By Dennis Atwood - email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- The Skyline boys took third place, and the Strasburg girls captured the fourth spot in the 19-team, 44th annual H. Brian Landes Apple Blossom Track and Field Invitational on Saturday at James Wood.
Among the girls teams, Handley (86) took first place, Briar Woods (55) second, Millbrook (53) third, followed by Strasburg (49) and Warren County (37).
The top boys team was Loudoun County (87), followed by Manassas Park (54) in second, Skyline (47), St. Albans (46), and Sherando (45).
Strasburg's Taylor Cockerille and Taylor Showalter led the field events, with Cockerille taking first place in the discus, with a career best flight of 124-02. Showalter was second, reaching 93-05.
Cockerille also heaved the shot 36-09, good for second in the shot put, close behind Wileta Tibbs' (Manassas Park) first place launch of 36-11.25.
"That one [discus] felt really good, and I'm glad I got a really good distance on it," Cockerille said.
Katie Dofermire's 33-01.50 took third place in the shot put, bolstering Strasburg's strong field events showing.
Among the female jumpers, Warren County's Katy Harriman entered as the eighth seed, took first in the long jump with a leap of 15-08, and captured second in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-0.
"I wasn't really concentrating at all on long-jumping today, I was concentrating on the high jump," Harriman said. "I wasn't expecting [to do] anything like that, at all."
Harriman also showed her prowess on the track, with her 27.21 seconds effort good for third in the 200-meter dash.
In the boys field events, Warren County's Matt Nicholson took first in the long jump, at 20-09.25, and second in the high jump, with 5-10.
Sherando's Chris Smith was the first place boys vertical leaper with a 6-04 effort.
Skyline's Trevon Freeman took second in the triple jump, with a 40-0 effort, a 144-00 flight by Thomas Lucas earned Strasburg second place in the discus, and Sherando's Travis Ritter took second place in the shot put at 47-06.25.
In the track events, Skyline senior Clay Jones coped with the chilliest conditions of the day, and head congestion, to take first place in the first running event of day, the 3,200-meter run, to take first place with a time of 9:41.67.
"My nephew has a virus, and I think I'm catching it," Jones said. "I didn't plan on getting a state-qualifying time. I just planned on running against some competition.
"I felt a lot stronger midway, and it wasn't until the end that I felt like I was going to die from congestion."
Sherando senior Devon Newman, with head congestion like Jones, anchored his Sherando teammates Joel McAuliffe, Seth Chewey, and Smith to first place in the 4x800 relay, crossing the finish line at 8:21.30, a remarkable 14 seconds ahead of the James Wood foursome.
"It was a pretty good race, it's just kinda cold, [and] I'm glad we did good," Newman said. "My allergies are bothering me."
Tavon Andrade's 15.35 took second place for Skyline in the 110-meter hurdles, while Sherando's Rachael Moore ran 1:01.77 in the 400-meter dash, good for second place.
Warren County's 4x100 relay team (Ariel Asher, Harriman, Kaity Jost, and Jasmain Ford) finished second in 52.38, and Skyline's 4x100 relay team (Jody Caison, Deante Hogan, Jonta Baltimore, and Marquis Lewis) also finished second in 44.84.
A time of 2:02.04 by Strasburg's Dylan Callaway placed him second in the 800-meter run.
Strasburg's Katlyn Ayers ran 5:16.44, a personal record, for second place in the girls 1,600-meter run.
"I'm just happy that I keep improving, but there's still room for more improvement," Ayers said. "I just tried to keep [first-place finisher Crystal Nelson] in sight, and keep the rest of the runners behind me."
The girls MVP award went to Verna Hilaire-Lee, of Handley, and Patrick Joseph, of Loudoun County, earned the boys MVP trophy.
Sherando (15) was 14th, and Skyline (4) 15th, among the girls teams. Strasburg (33) was seventh and Warren County (18) 11th on the boys side.
The Strasburg girls were in second place for most of the day, and held that position until the final event, the 4x400 relay. Millbrook took first, Briar Woods second, and Strasburg seventh, to reorder the final team scores.
Strasburg coach Glenn Proctor reviewed the day before the girls 4x400 relay, and the overall meet results, were announced.
"We're the smallest school here, by a long shot," Proctor said. "And any time you can come to this meet, with 18 schools, if we finish anywhere in the top eight, then I'm a happy coach, and really, really proud of our kids' efforts today. If I singled anyone out, I probably would leave someone out, because I haven't reviewed all the results. But we had some sterling performances today, some gutsy performances, under less than ideal track and field conditions.
"To come into a meet like this, with this competition, and finish that high, you just can't ask for anything more as a coach."