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Warriors Win Region 4D Championship

The WAHS track team raced to the finish this weekend at the Region 4D Championship held at Roanoke College, determined to pull off a win. They succeeded, with both the girls and boys teams winning first place. The girls finished the meet with 119.5 points. The scoring for this was particularly exciting because the girls’ competitors, Jefferson Forest (118.5) and Blacksburg (117.5), were neck in neck with the Warriors the entire time. It came down to the last even of the night, the 4×400 relay (Jordan Stone, Hailey Hodson, Cat Domecq, and Meghan Hundley), to deliver the win for WAHS. The boys won by over twenty-four points (119.33), dominating the sprints, distance, and field events. Region 4D has a lot of fierce competition, making it one of the most competitive regions in the state. 

Henry Sullivan, Rutger Pittman, and Bridger Clarke all placed in the top five in the 55-meter hurdles. Sullivan won with a 7.82. Jack Intihar, a junior, placed first in the 300-meter dash. His time of 36.27 is his indoor PR. Matthew Burch placed second in the 500 with a time of 1:09.16. Burch’s teammate, Rutger Pittman, came in fourth, just a third of a second behind Burch. The 1000m had a loaded field as well, but yet Jonathan Kumer was able to win by over two seconds. In event after event, the team continued to put everything they had out there for the team and PRs. In the 1600, Owen Shifflet (4:25.99) came in third. Nolan Burkhart also ran the 1600 and got a PR. In the end, however, it was the 3200 that scored the most points for the boys. Owen Shifflet (9:35)and Jade Mawn (9:43) took spots one and two. Nate Sullivan (10:11) was fourth, Henry Kimbrough (10:25) was seventh, and Jake Greenstein (10:45) was tenth.

In the pole vault, Nate Chatterson placed second with a 10-06.00. Raina Fitzwater (11-00.00), a freshman, placed second for the girls. In the girls triple jump, Klarisa Amos and Caroline Hill placed 4th and 8th. Amos also competed in the long jump, landing 5th place. Hill was first in the high jump.

For the girls, Meghan Hundley placed fourth in the 300 with a time of 44.74. Cat Domecq and Jordan Henderson followed in sixth and seventh place. Jordan Stone placed first in the 500 with a time of 1:23.04. Stone had an incredible day, running the 4×800, the 500, and the 4×400. The ability to triple in highly competitive middle-distance events is a great skill that she has shown this season. AJ Torrence (1:26.67) and Sienna Collier (1:26.69) placed 5th and 6th in the 500. In the 1000m, Sadie Adams (2nd), Hailey Hodson (3rd), and Jenna Stutzman (5th) all earned points for the Warriors. Adams (3:05.9) and Hodson (3:06.41) each raced PR times. Stutzman, after taking a few weeks off due to an injury, came back with an amazing time of 3:10. Sadie Adams (5:06) and Lily Smith (5:44) both ran PRs in the 1600, placing 2nd and 11th. Grace Cook got a state QT, placed second, and also ran her PR in the 3200, putting ten seconds between her and the runner in 3rd. Her time of 11:37 ranks her as the tenth sophomore in the state for the 3200.

The girls 4×400 relay was incredible to watch, and it was this final event that gave the girls team the points to win the meet. Jordan Stone led off, getting a huge lead from the 100-meter mark. She then passed off to Hailey Hodson. Hodson, after running two events earlier in the day, still managed to run the fastest split of the team. Cat Domecq followed her, maintaining a massive lead on Blacksburg. Meghan Hundley was the anchor leg and raced to a finish of 4:14. In addition, the boys team ran a phenomenal 4×400. They came in second behind Jefferson Forest with a time of 3:34.12.

The boys finished second in the 4×800 as well. The time of 8:35.71 was less than a second off of the winning Jefferson Forest time. The girls 4×800 got a state QT time of 10:12, placing first. The girls 4×200 placed fourth in 1:54.23.

Great job, Warriors!

Photo credit: Cherie Witt

Goals Were Set, PRs Were Broken

Western Albemarle competed in two meets over the weekend of January 14th-15th, ready to smash personal records. The Virginia Showcase and The Walter Bass Invitational were both competitive meets where Western was able to fight to the finish for fantastic times and PRs.

