Performances making Ashe Center not seem so \"Ashy\" anymore

Two long and active days of competition at the Arthur Ashe Center in Richmond as many great performances were witnessed at the East Coast Invitational. The Ashe Center is known for not being one of the fastest indoor tracks in the state, but some of the performances of individuals and relays at the meet were making the facility not seem so \"Ashy\" anymore.

The state\'s current leading long jumper, Ronnie Bussell of Huguenot, did it again as he leaped to a mark of 22-8.75.

The Midlothian boys 4x800 meter relay team nearly ran a state best time in the Ashe Center, which is not exactly the facility known for having state best performances in the distance events, with an impressive 8:15.18 clocking in the event.

Atlee\'s Anthony Easter took the 500 meter run uncontested as he clocked a swift 1:09.93 for the win. Atlee notched another win in the springs as Jackie Deshazio won the 300 meter dash in 38.08.

Midlothian also garnered two individual wins, but in the distance events as Andrew Baker ran down an early leading Cary Chaffee of Hermitage for the win in the 1600 meter run (4:38.07) and Taylor Matthews set a hard early pace in the 1000 meter run for a win in that event (2:39.61).

However, Daniel Kane of Louisa had the top male distance performance of the day with his incredible time of 9:41.17 in the 3200 meter run as he did it solo with no competition.

The 55 meter hurdles was an exciting finish for the boys as Terry Thornton of Petersburg (7.64) narrowly defeated Denero Doles of Heritage (7.67).

Fauquier\'s Sarah Bowman made the Arthur Ashe Center seem like a 200 meter banked track with the way she was trucking along in her wins in the 1600 (5:11.48) and 1000 meter runs (3:05.81).

Ginna Ellis of Norfolk Academy, a solid second behind Bowman in the 1600 (5:19.48) had a nice double as she won the 3200 meter run in a solid time of 11:36.26.

The girls\' pole vault saw an exciting showdown between two of the state\'s better vaulters in Hickory\'s Jessica Clendenning and Prince George\'s Rhian Jenks as Clendenning was the better of the two for the day as cleared 11-0 with Jenks taking second at 10-6.

The girls\' long jump became a competitive duel between Octavia Best of Prince Edward County (18-2.75) and LaTonya Anderson of Caroline (18-2.00) with Best taking the win.

Malaika Pettes of Armstrong was a double winner for the meet as she won in both the 55 meter hurdles (8.88) and high jump (5-2).

Another double winner was Tallwood sprinting star Faraign Giles as she took home victories in the 300 meter dash (43.82) as well as the 500 meter dash (1:22.86).

Thanks to a strong anchor leg by Beth Fahey, Forest Park pulled out the victory in the 4x800 with a time of 10:10.12.

Bethel had the 55 meter dash winners for the boys and girls as Derrick Bates (6.61) and Francena McCrorory (7.26) were victorious.