Class 4 track: Loudoun County boys, Tuscarora and Loudoun Valley girls finish strong

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LYNCHBURG, Va. — For Northern Virginia’s smaller high schools, the results of the Class 3 and 4 state meets usually serve as an outlier data source for the talent that resides in the region. Only 12 schools represent the area, and for the past 10 years, Loudoun Valley has been the main provider of local highlights, especially from its nationally renowned distance program.

But the Vikings may have company after this year. Their neighbor to the east, Loudoun County, led local Class 4 boys’ teams with a seventh-place finish and 28 points at Liberty University’s Osborne Stadium this weekend.

Dominion — led by Arun Mantena, who took second in the high jump (6 feet 3 inches) and fifth in the triple jump (44 feet ¼ inch) — finished in the top 10 with 22 points.

The Tuscarora girls finished seventh with 34 points, and the Loudoun Valley girls took ninth with 29.

Loudoun County — the boys’ runner-up in the spring of 2018 — displayed its balance, youth and ability to compete for future state titles.

“We won our district and region meets with points in the sprints, hurdles and jumps,” Loudoun County co-coach Steven Graham said.

On Friday, the Captains’ 3,200-meter relay placed fifth while Daniel Young took fourth in the shot put (50-3). The momentum carried into Saturday, with sophomore discus thrower Chase Kibble adding eight points with a second-place finish in the discus (153-8), followed by Ethan Stansbury’s runner-up finish in the 1,600 (4 minutes 18.39 seconds). Stansbury was roughly 14 seconds faster in the second half of the race than he was in the first.

“The runner from Blacksburg [winner Conner Rutherford] just snuck up on him at the end,” co-coach Courtney Campbell said.

On the girls’ side, Loudoun Valley senior Ava Gordon, a Liberty commit running at her future home, won the girls’ 3,200 meters with a time of 10:17.46. She executed her race plan perfectly, running just a step behind Jamestown’s Caroline Bauer before breaking away with a 71-second final lap to win by seven seconds.

“I was feeling pretty good,” said Gordon, who had run on the Vikings’ second-place 3,200-meter relay on Friday. “I felt like I might as well go for it.”

Tuscarora led all area girls teams on the strength of Alysa Carrigan’s win in the high jump. Carrigan leaped 5 feet 6 inches to claim her title, only the second event won by Northern Virginia athletes over the weekend.

The Huskies were successful at scoring in diverse events to tack on points throughout the afternoon. Carrigan took third place in the triple jump and sixth in the long jump to tally 19 points for the meet.

No local Class 3 team placed in the top 15. The Meridian girls finished 16th with 18 points to lead Northern Virginia teams.

Individually, Philip Daniel of Manassas Park had the highest finish, placing second in the triple jump at 45-11.

The Abingdon boys and Heritage-Lynchburg girls won the Class 3 team titles, and the Pulaski County boys and Heritage-Newport News girls claimed the Class 4 state crowns.

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