BLACKSBURG, VA -- Under new meet management this year, the Virginia Tech Invitational looks to be yet another showcase of state\'s top athletes and relays as they get the opportunity to compete on not only the fastest indoor track in the state, but as well as one of the best in the nation. Southern Track Classic meet director Dan Ward takes over the reigns this year as former meet director Howard Nippert moved on to a position at Fork Union from Virginia Tech. The goal was to limit the meet to 90 teams and 1800 athletes, but with a meet of this caliber it is hard to say no to the many desperate teams, coaches, and athletes wishing to gain entry. Outside all of the hoopla and controversy that has surrounded the hosting of this year\'s meet, one can be guaranteed to see the best performances thus far this season the next two days at Rector Fieldhouse\'s 200 meter banked indoor track facility in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Field events and runnings both kick off on Friday evening at 5:00 PM. The trials of the girls\' 55 meter hurdles start off the running events with the top eight times from all four sprint and hurdle preliminaries advancing to the finals of each event. Meanwhile, starting at five o\'clock as well will be the girls\' shot put, boys\' triple jump, girls\' pole vault, and girls\' triple jump. In the later portions of the night at 7:15 PM and 7:30 PM respectively, the boys\' high jump and boys\' shot put are scheduled to start.
In the girls\' triple jump, Buffalo Gap senior Angela Jenkins has the top mark coming with a state leading and US #2 mark of 38\'9.25\". Jenkins will have to come close to duplicating that performance or bettering at Tech if she hopes to come away with first place with the stiff competition the Group A jumper star will face. Two athletes who should challenge Jenkins are Hermitage senior Queen Harison and Hayfield senior Nakeisha Wineglass. Wineglass currently is ranked 13th in the United States with a season best of 37\'8.75\", but has a personal best from a year ago of 39\'8\", which she set in a Group state championship in the event last March. Meanwhile, Harrison at this very meet last year nearly eclipsed the 40 feet mark as she won the triple jump at the 2005 Virginia Tech Invitational with a mark of 39\'11.75\". However, Harrison has struggled to compete at the same level as she did as a junior as her season best sits currently at 36\'4.75\".
Three throwers in the girls\' shot put come into Friday night\'s contest with season best throws over 40 feet. Lee-Davis senior Kathy Howard leads them all and the entire state currently with a season best mark of 42\'0.25\". However, the defending Group AAA state champion Howard will have to bring a high level of intensity to the meet if she wishes to continue to have bragging rights over the rest of the state\'s throwers as Christiansburg\'s Hope Creasy has been undefeated thus far this season as heavy favorite to win this year\'s Group AA state title in the shot put. At last weekend\'s Keydet Invitational, the returning Group AA indoor state runner-up Creasy threw for a personal best of 41\'0\". Also in the mix will be Manchester senior Jennifer Marinacci, a past state champion in the discus throw as has a season best mark of 40\'1.25\".
So far this season has been a down year for the state on the boys\' side in the technical field events as Virginia is not many state athletes find them on the national rankings list in the horizontal jumping events. Virginia Tech could be a coming out party for many of these jumpers. Manchester\'s Antonio Miller, ranked number three in the state with a mark of 45\'6.25\", is the state\'s top seed in the triple jump in the number two slot behind Jason Gross from McDonogh High School from Maryland. Gross hit a mark of 47\'7.25\" in December at the New York Armory and is currently ranked #6 in the nation. Four other Virginians are entered that have record marks over 44 feet this season including Henrico\'s Thomas Hughes (45\'3\"), Brooke Point\'s Mike Garel (44\'7.25\"), Denbigh\'s Terrence Riggins (44\'2.50\"), and Huguenot\'s Matu Bundy (44\'1\").
