Piersol upsets Smith

RICHMOND, VA -- Taking advantage of Midlothian senior Austin Smith's knee injury, Thomas Jefferson junior John Piersol upset the defending Central Region champion. Piersol, Smith, Thomas Dale sophomore Alex Tatu, and Midlothian junior Anthony D'Amato battled it out for two miles. Going through the mile at 5:02 and the 2 mile at 10:22, Piersol and Smith broke away from Tatu and D'Amato with roughly around a half mile to go. Piersol and Smith then ran stride for stride together, until the final straightaway, where Piersol was able separate from Smith and sprint to victory in a time of 16:01 on the challenging 5100 meters course at Bandy Field. Smith trailed in at 16:08 for second.

Smith did however though lead his nationally ranked squad to a regional title as they won comfortably placing their entire top 5 in the top 14. Making up the Midlothian fab five was Smith, Anthony D'Amato (4th, 16:16), Michael D'Amato (7th, 16:48), Jason Call (11th, 16:58), and Andrew Baker (14th, 17:02). It will interesting to see next weekend though if Smith's knee will get better and if it doesn't, will Midlothian still be able to win a state title.

Other teams advancing to the state meet are Douglas Freeman (71 pts), Thomas Jefferson (114 pts), and Mills Godwin (115 pts). Just missing out on reaching states was Hermitage who had a team score of 119 points.

Unlike the Midlothian boys, the Thomas Jefferson girls had to sweat out a regional title. They took the first 2 places with the senior duo of Jeannie Addison and Ashley Seaton who finished with times of 19:00 and 19:29. Addison lead for the entire race, and alone for the majority of it as well as she hit the mile mark in 5:49 and the two mile mark in 12:01. Thomas Jefferson looked to have things locked up when they placed 4 runners in the top 16, but their #5 didn't even crack the top 40, making the the team race into a squeaker. Led by junior Julia Siegel's third place finish (19:47), the Douglas Freeman girls almost were able to forge a comeback as they put 5 runners in the top 30, but just came up short. Thomas Jefferson finished with 67 points, while Freeman finished 2 points behind them with 69. Girls teams also advancing to the AAA State Meet on November 11 are LC Bird who took 3rd with 83 points and Manchester who took the final advancing spot of 4th with 89 points.