A smile is not the normal expression worn on the faces of those running a 5000 meter race, especially when there's less than a mile to go and the view of the course is dominated by a steep, heartbreaking hill. Yet a genuine smile was what filled the face of Trinity senior, Barbara Strehler, as she charged up the hill of the USATF Virginia Association Championships at Pole Green Park this past Saturday.
Photo by Ted Plunkett For years the Dominion District, consisting of schools from Chesterfield County, has been one of the most competitive districts in the state for cross country, producing a plethora of great runners. Manchester had the state champion boys and girls teams in 1997, and James River won the girls championship in the fall of 2002, but however recently the team to beat recently has been Midlothian High School. With the last four girls state championships, and numerous state championships on the boys side too, Midlothian has had a grip on the Dominion District. Their streak of individual champions in the district however came to an end this year as James River junior Ted Richardson stepped out from Midlothian’s shadow and onto the podium and into the state spotlight.
Photos taken by Brandon Miles from the 2008 USATF Virginia Association XC Championships held Saturday, November 15th at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA.
Young Women 5K Winner - Barbara Strehler (Trinity) Young Men 5K Winner - Ted Richardson (James River) Intermediate Boys 5K Winners - Silas Frantz (Douglas Freeman) & Andrew Catanese (Atlee) Intermediate Girls 5K Winner - Clarissa Schick (Maggie Walker) Youth Girls 4K Winner - Sarah Stites (Thomas Jefferson S&T) Youth Boys 4K Winner - Sean Willard (Midlothian MS) Complete results, photos, video, and meet summary are now posted from the USATF Virginia Association Cross Country Championships. USATF VA Association Championship Results: Boys - Girls USATF VA Association Championships Photo Gallery by Brandon Miles - 527 total photos USATF VA Association Championship Race Videos: Young Men/Women 5K - Intermediate Boys/Girls 5K - Youth Boys/Girls 4K
Team list and athlete roster of those competing at Saturday's USATF Virginia Association Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA are attached. The Va Association of USATF is hosting this year's Region III Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 22nd, at Pole Green Park also. Only the qualifying Sub-Bantams from Virginia will compete in the Region III Championships with qualifying athletes from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Potamac Valley. All other qualifying Virginia age division members (Bantam thru Young M/W) will automatically advance to the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships to be held at Pole Green Park on Saturday, December 13th. The top (20) individuals and top (3) teams shall advance to their respective next levels and receive medals. Faxed entries can still be received at 757-926-4557 until noon on Friday, November 14th.
Having traveled all over the country for cross country competitions, Susannah Piersol might just win a junior national championships in her backyard. At the 2008 USA Track & Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships set for December 13, 2008 at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia, more than 3,000 athletes from across the United States will be vying for a shot at the title of cross country All-American and junior national champion. Piersol, who was second in her age group last year, will be one of them. “Personally, I think it’s really neat to have competed on a national level,” says Piersol, a 17-year-old senior at Maggie Walker Governor’s School. “You get so nervous, but it’s a good nervous because you can just let it out in your run. And I think the intensity is good prep for college racing.” Already an all-American cross country runner thanks her second place last year (the top 25 runners in the JOXC earn all-American status,) Piersol is grateful that such an important event falls in familiar territory. “I’m going to have fun on my home course,” says Piersol, “and still remember that it’s the national so I want to do my best.” Last year’s competition in Lawrence, Kansas attracted athletes from around the country who had progressed through USATF’s Junior Olympic Cross Country Program. The series of competitions is made up of Association Championships in USATF’s 57 local Associations, 15 Regional Championships, and ultimately the National Championships where the “best of the best” take the stage. Competition takes place in five two-year age divisions, from ages 10 & under to age 18. Note: MileStat.com is helping organize an All-Star club team of Richmond area athletes for the high school age groups to compete for the Richmond Track & Field Club and race for USATF Junior Olympic national team titles at Pole Green Park on December 13th. If interested in competing on this team, contact Brandon Miles at firstname.lastname@example.org