Summer Road Racing enjoys boom year in 2005

Kelly Watt makes the list!

Road racing in Virginia during the summer has become a place where high school runners test their training, race competitively, and enjoy the chance to race against some of the top "older" folks. At Milestat, we posted 65 road races this summer which 5000 meters was the chosen distance. There were five 8K's posted, six 10K's, six 1 mile races, and other races with various distances. More elite performances were recorded this summer than any of our previous years. 79 females and 55 males recorded elite performances in 5K races. In road racing with a 5K distance, a clocking of sub 18 minutes for males or sub 23 minutes for females qualifies for an elite performance. We only allow road racing elites for summer events, and the last year completed in school is the grade the athlete is credited with. We will highlight the top 5 males and females in the 5K division.

For the 2nd year in a row, Michael Chapa a 2005 graduate of J.R. Tucker and freshman at Virginia Intermont College attained the #1 spot for the guys. At the Innsbrook 5K Run in Glen Allen on August 6, Chapa ran the 3rd fastest 5K road race of all-time with a blazing 15:29. Chapa, the 2004 VHSL AAA Cross-Country State Champion also has the fastest recorded summer 5K which he ran last year at the same course in 15:14. Chapa also had the fastest mile time of the summer with a 4:12.98 mile (4:11.38 1600m converted) at the Foot Rx Crazy Mile in Kingsport Tennessee.

Taking the runner-up duty for the guys is the steady as a diesel, Daniel Cummings of Bethel. Cummings ran the Harvest Lake 5K course in Coventry on August 24th in a stunning 15:40, and the 5th fastest all-time recorded road racing 5K time for high school runners. Cummings is a rising junior and has already posted a win this year in cross-country with a win at the Newport News Invitational at Virginia Beach in which his time of 16:24 was 30 seconds faster than he ran last year.

Claiming the 3rd spot on our summer 5K rankings is the thoroughbred John Horst of Christiansburg. This young 16 year old senior is becoming a road racing icon. He has posted road racing elite performances for 4 straight years. Horst's time of 15:48 at the Linktrack 5K in Blacksburg on July 28th was his third time to run a 5K in under 16 minutes. The All-State Horst will be battling it out in cross-country and is a contender for the top prize in AA.

The fourth spot belongs to another AA All-State cross-country runner in Zac Edwards of Northside High School in Roanoke. Edwards posted a time of 16:08 at the Linktrack 5K and followed that up with a State best 10K road race time of 34:58 at the Lewis Gale 10K on August 14th. Edwards a senior this season has made one of the biggest improvements in the State to now become another contender for the AA title.

Rightfully taking his spot in the top 5 is the late Kelly Watt of Albemarle High School in Charlottesville who ran the Kiwanis 4th of July 5K in 16:16. Less than a month from his untimely death, Watt completed his final race in "Kelly Watt" style by taking first place among high school runners with a 23 second improvement over the previous year. For 3 years in a row, Watt supported the Kiwanis Club of Charlottesville with his presence at the Independence Day race, and this was the only road race that Watt participated in. Watt, a 2005 graduate, had an outstanding high school career and was preparing for his upcoming season at the College of William & Mary, but he passed away on July 30th from complications related to a heat stroke suffered while on a training run. It is an honor for me to present Kelly Watt his award posthumous.

For the ladies, it was a star gazing summer as Aurora Scott of Oaktree Academy in Chesapeake placed first in the 5K, 8K, and 10K categories. Scott, formerly of Western Branch, is entering her sophomore year with lots of momentum. Scott led all ladies with a State's All-Time best time of 17:39 at the ECSC 5K in Virginia Beach on August 27th. To begin the summer in style, Scott ran the Elizabeth River 10K in super sonic time of 35:03. At the We Build People 8K on July 4th, Scott ran the States best 8K in 29:06. Scott, last year's AAA runner-up in cross-country and Foot Locker Finalist is the early season favorite for the VHSL AAA individual title.

Amanda Patterson, a 2005 graduate of Midlothian in Richmond, ended her high school career in style as she recorded the second summer sub 18 minute 5K for girls with a time of 17:54 at the Run For Autism in Henrico. Patterson's time is the 2nd best All-Time performance of a high school girl in the summer road racing circuit. The former All-American two miler and two-time State champion is now competing for Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The 3rd place spot was reserved for AA's top runner, Catherine White, of Northside, which is the only school this summer to boast a top 5 male and female. At the FAB 5K in Salem, White ran the Green Hill Park course in 18:30. White, last year's AA State Champion in cross-country is ready to defend her crown as she went head to head with Foot Locker finalist Scott and placed 2nd at the Fork Union Invitational with a 3 mile time of 17:08.

Katie Hedley, of Hermitage, would take the 4th spot with a time of 19:00 at the Race Against Domestic Violence 5K in Henrico County. Hedley, a 2005 graduate of the Hemitage Panthers, had a distinguished high school career as she recorded 55 elite performances and achieving All-District and All-Region recognition.

The last spot in our top 5 is a relatively unknown, Jane Gay of North Cross, since she runs in the Private School classification. However, this rising sophomore was All-State as a freshman at the VIS Cross Country Championships. If she can challenge the likes of Katie Doswell, Grace Loba and others for the overall crown is something that will be interesting to watch.

Congratulations to all who made the list and to all Virginia High School athletes who achieved elite performances over the summer.