As of the latest performance list, Western Albemarle senior and current state record holder Ashley Early was not listed as entered, but in recent conversation with her this week she was set to compete in Friday\'s event at her future home at Virginia Tech. Chances are if there is a mistake in her entry that meet management will have no problem in having an exception to allow one of the state\'s top female track and field athletes in Early compete in the met. With or without Early, there will be a deep field for the event regardless. Six athletes are entered at 10 feet or higher with the Northern Region\'s top two in Centreville senior Dana Comber and Chantilly senior Nicole Kazuba both owning season best marks of 11 feet. Throw in Callie Hlavin of Charlottesville (10\'3\") and Carolyn Lewis of Heritage (10\'0\"), there are four legitimate vaulters entered. If Early competes, she will definitely be hoping to break her meet record mark of 12 feet, which she does not currently own exclusively.
North Carolina\'s top high jumper, Tim Lovick will enter the Rector Fieldhouse on Friday Night as the overwhelming favorite with his personal best of 6\'10\". With the state\'s top high jumper and US #3 ranked Anthony Bryant of Albemarle absent from the meet, Lovick should go unchallenged from any Virginia competitors as the state only has a few 6\'4\" jumpers to show for themselves in Chris Bartholomew of South County and Corey Vinson of Phoebus among others this season.
Virginia Tech\'s Steve Huntzinger can safely be assured that his meet record of 63\'7\" he set as a senior at James Robinson High School will not be broken in Friday Night\'s shot put competition. However, the event should be a good one as it will pit against one another two familiar Peninsula District rivals in Denbigh junior Jaymes Brooks (55\'9.25\") and Woodside senior Ryan Gordon (55\'3\"). The two athletes are ranked number two and three respectively in the state will look to be the two strongest contenders in the event as Mike Zajac of E.C. Glass (55\'11\") looks to be absent from the meet. However, the Northern Region\'s top thrower in Devan Clark (53\'9\") and one of the private school\'s best in Devan Clark (53\'1.25\"). Greenbrier Christian looks to be one of only a few private schools that met the sanctioning standards to be allowed to compete in the meet as private schools like Fork Union, St. Christopher\'s, and St. catherine\'s were forced to sit out this year\'s Tech meet.
Expect the 4x800 meter relays to be hotly contested races on Friday night as teams will be loading up their squads with their top distance aces. The girls\' race especially will be one to pay close attention to as Maryland\'s Eleanor Roosevelt brings their girls in as the favorites as they will be challenged by state leader Midlothian and a contigent of always tough Northern Region relays.
The Midlothian girls currently have the faster time this as they clocked a season best of 9:39.66 in a pretty much solo effort at the Eastern Challenge in Chapel Hill, North Carolina last weekend. Their time currently ranks them #17 in the nation, while Eleanor Roosevelt posted a time of 9:45.84 earlier in the month at the New York Armory, but both teams have yet to truly race at top form. Eleanor Roosevelt girls certainly showed they are a national caliber team as they were invited to the Nike Team Nationals this past fall where they finished a strong 11th place.
While Northern Region teams like Oakton and Lake Braddock took some heavy losses due to graduation, both teams should figure to show themselves to be lot stronger squads than they have shown thus far this season. Oakton graduated three seniors from last year\'s team that posted a time of 9:06 at Nike Outdoor Nationals. Meanwhile, Westfield only had one senior graduate from last year\'s 9:17 outdoor relay squad.
The Blacksburg girls find themselves far ahead as Group AA\'s top 4x800 meter relay as they are led by top leg Ariel Burbey, but Friday night should be an excellent opportunity for the Lady Bruins to find out how they match up against Group AAA\'s best as they posted the state\'s second fastest time of 9:42.6 on Tech\'s track last Monday.
Currently the state scene in the 4x800 meter relay is one of the weakest states it has ever been in year\'s past at this point of the season with Hermitage being the not only under 8:10, but 8:20 with their state leading time of 8:08.96. With Alex Bowman (1:56.91 800, 2:33.27 1000) as their probable anchor leg, the Panthers will be tough to beat, but then again many teams may have possibly been waiting until the Tech meet to load down their 4x800 meter relay squads.
