VHSL Group AAA Indoor Track & Field State Championships
George Mason U. Fieldhouse - Fairfax VA
March 2-3, 2007
Coverage from Brandon Miles of MileStat.com, a MileSplit Network site
PRE-MEET COVERAGE: AAA State Meet - AA State Meet
The Western Branch boys simply had too much manpower for Manchester or any other challengers to compete with as they tallied 65 points to win comfortably by 20 points over state runner-up Manchester with 45 points. A talented crew of sophomores led them to a state title with 500 meter state champion Javanti Sparrow (1:04.61), triple jump state runner-up Kelvin Griffin (47-4), and 300 meter dash third place finisher Daniel Nix (34.71) all playing key roles in Saturday's events. A state championship dynasty may have just begun this weekend for the young Western Branch squad.
What?! Distance teams are not suppose to indoor track state team titles! Without any athletes in the field events or sprints, the Midlothian distance girls racked up a total of 42 points over the two meet including a US #11 all-time 9:07.27 4x800, 1-2 finish in the 1000 meter run from Paige Johnston (2:55.05) and Sammy Dow (2:59.77), and 2-3 finish in th 1600 meter run from M.C. Miller (4:59.75) and Kathleen Lautzenheiser (5:01.11) to stop Bethel's hopes of becoming the first team to win four consecutive AAA indoor team state championships.
The state meet was certainly a day that sprint star Sean Holston would like to forget as he only won 1 race out of 3 that he had been hoping to win. He was beaten head to head in the 55 meter dash by I.C. Norcom's Isaiah Gyasi at 6.36 to Holston's 6.38, while he slept on the faster times in the slower sections of the 500 meter dash as his top section win of 1:05.16 placed him third overall. He picked his lone state title in the 300 meter dash in 34.07.
Lee-Davis sr Rachel Butler was consistent as any triple jumper could be as she took six attempts between her qualifying flight and the finals. Her worst mark was 39'5" and her best mark was a US #4 mark of 40'0" with no fouls in any of her six jumps.
Midlothian jr Jason Witt did not want it to come down to a kick with Footlocker finalists Mike Spooner of West Springfield or Thomas Porter of Mountain View, so he set a brisk early pace to run it out of them. Porter took the lead from him with 800 meters left in the race, but Witt surged back into the lead for good and closed well enough to keep a hard closing Spooner (2nd, 9:16.76) from stealing a win in a time of 9:15.40 with Porter in third at 9:18.90.
After suffering a loss at her regional meet to Menchville's Kali Watkins with both hurdlers under 8 seconds, Hampton sr Tierra Brown pumps her first in jubilation in getting vengeance as she crosses the line first to win the state title in the 55 meter hurdles with a US #4 clocking of 7.92.
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Deep Run so Brianna Hudson wins historic girls HJ with 3 over 5'9"!
Deep Creek senior Ashley Gatling broke the state meet record in the girls high jump in 2006 with a clearance of 5'9". Few could have expected Gatling to clear 5'9" once again at George Mason yet finish third in the event as what happened Friday night with Deep Run's Brianna Hudson and Brooke Point's April Sinkler also clearing the height with Hudson picking up the state title. The biggest question is whether or not this has ever happened in any indoor state meet ever in the country as it really was quite an amazing event to watch! (Photo by John Herzog)
Midlothian girls US #11 all-time 4x800...9:07.27!
The Midlothian girls made history in the fall as the first Virginian team to be invited to Nike Team Nationals. They made history again, but this time for the Virginia 3A Indoor State meet by breaking the 8 year old meet record in a time of 9:07.27. More importantly, Midlothian's time ranks #11 all-time in US high school indoor history and is the fastest ever run indoors by a Virginian squad. Splits for Midlothian in relay order were Kathleen Lautzenheiser 2:19, Samantha Dow 2:16, Paige Johnston 2:15, and M.C. Miller 2:15. (Photo by John Herzog)
Finch defends LJ title with US #3 against deep field
Never count out the heart of a champion as Centreville junior Brittni Finch showed Friday night in the girls long jump. Finch came in seeded fourth in the event with three competitors ahead of over 19 feet. The state meet record holder in the event was not be denied her second state title as leaped to a season best and US #3 mark of 19'07.25". (Photo by John Herzog)
VHSL Group AAA State Meet Summary: Day 1
By Brandon Miles
Two meet records were broken on the first day of events at the VHSL Group AAA State Indoor Championships including one event in the girls' high jump in which three athletes tied the meet record of 5'9" with surprise winner in sophomore Briana Hudson of Deep Run, Brooke Point's April Sinkler, and defending champion Ashley Gatling of Deep Creek. It was the first time ever that three girls have cleared 5'9" in the same state meet. All three moved into US #3 rankings with their state meet clearances.
