Even though last weekend had many great meets, with some pretty good performances, this week marks the first mega-meet with the annual Knights Crossing meet happening. This meet will be by far the largest meet in the state and thus warrants a preview for what we will find out, see, and should look for this weekend.
Will this be the same picture this year? Photo by: Jon Fleming
Knights Crossing Invitational: Meet Page - 2013 Results - 2014 Coverage
Though there are quite a few meets happening this weekend in the state, there is only one that is really "The Meet" this weekend and that is the Knights Crossing Invitational. This deserves this nomeclature in large part because of the girls varsity race. This race will feature the top 6A runner and team with Allie Klimkiewicz of Oakton (defending champion), 4A state champion Libby Davidson, 4A state runner-up Erin Saunders, and of course the entire Blacksburg team is ready to run as well. And all of that is just for the in-state teams. This invitational will also feature some stellar out of state teams too.
With such stacked competition it is really hard to select who will run away with this title this year. The team title is almost secured by the Blacksburg girls who not only enter as the favorite here but are also one of the best teams in the entire region this year. Under the senior leadership of Bonnie Angermeier and Jen Fleming, these Bruins will be on a mission this season and settling for no one. Individually though it will be Bonnie likely representing them near the top finishers. She will have company though from Libby Davidson, Klimkiewicz, and Saunders as well. Of those three the one that looks to be in the best shape right now is Davidson who is very excited for this meet. Though she may be in the best shape right now, Saunders is close behind, Bonnie has yet to race seriously this season, and Klimkiewicz has a better personal best then anyone else out there. What all this means is that we are in for a show.
On the boys side of things things will be much more interesting. Leading the way team wise seems to be Cardinol Gibbons (NC) who enter with five guys 16:26 or faster. Though they have already all run those times, we have yet to see what Oakton and Blacksburg can do on the boys side of things. Do not be surprised to see both of these teams very high on the team finish list because not only do they have depth and consistency but they also have some aces. Speaking of aces, the individual race should be interesting as well. The in-state runners that are going to be the ones to watch are Brad Swiney (John S. Battle), Noah Combs (Blacksburg), and Gaige Kern (Alleghany) who should all be very close to the front and/or lead of this race. Though just like the girls race, this race could very well be won by an out-of-state athlete.
This course is fast and also with ideal racing conditions this weekend we should be in store to see at least a new state leading time on the girls side of things. Swiney may do the same for the boys too. What we can also expect is a much deeper 5-20 on the leaderboards now that Blacksburg is running their team and that other teams are finally showing their true colors.