Ironically, the Hermitage boys find themselves seeded seventh in the event thanks to bogus seed times from times that the majority of these schools have yet to post this season. That is not to say though that these teams cannot run these times given they load up their squads on the fast banked 200 meter track.
The Northern Region certainly has several legit squads including last year\'s Group AAA outdoor state champions Herndon (7:49.89 \'05 outdoor) and last spring\'s state leader James Robinson (7:49.26 \'05 outdoor). Herndon possesses two of the state\'s top middle distance runners in Abreham Daganchew (1:55.68 800, 2:31.23 1000) and Ermin Mujezinovic (4:20.34 1600) on that squad, while James Robinson certainly has a stud in senior Mark Hussa (1:54.23 800, 2:34.79 1000, 4:17.66 1600).
Eleanor Roosevelt of Maryland has the potential to take both 4x800 meter relays though as the boys come into the meet under the radar despite having the fastest indoor time this season out of all the entered relay teams with a 8:06.96 clocking to their credit from the New York Armory\'s Hispanic Games earlier this month.
Jennifer Boyd\'s meet record of 10:52.22 set in 2003 by the Hickory star is in serious jeopardy of being taken down in the girls\' 3200 meter run on Friday as Foot Locker All-American Catherine White of Northside is just coming off posting a 10:48.63 solo effort on a significantly slower track at VMI\'s Cormack Fieldhouse. The rest of the field may as well settle for a race for second as White looks to be out of anyone\'s league.
Including White, seven of the state\'s top 12 ranked 3200 meter runners are entered in the event including Stefanie Slekis of Forest Park (11:15.25), Erin Klein of Lake Braddock (11:22.01), Amber Lussier of North Stafford (11:26.37), Annie Hovland of James Robinson (11:30.83), Tara Connor of Kellam (11:31.84), Sallie Ford of E.C. Glass (11:31.91), and Erin Stehle of Midlothian (11:34.09). Slekis ran her season best time in a runner-up performance to White at the Montgomery Invitational two weekends ago.
The field goes much deeper than that though as the likes of Colonial Forge\'s Kaylan Comer (11:05.74 PR), Brooke Point\'s Brittany Copeland, and Westfield\'s Alex Deegan (11:06.16 PR) will get their first true crack at the race distance this season.
There will be added out of state competition in the race as well as freshmen Kimberly Spano from North Mecklenburg High School of North Carolina ran just under 18 minutes at Foot Locker South (a feat only Foot Locker Finals qualifier White accomplished this fall among the 3200 field) and one of Eleanor Roosevelt\'s top runners in Domique Lockhart (11:19.87 PR). However, Lockhart may be running on tired legs if she runs on the Roosevelt 4x800 meter relay earlier in the evening.
Another athlete that will be trying to pull off the impossible with the very limited recovery in between the 4x800 meter relay and 3200 meter run will be state leader Mike Spooner of West Springfield as he is scheduled to run for the Spartans in relay only to turn back around to compete against many of the state\'s best in the 3200 meter run. Spooner is coming off an amazing 3200 meter race at VMI where he posted his state best on a typically slow three-lane 200 meter track found at VMI\'s Cormack Fieldhouse with a 9:27.91 clocking.
There will not be any sympathy for Spooner from his rivals entered in the 3200 meter run as all will be looking to post fast times entered. Northern Regional rival and Foot Locker Nationals qualifier Brad Siragusa will race his first 3200 meter race of the season. Siragusa has a personal best of 9:17.21 from last outdoor season and will be looking to even the score with Spooner this season as the West Springfield junior suprisingly held off Siragusa\'s lethal kick in a mile victory at the Montgomery Invitational two weeks ago.
It will definitely not be a two man showdown between Spooner and Siragusa on Friday night when you enter Steve Duplinsky from Georgetown Prep of Maryland into the equation. Duplinsky was one of the most dominant high school cross country runners on the East Coast this past fall as shown by his impressive course record breaking performance (14:30) at the William & Mary\'s Invitational\'s Eastern State Hospital 3.05 mile course. On that October day, Duplinsky hit the two mile mark in 9:18 en route to breaking Matt Keally\'s course record by 14 seconds, which ironically was about a personal best for the Maryland distance harrier. Duplinsky will be looking to have his best time to be much faster than an en route cross country split on Friday night.
