After 1-year hiatus, Hampton Roads track athletes aim for state titles in VHSL championships
This will be the first state outdoor track and field championships since 2019. The meet wasn’t held last spring because of COVID-19. Here’s a look at each meet and the local teams and athletes to watch.
When: 8 a.m. Saturday at Todd Stadium in Newport News
Outlook: Western Branch has dominated this meet. The girls have won 10 state titles - including the past six - one shy of tying Blacksburg’s record of 11. The boys have won eight state titles, including the past four. The girls are led by Alabama signee Na’Taja Ballard in the sprints and hurdles, and Llyric Driscoll in the throws and jumps. The boys are led by hurdler Nazir Imhotep and David Frasier, who will compete in the hurdles, shot put and jumps. Others to watch include Tallwood hurdler and North Carolina A&T signee Zamia Stelly, Landstown sprinter and Tennessee signee Mia O’Neil and Ocean Lakes distance runners Owen Lipps, Maggie Reed and Aniya Mosley.
When: 8 a.m. Friday at Todd Stadium in Newport News
Outlook: Nansemond River girls, who have won the past four titles, are led by sprinter Nyah Harrison and hurdler Sydney Ellis. But the teams to watch for the title are Bethel and Princess Anne. The Bruins are led by Hampton University signee Jahnelle Saunders, who will compete in the hurdles, high jump, long jump and shot put. The Cavaliers are led by sprinter Micayah Holland and distance runners Peyton Culpeper, Sophia Meagher and Logan Warden. On the boys side, Nansemond River and Princess Anne will contend for the title. The Warriors are led by Charles Wall-Davis, Deondre Hardy, Savion Wingate and Christopher Griffin in the sprints, hurdles and jumps. The Cavaliers are led by jumper Kelvin Fonville and distance runners Armaan Chopra, Luke Henkel and William Griesmer. Don’t count out Salem with sprinters Leontro Mattison and Richard Edwards or Deep Creek with Jalen Jones. Others to watch include Indian River sprinter Malachi Hinton and Maury sprinter Carlson White.
When: 8 a.m. Saturday at Liberty University in Lynchburg
Outlook: Heritage sophomore Madison Whyte will be the one to watch as she is the heavy favorite in the 200 and 400 meters. Heritage’s Devin Mosley is a contender in the boys 200 meters. King’s Fork junior Asia Powell is the favorite in the girls 100 meters and will run on the top-seeded 4x100 relay. Also, keep an eye on Great Bridge junior Kadence Wilson in the girls long jump, 100, 200 and 300 hurdles.
When: 8 a.m. Friday at Liberty University in Lynchburg
Outlook: Norcom throwers and sisters Leslie and Jamie Young are the top two seeds in both the shot put and discus. Lafayette is led by Chris Smith (No. 1 seed in the boys 400) and Nate Benson (No. 1 seed in the pole vault). And watch for Tabb sophomore Nick Smerlis in the 1,600.
When: 8 a.m. Saturday at James Madison University in Harrisonburg
Outlook: Poquoson is led by hurdler Karon Smith, sprinter Alexis Peshehonoff and distance runner Bethany Vogel. Bruton is led by sprinters Casee Jones and Alecia Kissoon, thrower Taylor Chance, distance runner Louis Wincheski and jumper Ayanna Moore.
Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, firstname.lastname@example.org