Lake Braddock sophomore and VA top ranked Sophie Chase opened her 2010 cross country season on Thursday at the Potomac River Running Kick-off Relays leading from the gun with a 5:25 hard first mile to break the Bull Run Regional Park 2 mile course record in a time of 11:36. She ran 12:25 to win the freshmen race last year. Chase looked fit and strong in her first race back since missing the state outdoor meet due to injury after a sensational freshmen season running times of 4:52 for 1600 meters, 10:39 for 3200 meters, and 18:19 for 5K. Thomas Edison's Myah Hicks and West Potomac's Sarah Jane Underwood followed in for second and third place with times of 11:42 and 11:46 respectively as Underwood's West Potomac girls won the team title with 39 points against a solid challenge from a Chase-led Lake Braddock squad (45 pts). West Potomac inserted three girls among the top 10 with Underwood (3rd), Dale Lescher (5th), and Sophia Passacantando (6th). The Lake Braddock girls were a close second by a few points and had two freshmen run really strong up finish in the freshmen race earlier, which could have made the team outcome even closer if they had run in the varsity race later. While it was almost impossible to the tell the two teams apart running in virtually identical light blue Nike jerseys, it was similarly too tough to call who was the boys team champion between West Potomac and South Lakes. South Lakes scored an upset in their 50-51 win over Group AAA #2 ranked West Potomac as they were led by a 1-3 finish from Will Sickenberger and Nicholas Guarnaccia. In an early season meet with an abnormal format and distance at 2 miles, the favorite within the Northern Region is far from being known, but both teams certainly looked fast and running like state meet podium caliber squads averaging 10:17 (South Lakes) and 10:19 (West Potomac) on the two mile course. Last year as a junior, Will Sickenberger split a 10:45 2 mile at the =PR= Kickoff Relays. While a key member of a resurgent South Lakes program, few could have picked Sickenberger to pull out the win as he did by closing strong in the final half mile to go from fourth place to first to cross the line in a time of 9:55. Lake Braddock's Sam Rubenking ran a strong race to make the first breakaway in the final mile and finished second in 9:58 to propel his team to a solid third place showing and 10:27 team average. RESULTS: VARSITY/OPEN BOYS - VARSITY/OPEN GIRLS - FRESHMEN BOYS - FRESHMEN GIRLS RACE VIDEOS: VARSITY BOYS - VARSITY GIRLS - FRESHMEN BOYS - FRESHMEN GIRLS VIDEO INTERVIEWS: SOPHIE CHASE (Lake Braddock) - WILL SICKENBERGER (South Lakes) - MYAH HICKS (Thomas Edison) - SAM RUBENKING (Lake Braddock) PHOTO GALLERY - 999 total photos from the 4 races.
Many of the top Northern Region individuals and teams will ease their way into the 2010 cross country season in a modified version of the =PR= Kick-Off Relays, which due to this week's excessive hot weather and new VHSL regulations in regards to holding athletic competitions and practices in extreme heat has forced the meet to drop its original schedule of a 4x2 mile relay race and instead run individual head to head 2 mile races. The format change should actually give a much better indication of how some of these teams and individuals match up with one another instead of spread out on different legs and the different strategy involved with a relay race. The defending Group AAA state champions Lake Braddock and returning 3200 meter state indoor champion Sophie Chase are expected to both open at this meet. Chase won the freshmen 2 mile race last year in her first high school meet ever and a foreshadow to what would be one of the best freshmen years for a female distance runner in state history. It should be a good early season test for the Lake Braddock girls as they try to reload after losing a great senior class of runners with another regional title contender this fall in the West Potomac girls also racing at the Potomac River Running Kick-Off Relays. Four boys teams with serious hopes of qualifying for the state meet out of the Northern Region will be facing off led by Group AAA #2 ranked West Potomac boys and followed by in this meet by South Lakes, Lake Braddock, and Centreville. W.T. Woodson's Paul Gates had a great track season running a 9:30 for 3200 meters and is looking to translate that performance into a fast 2 mile on the grass at Bull Run Regional Park on Thursday evening. First race is a 6 PM with the freshmen girls and last race starts at 7:00 PM with varsity/open boys. MileStat.com will be on-site with coverage.
Due to the weather, the Potomac Rivier Running Kick Off Relays on Thursday, September 2nd at Bull Run Regional Park will be changing their format tomorrow to a series of four 2-mile races beginning at 6:00. The race schedule will go as followed: 6:00 PM Frosh Girls 6:20 PM Frosh Boys 6:40 PM Varsity/Open Girls 7:00 PM Varsity/Open Boys Following teams are scheduled Westfield South Lakes Lake Braddock West Potomac Edison Stuart Robinson Centreville WT Woodson Washington-Lee Western Branch MileStat.com will be on-site with coverage (photos, videos, interviews).