Two other Marylanders also figure to be in the mix as well with Duplinsky teammate Drew Abernethy (9:34.58 PR) and Eleanor Roosevelt\'s Mikias Gelagle (9:15.31 PR). Gelagle has raced against Virginia competition before as he earned his top time in a runner-up finish at last May\'s southern Track Classic. Meanwhile, Abernathy ran his best time at last April\'s Dogwood Track Classic and recently clocked a 9:46.64 against Virginia competition indoors at the Montgomery Invitational.
At the Montgomery Invitational, Abernathy finished behind several Virginians who he will be racing against once again at Tech including race winner Zac Edwards of Northside (9:38.74 PR) and Midlothian sophomore Jason Witt (9:39.17 PR). Edwards and Witt will only make for a deeper race along with the likes of Christiansburg\'s John Horst and Mountain View star freshmen Thomas Porter. Horst had an impressive 9:47 win on Fork Union\'s 160 meter indoor track two weeks ago at the FUMA Invitational.
Going based off of seed times, the Virginia Tech Invitational could be mistaken for a world class meet, but results do not lie about what has been put out so far this season at least by Virginians. Probably the most talented and established Virginian in the boys\' 55 meter dash would be Bayside senior Charles Clark. Clark had to take backseat to the Willian Harvin show last outdoor season at Group AAA states with runner-up finishes in both the 100 and 200 meter dash, but with Harvin focusing on basketball once again this indoor season, Clark controls his own destiny to be the state\'s top sprinter and it all starts with this meet at Virginia Tech. Clark owns a personal best of 6.38 in the 55 meter dash from last year\'s indoor state meet and will find himself against fierce in and out of state competition on Friday and Saturday in the prelims and finals of the dash event.
Aaron Anderson from Bishop McNamara High School from Maryland is legit with a 6.41 clocking under his belt this season in a first place finish at the DCIAA Invitational at the Prince George County\'s Sports and Learning Complex. Bryce Sherman, a sophomore from Parkland High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, also has a F.A.T. time of 6.44 to his credit this season.
Clark will not be the only Virginian in contention though as Indian River senior Toriano Moody (6.45 PR) and Manchester junior Anthony Chesson (6.46 PR) have been gaining attention this season with some impressive times posted this season.
In the boys\' 55 meter hurdles, co-state leader Corey Vinson of Phoebus (7.55) and defending Group AAA outdoor state 110 meter hurdles champion Chris Bell of Granby join a group of fellow Virginians hoping to throw a unwelcoming welcome party to a mass of out of staters looking to run the table in the hurdle events. While Vinson currently holds the state best, there is no question that Bell is one of the top returning hurdler in the state as Tech will be his debut for the season. Bell finished fourth in last year\'s finals at Tech and will be looking to improve upon that finish as he owns a personal best of 7.46. Vinson was a state runner-up at last year\'s state meet in the event and the two Eastern Region athletes should have fierce battles at both the regional and state level regardless of what happens this weekend.
Bell, Vinson, and the rest of the Virginian hurdle crew will have their work cut off for them in Saturday\'s finals though with Brett Brown from C.H. Flowers of Maryland coming in with the top time this season as he posted a 7.42 clocking in a win at the Hispanic Games earlier this month.
High jump extraordinaire Lovick from Garner, North Carolina also is not that bad of a hurdler as well as he posted a 7.50 clocking last weekend along with fellow Tar Heel Charlton Rolle of Reynolds (NC) as both are entered in the hurdles. Add another legit sub 7.60 hurdler in the mix with Keith Brown of McDonogh (MD) at 7.55.
