday. With Wednesday's events being held at the Episcopal School in Alexandria, Lake Braddock's 4x800 held the lead entering the final leg due in part to a strong third leg from their freshmen Katie Roche, which was all that Foot Locker finalist Sophie Chase needed to secure the win with her 2:19 split for Braddock to win in a season best time of 9:31.56. West Potomac junior Sarah Jane Underwood did all she could to try and close the distance on Chase with 2:17 split, but had too much of a gap to make up as West Potomac took second with a time of 9:33.68. West Potomac fared well in both 4x800 relays with the West Po boys claiming the district title in 8:17.
The South County girls were able to get out to great start and build distance between themselves and the rest of the teams in the district with their day one total of 49 1/3 points. With a sweep of the top three individual places in the high jump and triple jump, South County racked up considerable points in those two events. South County senior Loren Dyer recorded a new personal best mark in her triple jump title at 36'7.50", while Sarah Chandler's 4'10" clearance was good enough to take first in the high jump ahead of her South County teammates.
The Annandale boys will be a team built to finish high at the state meet, but find themselves in third place (33 pts) in their district team standings after day one despite having two field event champions including a personal best performance of 53'0" from thrower Joel Hoisington in the shot put. T.C. Williams (1st, 45 pts) and Lake Braddock (2nd, 43 pts) are only separated by two points for first in the boys' team standings as T.C. Williams did not have an event winner, but had several point scorers in most individual events. Lake Braddock had two individual district champs in the field events with Sean Daugherty in the pole vault (11'11") and Matt Fraederich in the triple jump (42'9.75"). Annandale expects to finish strong and catch up to T.C. Williams and Lake Braddock with Ahmed Bile in the mid-distance races, John Jenkins in the 55 meter hurdles, and their 4x400 meter relay as heavy favorites to pick up first places and 10 points in each event.