Another US #3 performance and state meet record came from the Midlothian girls in 9:07.27 as they broke the 8 year old meet record by five seconds. The Lady Trojans took the lead into the final exchange with a 2:19 opener from Kathleen Lautzenheiser and never looked back with a 2:16 second leg from Sammy Dow, 2:15 second leg from Paige Johnston, and 2:15 anchor leg from M.C. Miller. The Midlothian girls also moved themselves onto the national all-time list with a US #11 all-time clocking, which is also fastest in Virginia state history.
The girls team championship still seems wide open, while pre-meet favorites Western Branch and Manchester established themselves as the teams to beat by sharing the lead after four scored events with 14 points.
Anthony Chesson had a great first day for Manchester as he came out of lower flight in the long jump to leap to a personal best by 1 foot and 3 inches to pick up an unexpected eight points in second place at 23'6". Chesson also posted the top time in the 55 meter dash preliminaries at 6.37 with Sean Holston second fastest at 6.38 to qualify for Saturday's finals.
The Central Region went 1-2 in the long jump with Chesson as the runner-up and top seed Rashaad Cannon of Highland Springs coming through in the finals with a personal best mark of 23'7.50", which is a US #7 mark in the jumping event. Western Branch did not lose much ground in the event, despite Chesson's surprise points as Western Branch sophomore Kelvin Griffin snagged third place with a jump of 22'10.25".
Both Western and Manchester picked up big points in Friday evening's shot put as well with a top three finisher in the event for each squad. Oscar Smith junior Frede Spellman was unable to become the seventh thrower in state meet history to throw over 60 feet, but still claimed his first state championship with a winning toss of 58'2.25". Meanwhile, Western Branch's Darien Kearney finished second at 55'5.50" and Manchester's Justin Simmons picked up third place honors at 52'2.75".
T.C. Williams leads the girls' team scoring with 18.50 points, but will be hard pressed to pick up many more points on the second day. Samella Koroma avenged a Northern Region loss to Lake Braddock's Allison Jones as she was the only thrower in the shot put competition to go over 40 feet with her top mark of 42'6.50". Along with Koroma's ten points in a shot put state title, Tynita Butts contributed 8 1/2 points in a tie for fourth place in the high jump at 5'4" and fifth place showing in the long jump at 18'8".
The long jump event was certainly deep for the girls as expected with a 19 foot jumper such as Butts taking fifth place. However, despite a field full of legit jumpers including three with better season best marks than defending champion and state record holder Brittni Finch of Centreville, Finch refused to be beat. The Centreville junior was only 2 inches off her 2006 state meet record performance, but more importantly was able to win her state title and come out on top from a strong challenge in Bethel's Shakia Forbes, who was a inch off at 19'6.25". The marks put up by Finch and Forbes are some of the country's best this year with Finch now ranked US #3 and Forbes at US #4.
Central Region team runners-up, Deep Run, have positioned themselves well in the team hunt in second place with 16 points after Friday's field events with Hudson's upset victory in the high jump and junior Ashley Orr placing third in the long jump with a best mark of 18'9.50".
However, all teams need to be wary of Bethel as the three-time state champions are not far behind in third place with 14 points from long jumpstate runner-up Forbes and thrower Kayla Campbell placing third in the shot put at 39'3.75". Bethel will also have two qualifiers in top finals section of two in the 55 meter dash after Shakia Forbes and Crystal Carrington won their preliminary heats on Friday with the second (7.15) and fifth (7.25) fastest times.
The 4x800 meter relay for the boys turned out to be quite interesting as Mountain View ran one of the faster times out of the slow section at 8:05.09 to place fourth and Midlothian somehow found themselves battling for the lead with top seed Forest Park into the final exchange, but the Bruins did not allow for anymore surprises in the event as Zack Williams anchored with a 1:57 split to bring home a state championship and a sub 8 clocking at 7:59.16 for Forest Park.
Swift times were posted in the qualifying preliminaries for the 55 meter hurdles and dash. Defending outdoor state champion for 100 meters, Shanneka Claiborne of Matoaca, let it be known that the 55 meter dash title will run through her after posting the fastest time at 7.11.
The 55 meter dash prelims for the boys showed Sean Holston's toughest test in trying to sweep all three sprint events may come in his first race on Saturday in the 55 meter dash finals as Manchester's Chesson was slightly faster at 6.37 than Holston's 6.38. Meanwhile, Eastern Region champ Isiah Gyasi of I.C. Norcom posted a 6.41 after having his preliminary heat re-run.
