Athlete Spotlight: Monica Williams Feb 24, 2010

With a defending state champion in the 500 meter dash in Genamarie McCant of James Robinson and returning state runner-up in the 300 meter dash in Shakeela Saunders of Great Bridge both back after sensational freshmen seasons, it appeared at the onset of this season that  there would be little room for anyone else to step up into the mix as a state title contender in those two events. Green Run junior Monica Williams (pictured right by Ryan Kelly) changed that mindset in early December when she became the first athlete in the country at that point of the season to break 40 seconds on a flat track in the 300. Considered as more of a 500 meter runner last year, Williams has made great strides this year in the shorter event of the 300 to have knocked off 2-3 seconds from where she was consistently at last year. Williams will be attempting the difficult 500 and 300 meter double on Saturday against defending champ McCant and 300 runner-up Saunders, but is certainly riding high after an undefeated season which included a recent Eastern Region 300 title and US #8 39.32 win over Saunders. Read more for interview with Monica Williams...

Athlete Spotlight: Darrell Wesh Feb 23, 2010

Landstown senior Darrell Wesh (pictured above by Ryan Kelly) heads into the 2010 VHSL Group AAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships as the top seed and US leader in the 55 meter dash (6.35), which includes one of the fastest fields in recent meet history with four entrants having clocked times under 6.40 this season. Against a loaded field, Wesh will be attempting to win the 55 meter dash state title last year which eluded his older sister Marlena Wesh's attempt in the sprint triple. As the state runner-up last spring in the 200 meter dash and top returnee from the 100 meter dash, Wesh has really stepped up after his sister's graduation and exceled in the short sprints this winter by consistently running 6.40 or faster in the 55 dash. The Virginia Tech signee also will be featured on the state leading 4x400 meter relay (3:25) on Saturday at Boo Williams. Read more for interview with Darrell Wesh...

Eastern Region Championships Performance List Feb 18, 2010

Performance list for the 2010 Eastern Region Indoor Track & Field Championships to be held Friday & Saturday, February 19th & 20th at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. will be on-site with photo and video coverage.

Eastern Region: Western Branch comes out in full force before state meet Feb 21, 2010

Photo by Ryan Kelly   Western Branch in past years has not always shown their full hand of cards at the regional championships and instead held out many of their key athletes or not tried to enter them in multiple events in preparation for the state meet. Possibly the snow storms and small number of major meets in the last half of the season has changed the usual routine for Coach Claude Toukene's squad as the Bruins came to compete at the Eastern Region Championships this weekend at full force and the result was demoralizing for the rest of the region's top teams. Western Branch swept both team titles and by a wide margin with a dominant and balanced team performance.   A total of six state leading times were produced at Virginia's most talented and competitive regional championship meet:   Boys 55 - Darreh Wesh (Landstown) US #1 6.35 Girls Triple Jump - Desmonae Gray (Western Branch) US #1 40'10" Boys Triple Jump - Kendrick Smith (Western Branch) US #2 49'5" Boys 4x200 - Woodside 1:31.60 Boys 4x800 - Western Branch 7:58.02 Girls Shot Put - Sydni Cobb (Western Branch) 40'4.50"   Photo by Ryan Kelly     More to come from the Eastern Region Indoor T&F Championships including full meet summary and photo gallery.   Complete Results   Photo Gallery by Ryan Kelly - Photos to be added Sunday & Monday. Meet Videos by Andy Paisley - 2o total added.

Eastern Region (Day 1): Western Branch jumps (x3) into day 2 Dec 31, 1969

Both Western Branch boys and girls squads made huge leaps into the second day of competition of the 2010 Eastern Region Indoor Track & Field Championships with the triple jump performances by their athletes on Friday at the Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton. Desmonae Gray (pictured left by Ryan Kelly) uncorked a monster jump in the triple jump with her new US #1 and VA #7 all-time mark of 40'10". A significant improvement for the Western Branch junior who had a previous best of 39'0.50" from last June's Nike Outdoor Nationals.   The Western Branch boys picked up a great deal of points in the triple jump with their top 3 sweep led by a US #2 and state leading mark of 49'5" from Kendrick Smith. Also performing well in the event for the Bruins was Marcus Dean at 47'9.50" and Keenan Smith at 45'11". Without a dominant individual in the sprints or hurdles, Western Branch may have to rely on their triple jumpers and their distance crew for another state title run. Their 4x800 meter relay certainly look to do their part at the state meet as shown with their state best time of 7:58.02 on Friday night as Western Branch became the first team to break 8 minutes this season in Virginia.     Eastern Region Championships - Day 1 Results   More to come from the Eastern Region Championships including photo gallery by Ryan Kelly, race videos by Andy Paisley, and full meet summary.

Eastern Region Team Rankings (based on district meet results) Feb 16, 2010

Eastern Region Indoor T&F Team Rankings based on the best times/marks from the district meets all held at the Boo Williams Sportsplex and scored them as a meet. The Eastern Region Championships in recent years has seen several teams contending for state team titles not show their full cards and hold out people including the Landstown girls and Western Branch boys, so it will be interesting to see who will be going full tilt and attempting to win the regional title among the Eastern Region's top squads. At full strength, the gap of separation is small between Southeastern District boys champions Western Branch and Beach District boys champions Landstown.