While the Virginia boys will have their hands full in the 55 meter dash and hurdles with North Carolina and Maryland boys, Virginia can at least proudly say they will have the favorite in the 55 meter dash in Bethel senior Francena McCorory as the All-American sprinter has the leading time in the event at 7.01. McCorory will be looking to go under seven seconds for only the second time in high school career in Saturday\'s preliminaries. With McCorory\'s closest state competition in Shamika Kentish (7.04) absent from the event, McCorory should make easy work of the other in-state and out-of-state competition found at Tech. The meet record of 7.08 is in all likelihood going to be shattered by McCorory this weekend.
The Peninsula District could make it two wins out of the 55 meter events as the top reigning hurdler in the state currently is Menchville junior Kali Watkins with a state leading time of 8.22 entering this weekend. There are certainly several more hurdlers in the state that would like to knock Watkins off the top spot including Huguenot\'s Wynetta Kirby (8.36), Deep Creek\'s Chantil Harvey (8.47), and Hermitage\'s Queen Harrison (8.59).
However, the biggest threat to Watkins this weekend should be senior Theresa Lewis from Western High School of Maryland as Lewis won the Montgomery Invitational two weeks ago in a 8.18 clocking to relegate Watkins to a second place finish. Lewis will look to keep her advantage over Watkins in Saturday\'s finals if both advance on.
Friday\'s events will most likely conclude some time around 11:00 PM with the fast heat of the boys\' 3200 meter run and the met will start up again with the doors opening at 7:30 on Saturday morning. After a coaches meeting at 8:30 AM, the remaining four field events and the first running event will kick off around 9:00 AM.
Another Chris Bell and Corey Vinston may be found Saturday morning in the boys\' long jump as they are listed as the top two seeds in the event. Vinston is the state leader in the event with a 22\'9\" season best, but Bell owns a better personal best mark of 23\'7.50\" and finished third at last year\'s indoor state meet behind the likes of Dennis Boone and William Harvin. However, Vinson has jumped further than his current season best before as he hit a mark of 23\'4\" last outdoor season.
Centreville sophomore Brittni Finch will be the overwhelming favorite in the girls\' long jump as her personal and season best of 19\'7.50\" puts her well ahead of Heritage\'s Carolyn Lewis (18\'1.50\"), who is the only athlete other than Finch to leap to a mark over 18 feet thus far this season. Finch will have plenty of motivation though to set a new meet mark with the old record currently standing at 19\'2.25\".
The girls\' high jump could turn into a crowd pleaser with several of the state\'s best vertical leapers attempting to outdo one another. Current co-state leader Wynetta Kirby (5\'7\") is coming off a personal best clearance at VMI last weekend, but should be wary of the Deep Creek duo of Jonee Artis and Ashley Gatling, who have yet to come close to their 5\'8\" clearances at last June\'s outdoor state meet where they swept the top two places.
The Southeastern District needs to hold their district indoor meet a week later. Traditionally hosted early in the week immediately following the Virginia Tech Invitational date, many district teams bypass the Tech meet to rest up for their district championships. Unfortunately for the state of Virginia that means the boys\' pole vault at Virginia Tech will be missing it\'s crown treasure in 16\'10.25\" pole vaulter Michael Morrison of Great Bridge. Without Morrison available to take down the meet record of 16\'0\", the next best hope is to see one of the next tier of Virginian vaulters to clear 14 feet with several athletes entered not far off the height. Chantilly senior Dominic Lauchengco might stand the best chance at achieving the feat as he cleared 13\'6\" in December.
In the first running event of the day, the big question lies is which sprint relay will Coach Eddie Williams put his workhorse McCorory to face the tough Eleanor Roosevelt team as McCorory will only be able to compete in one as she is entered in two individual events as well as the top seeds in both the 55 and 300 meter dashes.
Bethel currently owns the state\'s fastest time in the event by a slim margin over Salem of Virginia Beach (1:42.96) at 1:42.57, so the Lady Bruins are not out of the woods in being chased down by in-state competition as star sprinter Shamika Kentish will race fresh as she is not racing in Friday\'s 55 meter dash prelims like McCorory. Menchville is also another tough Virginian relay team with their 1:44.29 season best time.
