The Patrick Henry Patriots girls team cruised to the Colonial District team championship Saturday at the Arthur Ashe Center scoring 170 points. Douglas Freeman was second at 107 points. The senior duo of Jessica Shelton and Lynell Fisher finished first and second in the 55-meter hurdles, while the 4 X 800 meter relay team of Schyler Neal, Ashli Cole, Malina Richardson and Amy Dunham was victorious in a time of 10:10.22.
Youth was served for the Patriots as freshman Tiffany Harris lost a photo finish in the 300 meters to Mackenzie Kerr of Freeman (43.52 to Kerr’s 43.51), while Cole, also a freshman, finished third in the 500 meters.
The Patriots were strong in field events as Crishna Hooker won the high jump clearing five feet, Fisher won the triple jump at 35 feet, 10.25 inches, and Shania Williams emerged victorious in the shot put with a state-qualifying throw of 40 feet, 5 inches.
In boys competition, Travis Phillips, who signed a letter of intent with East Carolina this past week, repeated as champion of the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 7.67 in the finals and finished fourth in the 300 meters at 39.69, less than half a second away from victory.
In the Capital District championships held simultaneously at the Ashe Center, the Lee-Davis girls team won their seventh straight team title, besting rival Atlee 137.5 to 129, while the Raiders’ boys team finished runner-up to perennial power Highland Springs 183-149. Lee-Davis was third in boys team standings with 88 points.
The Confederate girls were led by Madison Angus, who won the pole vault clearing 9 feet, senior Dallas Tennessee, who repeated as 55-meter dash champion at 7.53, and Bonny Turnage, victorious in the 1000 meters at 3:14.52.
Atlee sophomore Carly Feyerabend captured the high jump competition clearing 5 feet, while the 4 X 800 meter relay team of Katie Gardner, Kaitlyn Mason, Katt Grasberger and Chloe Bavin defeated the Confederates team by nearly six seconds, and the 4 X 200 team of Zaliah Carey, Sarah Spinner, Kassidy Taylor and India Lowe upset the favored Lee-Davis squad by two seconds finishing at 1:54.81.
Hanover’s bright spot was the continuation of the dream freshman season of Leila Haynesworth, who won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.81.
In Capital boys results, Atlee’s Austin Cannon won the shot put with a state-qualifying throw of 52 feet, 6.5 inches, and teammate Griffin Carmichael won the 500 meters and the 1000 meters, the latter race by .01 over Lee-Davis’ Paul Adam (2:45.18 to 2:45.19). Adam rebounded to take the 1600 meters easily over Atlee’s Tre Fields. Hanover’s 4 X 200 relay team of Chris Melton, Evan Wright, Lamont Stubbs and Marcus Hall was victorious, besting favored Glen Allen by five seconds.
All four schools now turn their attention to the final Central Region Championships, slated for Friday and Saturday at the Ashe Center.
At the VISAA State Private School Championships, Molly Breidenbaugh of Trinity Episcopal won the girls 3200-meter run in 11:24.87, finishing 27 seconds ahead of her closest competitor. Breidenbaugh, who also placed second in the girls 1600-meter run, transferred to Trinity from Hanover this year.
Hanover fell short in its bid for the Central Region team title Saturday at Manchester High School in Chesterfield, finishing second to Matoaca. Lee-Davis placed fifth.
The Hawks did capture three individual region titles, with J.D. Gregory repeating as champion, this year at 113 pounds, by shutting out Colonial Heights’ Jerrid Whaling, the Central District champion, 5-0. Gregory won the region at 106 pounds a year ago. Michael Flora, a region finalist at 120 pounds in 2012, won the title at 126 pounds in a rematch of last week’s classic Capital District final against Lee-Davis’ Sawyer Barksdale. In another close match between the two, Flora was victorious 5-4.
The third Hawks region crown also came at the expense of a Lee-Davis opponent as Michael Engels edged Mark Reisenweaver in the 152-pound final, 1-0. Two Hawks lost their region championship matches, as Stone Jimenez of Deep Run pinned Jacob Nussbaum in 3:57 in the 182-pound class while T.J. Allen lost a heartbreaker to Capital District rival Zakeel Muhammad of Henrico 2-2 in overtime on a rideout. Allen defeated Muhammad a week earlier for the Capital District title, 7-4.
Patrick Henry’s lone participant in the championship round, Jake Harris, was defeated 6-0 by Colonial Heights’ Dylan Gregg in the 170-pound division.
In all, 15 county wrestlers advanced to the State Group AAA Championships taking place this weekend at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, six for Hanover (the above five plus Corbin Allen), five for Lee-Davis, including Nick Timok, Chris Morris and Reid Hues, three for Atlee (Mark Kilgore, Charlie Belvin and Tanner Bazemore) and one for Patrick Henry.
At the Capital District Championships on Feb. 6, Tyler Howard of Hanover won in Extemporaneous Speaking, teammates Morgan Williams and Hannah Sayles finished one-two in Poetry Interpretation, while Sarah Shevenock of Atlee was victorious in Storytelling, and fellow Raider Conor Ginnell won in Humorous Dramatic Interpretation. The team of Dawnysha Griffin and Rachel Scruggs of Lee-Davis won in the Humorous Duo Interpretation category.
These students will compete in the Central Region Championships on Thursday, Feb. 21 at Midlothian High School.
Ten county athletes will compete Friday and Saturday in the State Group AAA Championships in Clifton, just outside Manassas. Patrick Henry head coach Austin Beazley is high on Central Region All-Around champion Kristen Valasek’s chances at the sport’s highest level scholastically.
“She [Valasek] is one of the most composed gymnasts I’ve ever been around. I envy her composure; she is just so calm,” Beazley said. “You have to up the ante at states, and each year she has added a little bit more. Last year she tried some new tricks and they didn’t necessarily work out for her. She’s been doing them this year, so if she hits them, I think she has a shot [at the state title].”
Valasek will be joined in the All-Around by Atlee sophomore Skylar Lambert and Patriot teammate freshman Keion Greenhow.
Look for complete coverage of the state gymnastics, wrestling and swimming championships next week in the Herald-Progress and all weekend long on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.