Returning Foot Locker finalists Ahmed Bile of Annandale and Sophie Chase of Lake Braddock began their 2011 cross country seasons on Thursday by running the fastest times among all races at the Potomac River Running Kick-off Relays at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas.
Blake Theroux on third leg for the Western Branch boys and Liana Epstein on anchor leg (5th) for Lake Braddock girls helped their team secure wins to start the season at the first annual Potomac River Running Relay Kick Off held on Thursday afternoon in Centreville, Va. Theroux, the top ranked runner in Group AAA, took the baton in seventh place (he also accidentally dropped his baton 2K into his leg) and gave his team the lead with time to spare with a 9:45 split. Western Branch lost the lead to Centreville on the fourth leg with Yazid Zouaimia running a strong leg with a 10:02 split, but George Matais ran the second fastest leg of the meet to teammate Theroux with a 9:52 anchor as the Group AAA #1 ranked Bruins won by margin of 1 minute and six seconds with West Potomac moving into second late in the race. Epstein (pictured left by Brandon Miles), a defending Northern Region champion in cross country, was given the baton with a slight lead over Thomas Jefferson girls who were running without 2 of their top runners in Sarah Stites and Lisa Junta. The Lake Braddock girls are look to challenge the returning team champions from TJ this season for the regional title and also get back on the state meet podium after a rare 3 year hiatus from a top 3 state meet finish. Epstein, a senior who started running cross country as a sophomore, has been on the podium as an individual but would like to bring her teammates up on the stage as well at Great Meadow. She was the fastest leg in the girls race by 12 seconds at 11:43 as Lake Braddock finished with a total time of 1:02:55 for the win. Read more and rest of coverage from =PR= Relay Kick Off...
Marc Lotterie (West Potomac) 10:59
Sophie Chase (Lake Braddock) 12:27
Legs #4-5 of the varsity boys relay race from the =PR= Kick Off Relays held at Bull Run Regional Park on September 3rd.
Legs #1-3 of the varsity boys relay race at the =PR= Kick Off Relays at Bull Run Regional Park on September 3rd.
Legs #4-5 of the varsity girls relay at the =PR= Kick Off Relays at Bull Run Regional Park on September 3rd.
Legs #1-3 of the varsity girls 5x2 mile relay at the 2009 =PR= Kick Off Relays at Bull Regional Park on September 3rd.
Lake Braddock sr Liana Epstein anchored her team to victory with the fastest split of the meet at 11:43.
AAA #1 ranked Blake Theroux ran a 9:45 (fastest of meet) on 3rd leg for Western Branch to help them to the victory.
Interview with Yazid Zouaimia of Centreville who ran a strong 4th leg and 10:02 split (3rd fastest) to move his team into first.
The first ever Potomac River Running Kick-Off Relays are being held this afternoon at Bull Run Regional Park in Manassas as many teams from the Northern Region will start their season off with a 5x2 mile relay at the same venue which the Glory Days Grill Invitational is traditionally held every October. VA #2 and Group AAA #1 ranked Western Branch is making the trip all way from Chesapeake for the meet against many of the teams who hope to be competing alongside Western Branch at Great Meadow as qualifiers out of the Northern Region in November. The girls' race should give a good idea of the pecking order of teams in the Northern Region, though the irregular meet format still will not paint an absolute clear picture of how the top teams such as Thomas Jefferson S&T. Lake Braddock, and West Potomac will compare with one another at season's end when vying to get out of a competitive Northern Region. Top individuals in the meet include Blake Theroux of Western Branch and Yazid Zouaimia (pictured by Ted Plunkett) of Centreville for the boys then Liana Epstein of Lake Braddock, Sarah Stites of Thomas Jefferson S&T, Erica Howes of W.T. Woodson, and Myah Hicks of Thomas Edison. First race begins with the varsity girls relay at 4 PM.
Photos taken by Brandon Miles at the Potomac River Running Kick Off Relays held at Bull Regional Park in Centreville on Thursday, September 3rd.