However, Eleanor Roosevelt will undoubtedly be the team that the Bethel girls will have their focus on as the Maryland squad currently owns the US #1 time in the relay event after posting a 1:40.48 clocking on the fastest indoor track in the nation at the New York Armory.
Saturday will be the first time Virginian squads like Bethel and Salem will be racing on a fast banked track this season to make things very interesting and give the meet a quick jolt to start Saturday. No need for coffee to get you awake. Just watch the fast heat of the girls\' 4x200 meter relay on Saturday morning to get you up and moving for a day full of track and field at the Rector Fieldhouse.
While Charles Clark will be shooting for some individual glory of his own at Tech this weekend, he will hope to do his part along with his three other teammates in picking up a first place in the 4x200 meter relay. There appears to be no clear favorite among the field though as DeMatha Catholic of Maryland has the top time among all entries this season with a 1:31.94 win at the F.I.T. Invitational in December. Fellow Maryland relay team Largo is not that far behind at 1:32.00 for the season and Salem of Virginia Beach has one of the top F.A.T. times out of the state this season at 1:32.80.
Invitations to the high school girls\' 1000 meter run at the New Balance Collegiate Games in February at the New York Armory could be on the line for whichever girl takes the win in what should be a hot 1000 meter run. The field includes several runners who can go under 3 minutes this weekend including Midlothian junior M.C. Miller and Douglas Freeman senior Christi Harsha. Between sickness at the Montgomery Invitational and twisted ankle at the Eastern Challenge, the past two weeks have not been kind to Miller\'s health despite running two solid races of a 2:16 open 800 and 3:02 1000 meter run respectively. Harsha, meanwhile looks to be working herself back into her 800 meter state championship form from last spring as she ran a 1:19 500 on the Arthur Ashe 145.45 meter spikeless track surface last weekend. Tech will be a chance for last year\'s top two Group AAA 800 meter runners to run some swift times.
Central Region stars Miller and Harsha will not be the only athletes going for the win and sub three clocking. Eleanor Roosevelt sophomore Tasha Stanley may not have a recorded 1000 meter time under her belt this season, but if she can take her US #2 1:13.9 500 meter dash speed and hold it together for another 500 meters, she could post a good one.
The next fastest times posted by Virginians this season coming in after Midlothian\'s Miller among the Tech entries are freshmen teammate Paige Johnston (3:03.11), Cox senior Jennifer White (3:03.24), Westfield sophomore Tasia Potasinski (3:05.14), Kecoughtan senior Marlene Belizaire (3:05.94), and Harsha (3:06.84).
Not many of Virginia\'s top middle distance runners seem to be taking advantage of a rare opportunity to race the 1000 meter run versus doubling from the 4x800 meter relay or 1600 meter run. Jeff Miller of South County certainly is seizing the moment as he is the fastest Virginian coming in with a season best of 2:35.90. Miller, who switched over from Hayfield to the new Fairfax County school South County, owns a personal best of 2:32.72 from an All-State performance at last year\'s indoor state meet.
Dan Leyh of Colonial Forge should stand as Miller\'s biggest challenger and co-favorite in the event as well as the senior recently ran a personal best 1600 meter time of 4:20.49 at the Montgomery Invitational.
The Francena McCorory show once again re-airs in the 300 meter dash as McCorory, who owns the US#2 all-time 300 meter time to her credit will once again be the heavy favorite in an event with her season best time of 38.79. Ranked number one in the nation in the event currently, it would be a huge upset for anyone to take down the Hampton University bound sprinter star.
Though that is not to say there will not be solid athletes behind her as Michaylin Gollady from Largo of Maryland currently has the US #4 time in the even at 39.44.
New Bern (NC) senior Karjuan Williams will be a heavy favorite in the boys\' 300 meter dash as he has to his credit this season a US #2 400 time of 47.99. The two only threats in the field if there are really any would be Bayside\'s Charles Clark with a 34.70 personal best and DeMatha Catholic\'s Jaumale Sykes at 34.66.
