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.
There were a slew of outstanding performances from athletes in the Richmond region at last weekend's 5A/6A state track meet.
Ebonie Whitted and Chelsea Wallace provided one of the day's best 1-2 scoring punches for their Grassfield team.
Rather than funnel more energy into repeating the same process, Gardner decided to call it a day after one jump, and with that decision, completed his 5A state-winning performance with a best jump of 6-8.
John Champe's Trevor Cosenke enjoyed a personal-best outing at the Friday session of the 5A state track championships in Newport News.
As a youngster, Spollen endured two brain surgeries to cure conditions that would require a medical degree to understand, much less spell.
A pair of Virginia's best 5A athletes will make the trip to this weekend's New Balance Nationals harboring expectations of finding their way to the medal stand.
Lost in the shuffle of some magnificent performances among the young men and women within the 5A and 6A classifications was a solid group effort by the boys' sprinters from Potomac High in Dumfries.
In the day's first event, the 6A boys shot put, Washington-Lee once again was the first team to put its stamp on the victors' podium.
Hannah Waller is fairly new to track, but it hasn't taken her long to make waves on the national level.
For Centreville track standout Caden Billak, winning a 6A state championship in the long jump was like a dream.
Although Stafford's Gennifer Hirata won the 5A girls pole vault with a clearance of 12-6, there was plenty for Patrick Henry sophomore Abby Tershak to celebrate on Friday.
It would be hard to find fault with T.C. Williams junior Nyla Ward for scratching on all three of her attempts in the 6A long jump. After all, there haven't been many opportunities this indoor season to jump in a real pit.
Standing in the middle of the track oval at the Boo Williams Sportsplex on Friday afternoon, the uniqueness of her team's Day 1 team lead was not lost on thrower Indya Hansley.
The Bullis girls ran an absolutely dominating performance in the 4x200m in Lynchburg on Saturday afternoon.
Masai Russell ran a nearly perfect 55mH race to win on Saturday at the VA Showcase