Tierra Brown of Hampton made a statement with her 8.01 clocking in the 55 meter hurdles preliminaries, while rival and defending state champion Kali Watkins did not roll as fast of a time on Friday in a 8.31 prelim win. Brown will get the center of the track for Saturday's finals, while Huguenot's Wanetta Kirby will be lined up next to her after dropping her best time down considerably in a 8.16. prelim time.
While Watkins, top seed coming into the meet, may not get the "preferred" lane for the finals, state leader Aramis Massenburg of Matoaca will not even be in the top fastest finals section on Saturday after finishing second in his preliminary heat of the 55 meter hurdles in 7.75. Massenburg still qualified for Saturday's finals, but will be compete in the slower finals of two and will not have a opportunity to race against Lakeland's Predist Walker, who ran the fastest prelim clocking at 7.52. Highland Springs senior Adams Abdulrazaaq ran a all-time best of 7.53 to make him a solid challenger for Walker in the finals.
Three vaulters cleared 14 feet, but only one could be declared as state champion as the title went to Daniel Inge of E.C. Glass with Atlee's Cameron Sovick and Denbigh's Rodrigues Johnson also clearing the same height for second and third place.
Time schedule and additional meet information on MileStat.com.
Performance list for the 2007 VHSL Group AAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships to be held Friday and Saturday, March 2nd and 3rd at the George Mason University Fieldhouse in Fairfax, Virginia. MileStat.com will be on-site with coverage from Brandon Miles and John Herzog.
Last year's chase for the boys team title resulted in E.C. Glass winning a relatively low scoring affair among the top teams with 33 points. This year, it appears that it may take at least 40 points to win it all, with Western Branch and Manchester probably having the best chances to top that number. However, stranger things have happened, come state meet time; and with the unpredictability of relay events and the ability of some teams to pile up enough points with just a couple of high scoring individuals, this year's boys meet also appears wide open.
Bethel is the defending state indoor champion and continued on their winning ways with a victory last week at the Eastern Region championships. This year's meet features Bethel as one of the favorites again, but there are a host of other schools with a shot at the team title; including Western Branch, Osbourn Park, Midlothian, Centreville, and possibly Deep Run, Landstown and Deep Creek.
As this weekend's VHSL Group AAA State Indoor Championships approaches where state champions will be decided to earn their bragging rights as the best in the state this year in their respective events, lets take a look at past state champions and all-time lists of the VHSL Group AAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships to see where today's top athletes might historically compare.
At the Northern Region Indoor Track & Field Championships held at George Mason University on Saturday, Robert E. Lee senior Sean Holston made history in becoming the first male athlete in the Northern Region Meet history to sweep all three sprint events in the 55, 500, and 300 meter dashes. Right in the middle of the triple, the national leader in the 300 and 500 meter dash ran a US #7 all-time 500 meter performance of 1:03.45.
Time schedule and additional meet information.
Performance list for the 2007 VHSL Group AA State Indoor Track & Field Championships to be held Saturday, February 3rd at Liberty University's Tolsma Track Center in Lynchburg, Virginia. MileStat.com will be on-site with photo coverage from David Fleenor.
Four individual state champions return among the AA boys making certain there will be at least eight new individual state titlists for this Saturday's Group AA State Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held at Liberty University's Tolsma Track Center. Last year, only half of a point separated Heritage of Lynchburg from Appomattox Country for a state team championship and this year's fight for the team trophy should be even closer with roughly half a dozen squads in the running. Photo to left: Brookville jr Ethan Nixon hopes to not only flash a #1 in a defense of his state title in the 55 meter hurdles, but also help his squad to state championship competing in all three jumping events.
Northside senior Catherine White will be looking to keep pace with Sarah Bowman's record total of 15 state championships with #11 and #12 this weekend at the Group AA State Championships as the returning state champion and meet record holder for 1600 meters and 3200 meters will be looking to repeat in the distance double again at Liberty University. Meanwhile, the defending state team champion Blacksburg girls will be setting a pace that no team in Group AA may come close to keeping up with as they could potential double the score of the second place team on Saturday. Pictured to the right: The 2006 Blackburg girls were all smiles after winning the AA State Indoor team title and are likely to continue their state of happiness on Saturday as the heavy favorites to repeat as state champions and set themselves up for AA state title trifecta in outdoors after winning the cross country title this past fall. (Photo by Prince Williams)
MileStat.com's Brandon Miles predicts the Ethan Nixon-led Brookville squad to win the team title with Harrisonburg taking a close second. Top three predictions for all running and field events included.