The fast Virginia Tech track was able to attract another national caliber athlete in Eleanor Roosevelt junior Tameka Jameson as the girls\' 500 meter dash will feature the nation\'s fastest 500 meter runner thus far this season at 1:13.6. Virginia\'s top two seeds in Salem\'s Shoneterria Fulton (1:18.84) and William Fleming\'s Brittany Cabbler (1:19.79) will get to try their luck in the fast heat with Jameson.
Karjuan Williams of New Bern will look to make it two wins on the day as he is entered in the 500 meter dash as well. Several of the state\'s top 500 meter runners are entered in the event including Christopher Richardson of Hayfield (1:05.29), Brian Lee of Huguenot (1:06.14), Carlton Phipps of E.C. Glass (1:06.26), Russell Williams of Bethel (1:06.32), and Tim Glenn of Patrick Henry (1:07.38).
The girls\' 1600 meter run should be a very interesting race to see who the eventaul winner will be. Catherine White has went virtually undefeated against Virginia competition in her junior year with the exception of Aurora Scott at Foot Locker South and Nationals. White won a strong girls\' mile race at the Montgomery Invitational two weekends ago over Kristy Tobin of Great Bridge in a 5:07.19 1600 converted time. Meanwhile, fellow Group AA runner Ariel Burbey posted the state\'s second fastest time in the event in December at Liberty with a 5:06.53 clocking. Throw in a dozen or so of the state\'s top 25 ranked milers and one will find a solid final distance race on the girls\' side in Blacksburg on Saturday with several heats loaded with girls capable of running 5:20 or faster.
The top boys\' distance race in the meet may be found in the 1600 meter run. Foot Locker finalist Brad Siragusa leads a list of strong entries. Siragusa recently dipped under 4:20 at the Montgomery Invitational with a runner-up finish converted time of 4:19.88 in the mile. On the same weekend, Alex Bowman of Hermitage ran a solo 4:21.53 at Liberty University. It could turn out to be an exciting kickers race between two known speedsters in Siraugsa and Bowman as well as other Northern Region middle distance stars Daganchew and Mujezinovic of Herndon and James Robinson\'s Hussa. While Bowman, Daganchew, Mujezinovic, and Hussa will be coming off racing the 4x800 meter relay the night before, Siragusa may have a tougher time getting his legs back after a hard 3200 meter race the night before. Patterson Wilhelm of E.C. Glass has the fastest 1600 meter PR out of anyone in the field at 4:14.89, but that time was posted in the outdoor season of his sophomore season. Daganchew is not far behind him at a 4:15.36 clipping last spring.
The final boys\' running event today looks to be a battle that will exclude the Virginia schools in the 4x400 meter relay as DeMatha Catholic of Maryland (3:20.79) and Archbishop Carroll of D.C. (3:23.63) seem to be too strong for the Virginia relay teams to handle. However, teams like James Robinson (3:25.54), Potomac Senior (3:26.18), and Huguenot (3:27.83) could have fair showings and even suprise some in the event.
The girls\' 4x400 meter relay will feature US #4 Eleanor Roosevelt (3:54.02), US #8 Bethel (3:56.87), US #9 Menchville (3:58.19), US #10 Largo (3:58.19), US #11 Salem (3:59.01), US #13 Kecoughtan (3:59.90), and US #14 Mervo Tech in a fitting conclusion to a meet that should elevate many individuals and relays further up on the national leaderboard given the competition and quality of the track. If McCorory runs on the 4x200 meter relay, the Bethel girls will have a tough time staying in the hunt without her and Eleanor Roosevelt could then run away with it. However, do no count out the remaining Eastern Region relay teams in Menchville, Salem, and Kecoughtan to make some noise to finish out the meet strong either.
As one can tell by the length and detail of this preview article, there will be plenty of great track and field action to view this weekend at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Expect a massive amount of site coverage from the meet all the way till next weekend\'s meet with quite possibly the largest photo and video gallery ever from a meet on this site.