VA Showcase

This competitive meet was one of the biggest in the nation, hosting over 2000 runners. At this meet, high school times of Olympians were smashed, records were broken, and many WAHS distance girls got the chance to compete against the best in the country. For most of these Western distance runners, it was the first race back since Nike Regionals in November, so they were settling back into racing. Jenna Stutzman ran her first races since October when she was sidelined due to an injury. She ran a 5:23 in the Invitational Mile, a fantastic first race back, and then followed it with an even better 1000 (3:05).

Hailey Hodson ran an all-time PR in the 1600, running a blazing 5:36. She ran confident and strong, and her 1000 the next day was even more successful. She came in 2nd in her very competitive heat with a 7 second PR (3:14). Grace Cook and Lily Smith also ran all-time 1600 PRs (5:32 and 5:48, respectively), both great times, especially for underclassmen. Lily and Grace competed the next day as well, running excellent races. Lily won her heat in her first 1000 ever, running an incredibly smart race in 3:24, and Grace ran a 3200 indoor PR of 11:52.

Eleanor Abell, a senior, ran the 3200 in a competitive heat, finishing at 12:40. She paced well and ran her best indoor time yet! Sadie Adams, a freshman, ran in both the 1600 and the 2-mile Invitationals. In the 2 Mile, she raced against some of the top distance runners in the country and hung on to run her best indoor time.

AJ Torrence traveled to VA Beach to race her first-ever 1000 (3:35). AJ’s hard work at practice is really paying off. AJ got PR after PR this past cross country season, and she’s paving the way for an even better track season! Sienna Collier, a junior, had strong performances in the 1000 and 500, earning PRs in both. Jordan Stone, who’s also a 500/1000 runner, had outstanding first races back. She struggled with anemia in cross country season but came back at The Showcase with strong performances. She continues to improve at every race and left this meet with qualifying regionals time in both of her events.

Photo credit: Cherie Witt

Walter Bass Invitational

The VA Showcase wasn’t the only competitive meet this weekend. Teams from all over the state traveled to Liberty University for one of the most competitive meets of the season.

In addition to coming in first in the pole vault, Henry Sullivan came in 2nd place in the 55-meter hurdles this weekend. He ran an incredible 7.64, just .02 seconds off the top hurdler in his event from South Lakes. This places Sullivan 10th in the state, tied with a runner from Highland Springs. Just a second behind Sullivan, Bridger Clarke (8.71) got his indoor PR in this event as well. For the girls 55-meter, Caroline Pearson ran a 11.37, her all-time best.

The boys’ 4×400 out-paced their steep competition and pushed to first. They came in with an impressive 3:31, roughly 52 seconds per 400. The 500 runners had a great showing as well, with Matthew Burch running a 1:08.94. This placed him 2nd overall. His teammates, Ben Nitzsche (1:09.54) and Rutger Pittman (1:10.22) were just behind him. Ollie Sauerwein also ran a phenomenal race, coming in at a blazing 1:36. Caroline Wildermuth followed 5 seconds behind her.

Freshman Raina Fitzwater had a strong performance in Pole Vault, placing 2nd overall. Raina, Elizabeth Strobach, and Cierra Halloran all vaulted to State qualifying times. Freshman Charlie Strobach placed 5th for boys in Pole Vault.

In addition to the sprint and field events having a great showing, the distance events were just as successful. Nate Sullivan ran his indoor PR in the 3200, placing 10th overall. He ran a 10:09, leading the way for his teammates. Jake Greenstein ran an amazing 3200 as well, getting a 3 second all-time PR. That’s a fantastic accomplishment on an indoor track, with double the turns as an outdoor track. He also got a 26 second indoor PR. Owen Shifflett, one of the top cross country runners in the state (and first at Nike Cross Regionals), came in 4th at 4:29 for the 1600. In the girls’ 1600, Helen Moak ran an outstanding 1600 time of 6:03, with this being her first time competing in a mile track event. Amelia Sims ran a 6:33, followed by Mabelli Sumner (6:46), an amazing seven-second PR.

Jonathan Kumer, a senior middle-distance runner, ran a 2:35 in the 1000, placing him 2nd place out of 119 runners. Owen followed behind with a 2:43 finish. Chris Carter, a freshman, finished out the trio with a fantastic 2:58.

Great job WAHS Warriors!