Hannah Brown (pictured above by Frank Locascio) sure picked a difficult course to set a new 5K personal best and break a meet record on. The Blacksburg junior who ran under 5 minutes for 1600 meters and won the Group AA 800 outdoor state title with a 2:12 personal best in the event showed herself to be just as capable of excelling at the 5K distance in her first race of the cross country season by winning the Blue Demon Invitational in a new meet record time of 18:59. Following individual race champion Brown, the Blacksburg put three more runners under 21 minutes on the Christiansburg High School's hilly and challenging home 5K course layout while placing six among the top 15 places for a low team score of 27 points. The Jefferson Forest girls (64 pts) finished as a respectably solid second place in the team standings with distance and points to spare on the third place and host school Christiansburg girls (110 pts). For the second straight weekend, Cave Spring freshmen Katie Fortner ran strong up front in the field to take runner-up honors and join a short list in the course's history under 20 minutes at 19:40. The Blacksburg boys put on an even more dominant team display than their female counterparts by flirting with a near perfect score of 15 with only Group AA All-State caliber runner Cody Seymour of Cave Spring able to break up their top five in fourth place with a time of 16:45. Battling it out for first place individually were Blacksburg teammates Frank Locascio and George Carter with Locascio pulling out a slight margin of victory at the end in a time of 16:21 over Carter in second at 16:22. Despite not running one of their top five runners in Anthony Noegel, Blacksburg followed Locascio and Carter pushing the pace up front with Caman Skelton (3rd, 16:36), Zach Link (5th, 16:59), and Matthew Paiser (6th, 17:10) for a 49 second spread and team average of 16:41. A 5K performance under 17 minutes at Christiansburg usually is a good sign for an eventual Group AA All-State finisher, so Blacksburg might have a handful of guys on the podium at Great Meadow come November. The Abingdon boys certainly stamped themselves as the next best team in Southwest Virginia and Region II following Blacksburg with their runner-up finish and team score of 69 points putting them well ahead of the other teams competing at the Blue Demon Invitational. Abingdon had a great 17 second swarm of finishers for their top four runners finishing between places 8 and 14 as well as times between 17:33 to 17:50. Blue Demon Invite Results: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - JV Boys - JV Girls Race Videos by Tayloe Skelton: Varsity Boys - Varsity Girls - JV Boys - JV Girls Photo Gallery by Frank Locascio Photo Gallery by Tayloe Skelton
Luke Phillips (Blacksburg) 17:17.96 JV course record
Ashley Jordon (Galax) 21:35.88
Hannah Brown (Blacksburg) 18:59.16 Meet Record
Frank Locascio (Blacksburg) 16:21 Meet Record
Coach Shane Guynn
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