Liberty Elite Meet Summary


Girls Highlights:

  • Hidden Valley senior Carolyn Bethel opened her indoor season in epic style with two monster PR's in a distance double of a 4:53.56 1600 and 2:52.46 1000. Her 1600 time is a US leader, while the 1000 time puts her US #2 currently, but ranks her #9 all-time in Virginia high school indoor history. The 1600 meter time for Bethel also inserts her well up on the state all-time indoor list at #13. She did it without much competition as her margin of victory was 10 seconds in the 1000 meter run with Micah Brickhill of Liberty Christian in second place at 3:02.71 and Briana Stewart of Oakton in the 1600 meter runner-up spot with a time of 5:17.68.
  • Louisa County's Javanique Burruss had just as dominating of a meet as Bethel. Burruss, who may have more state titles than fingers before she graduates this spring, achieved a new personal best in the 55 meter hurdles with a US #1 8.15 clocking, while also winning the long jump (17'11") and triple jump (US #6 37'8.75") relatively comfortably. Burruss is a state leader in two events currently in the 55 meter hurdles and long jump, while she has the second best mark in the triple jump.
  • The girls 3200 meter run was a deep race with five Group AA girls running under 11:40 led by Blacksburg sophomore Bonnie Angermeier winning for the second week in a row at Liberty University with a personal best run of 11:16.29. It appears that Jefferson Forest sophomore Erin Saunders has decided to run track this year and it was an impressive debut in second place to Angermeier with a 11:27 3200. 
  • Patrick Henry (Roanoke) senior Caroline Brailsford enjoyed her first clearance of 11 feet to win the pole vault competition at the Liberty Elite Meet. The Northwest Region champion in the high jump and runner-up in the pole vault last indoor season, Brailsford had never cleared over 10 feet until a 10'6" clearance at the Wally Gilbert Invite last weekend, so she has improved by a foot and a half in only half of a year.
  • Blacksburg sprinters Alyn Carr and Kendall Wiles kept the North Carolina sprinters from dominating all events 500 meters or down in Lynchburg this weekend. Carr is on the comeback road after injury shut her down much of last year as she clocked a season best and US #6 7.18 performance to win the 55 meter dash finals. Meanwhile, Wiles got under 1:20 for the second time this season, but unlike her 1:18.68 runner-up performance last week at Liberty, a 1:19.80 performance this week was good enough for first place for last year's Group AA state 500 meter runner-up.


Photo by Gabe Lamartina

Boys Highlights:

  • Distance events and field events were ruled by the Virginians, while the sprints and hurdles were dominated by the North Carolina athletes.
  • Group AA state cross country champion Nick Link of Blacksburg made his indoor season debut with a swift VA #2 9:29.26 performance in the 3200 meter run as the Blacksburg boys, fresh off their 10th place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals, had 6 of the top 8 finishers in the race including three others under 10 minutes in Matthew Paiser (4th, 9:44), Luke Phillips (5th, 9:52), and Matthew Borny (6th, 9:56).
  • Brookville's David Cedillo broke up the Blacksburg pack in the 3200 with a runner-up effort of 9:41.93 after earlier winning the 1600 meter run in 4:27.34 over two-time Group A state cross country champion Walker Mogen (2nd, 4:29.29) of Radford.
  • A quality duel in the boys' long jump between Donmanique Hardy of Brunswick and David Prince of Patrick Henry with both athletes pressing each other to marks approaching 23 feet with returning Group AA state long jump champ Hardy as the event winner at 22'9.25", while Prince was just behind him with his mark of 22'7".
  • Shot put state leader Nikolas Huffman of Virginia threw over 55 feet for the second straight week and just 2 inches shy of his season best with field besting mark of 55'7.50" in the shot put at the Liberty Elite Meet. The defending Group A state shot and discus champ Huffman will try to best his outdoor best of 58'8.50" at some point this winter.
  • Coy Seneff of Franklin County had to move up three inches after Fauquier's Grant Holmes cleared 14'6" on Friday night at Woodberry Forest to continue to share the state leaderboard in the boys' pole vault this season, which he was able to accomplish with a successful personal best clearance of 14'6" at Liberty. 


Liberty Elite Meet Coverage: