In a state where some of the fastest times in the entire nation are run it is sometimes hard to keep up with all the great performances and athletes that they belong to. While the 5A and 6A meets will be running simultaneously at Boo Williams in Hampton, the 3A and 4A meets will be run on Liberty’s track in Lynchburg. Though this meet does not feature some of the largest schools in the state, it does feature individuals and teams that not only lead the state but also rank highly in the entire nation.
These two meets slated for Friday and Saturday will not disappoint in their performances and excitement as both meets’ team title races should come down to the final events. This recap highlights some of the major storylines to follow during the meet as well as provides some insight into the strategy and planning that no doubt will go on leading up to and during this meet.
VHSL Group 4A Girls:
Wow. That is the only word that can describe this classification’s team title race. We at MileStat utilized both the virtual meet function and actually scored the performance list out and have projected that E. C. Glass will win the state title by a single point over Phoebus who will place second by a single point over Nansemond River. All three of these schools however have realistic shots at winning this title and each of these teams will pick their respective points in different fashions.
The school that will pick them up most interestingly is Phoebus who is projected to garner 73.5 points, 45.5 points of which are slated to be scored by Carolyn Brown. Brown comes to this meet leading the state in both the 55 and 300. In the 55 not only does she lead the state but also stands as US #3 this season with her 6.99 mark. Brown also enters the state competition with the top seed in the high jump and 55 meter hurdle competitions. The only event she will compete in that she is not the favorite is the long jump where she is seeded third alongside Kara Lyles of Nansemond River at 17-09.5. Brown will be looking to get back to her winning ways here as well as late in the outdoor season where she finished below expectations last season. Regardless of classification, Brown and her competition in this meet is some of the best in the entire state.
The event that Brown will have the least leeway is the 55 dash. Even though she leads the entire state and is third in the nation, she is only .02 seconds fastest then her closest competitor Asonya Anderson of Heritage at 7.01. Though this race could produce maybe one of the fastest times in the entire nation, the events to watch with team implications are the jumps.
Also expecting to score very well as evidenced earlier is Nansemond River. Nansemond will be led by the aforementioned Kara Lyles who is slated to bring home 20.5 points. Lyles will be trying to get these points in both the high and long jump as well as in the 55 and 500. Lyle will also likely be running on a relay, specifically the 4x400 that will decide the meet. As a team Nansemond will also be looking for points in many mid-level scorers throughout the meet as well as in the relay races.
E.C. Glass on the other hand will be grabbing their points throughout the entire meet and do their real damage in the relays where they are projected to win big with top seeds in the 4x8 and 4x4 while having the third ranked 4x2. Individually leading E.C. Glass will be Libby Davidson. Davidson is a freshman and seeded second in the 3200 and third in the 1600. Despite being only a freshman, Davidson is seeded a mere .08 behind Jefferson Forest’s Erin Saunders in the 3200 who is seeded first at 11:00.55. If Davidson can place well in the 1600 and find a way to upset Saunders then E.C. Glass could seal up their team title.
Outside of these races with team implications are some fast races that are a must watch. In the 500 all eyes should be on the clock as VA #7 Syaira Richardson takes the track and comes in with a 1:16.41 seed time. Why this is so impressive is that she is only a freshman. Her time this year ranks her in the top few times all time for a freshman in the state. Another state top ten athlete will be competing in the 1000 where Alyssa Shupe of Jefferson Forest will attempt to hold off the competition and win a state title. Shupe enters with a seed time of 2:58.31 and a ranking of seventh in the state in this event.
Two other events, both on the field, to watch will be the shot put and pole vault competition. In the pole vault it will be VA #2 Hannah Meador attempting to jump her best and set the meet record as high as she can. Meador is a senior and has a season best mark of 12-03 to position herself almost two feet ahead of her competition in this meet. The other event that has not only one of but the best athletes in the state competing is the shot put. Leading the way in this competition as well as the entire state is Zakiya Rashid of Nansemond River who just improved on her season best this past weekend at the UK High School Invitational in Lexington Kentucky when she posted an almost one-foot-pr of 45-00.25.
It is only fitting that with all these great athletes and performances slated to happen that the meet comes down to the very last event, 4x400. This event’s top three seeds are also the projected top three teams, in the exact same order, which should make this meet end the right way with the crowd and teammates screaming and cheering as their team races to their own destiny. With all these close races, great athletes, and great storylines this meet will definitely not disappoint.
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