In a world where many coaches and parents insist on athletic specialization for their kids, it is a welcome breath of fresh air to meet and listen to the philosophies of Taylor Ewert.
The Virginia relay teams gained an early upper hand on their out-of-state rivals as the invitational events of the Virginia Showcase commenced on Friday afternoon.
In the aftermath of his girls' team's surprise victory at the Class 5 state meet, Deep Run Coach Drew Spicer has shifted into post, post-season gear, with several athletes preparing for this Saturday's Nike Cross (Southeast) Regionals.
For the past decade, the Lake Braddock girls' cross-country team has been the epitome of dominance. They took to the Great Meadow course on Saturday looking for a "one for the thumb" win - a fifth state title to finish the decade.
One of the most gratified individuals in attendance at last Saturday's Class 4-6 state cross-country finals was neither an athlete nor a coach. Well, not anymore.
In the anticipatory hours leading up to the Class 4 boys' race on Saturday, one comment continued to emerge verbally throughout members of the Great Meadow spectators. "Who's going to come in second?"
Although twelve teams qualified for each race at the state cross-country meets held in Salem and The Plains, there were also 20 individuals from each Class who earned the right to run for a state championship.
Ocean Lakes, Maury and Princess Anne runners provided the top local highlights at last weekend's Albemarle invitational, held at Panorama Farms in Earlysville.
But on Saturday, one emerged with a new sense of purpose focused on a 3A region boys' title to match the ones the Tiger girls won last fall.
Almost lost among the large September invitationals is a gem of a meet held on site at Bruton High School in northern York County
For West Springfield cross-country coach Chris Pellegrini, Saturday's team results from the "season-opening" Monroe Parker Invitational were simply the first step in what could be a state title year for the Spartans.
Recap from this past weekend's VHSL Class 3/4 state championships.
Recap from the VHSL Class 4 State Championships.
The first day of the Class 3/4 State Track championships came to an early end on Friday as lightning brightened the Lynchburg region with the final events taking place at Osborne Stadium, on the campus of Liberty University.
By winning the 55 and 300 at last weekend's Class 4 State Indoor Track Championships, Churchland sophomore Layla Anderson seemingly emerged out of nowhere to become the up and coming star from the Class of 2021
As Loudoun Valley ran away with both state Class 4 titles at the VHSL cross-country championships four weeks ago, it becomes harder to the average distance running follower to remember just how far the program has come in such a short time.
For Grafton senior Sloane Youtsey, her introduction to the 4-by-8 was the equivalent of being tossed into a fire, but escaping successfully.
The indoor track invitational season officially kicked off on Friday with the ninth annual Real Deal High School Classic at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton.
Just two weeks after capturing the Virginia Class 6 girls' state title in cross-country, Colonial Forge's Mckenzi Watkins finalized her college commitment, signing with James Madison University, the school that was first to show interest in her distance running abilities.
One of the potential records broken at last weekend's VHSL state cross-country championships involved perennial powerhouse Lake Braddock High, but had nothing to do with a stopwatch.
Shivering in a frigid byway just next to the winners pedestal at Great Meadow, Deep Run's Lily Snow tried to explain the strategy that propelled her to victory in the girls' 5A VHSL state championship.
George Wythe freshman Morgan Dalton blazed past the rest of the Class 1 girls' field to earn her first major meet win. With a time of 19:08, Dalton, who had never competed at Great Meadow, put her name in the state record book.
There is a school of thought among many cross-country and track enthusiasts in the Old Dominion. It goes something like this - the best distance runners come from Northern Virginia, while the sprinters of note come from the Hampton Roads region.
Fortunately, for Keith, he had no idea of his pre-race status, as the junior, who placed third in last year's event, entered the race as the top seed with a best time of 15:59.
Heading into the Class 3 Virginia cross-country championships, several names on the girls' side of the lineup surfaced in pre-meet projections as potential winners.
The Grafton girls' victory at Thursday's 4A Region championship wasn't much of a surprise.
For Princess Anne senior Jackson Martingayle, it hasn't been easy to carry on the running tradition set forth first by his oldest brother
Westfield's Emma Seetoo holds one distinction that will separate her from almost every one of her freshman peers as they enter 10th grade - that of defending state champion.
The Hampton girls finished the 5A state girls meet in a surprising third place, to Nansemond River and Stone Bridge.
One of the more pleasant surprises from the Virginia 5A/6A state track meet was the 6A runner-up status achieved by the Annandale boys' team.