The list of contenders for the boys Bay Rivers district title added a new member on Saturday. While Grafton has been considered to be a favorite, there is little question that Jamestown is not ready to give up their crown from last fall just yet.
Looking to challenge his team, coach Howard Townsend gave ace Colin Mearns the day off at Saturday’s MileStat.com Invitational. His hope was to see “who would step up.” Several runners accepted the challenge and the Eagles placed second to Henrico’s Mills Godwin at the invitational, held at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield.
Graham Schlickenmeyer, the lone Eagle from last season’s state champion squad, paced Jamestown over the 5,000 meter course, placing 15th with a time of 16:20.7. He was followed to the finish by Daniel Moniak (21st-16:30.9), Anthony Green (28th-16:41.7), Patrick Shannon (16:46.9) and Stephen Erwin (55th-17:12.85).
Green’s time was especially surprising. The junior has made his mark as a long sprinter, winning the 500 at last year’s indoor district track meet. Combining his newfound distance running talent with 49/50 second speed in the open 400 could make for interesting possibilities when the track season begins.
Says Townsend, “I want to see what he (Green) can do on the open 800. He’s one of the most talented runners I have ever coached, and a great kid.”
The girls team placed seventh. Natalie Sukramani (20th-19:43.0) and Gaylin Glueck (35th-20:31.5) earned the top two spots for the Lady Eagles.
In college action, the William and Mary teams got an idea of where they stand at the national level, traveling to Terre Haute, IN to compete in the Brooks Pre-National Invitational.
The ninth-ranked men’s squad placed fourth of 34 teams, in a race won by Oregon. Jon Grey earned top honors for the Tribe, placing fifth with a time of 23:54.3 over the 8,000 meter course. Patterson Wilhelm was 12th in 24:05.8, while Colin Leak (23rd), Zach Gates (33rd) and Charlie Swartz (55th) rounded out the top five.
The women’s team placed 15th, but did upset 12th ranked Baylor. Top-ranked Washington won the competition and look to be the favorite at the NCAA Championships later this fall.
Emily Anderson placed 29th with a time of 21:21 for the 6,000 meter course. She was followed by teammates Meghan Burns (50th-21:39.4), Kayley Byrne (91st-22:01.5), Sallie Ford (103rd-22:10.4) and Darcy McDonald (133rd-22:28.5).
Both teams have a two-week break until the CAA Championships, which will be held at the Newmarket Battlefield State Park in Harrisonburg. History bodes well for both teams with the women having won the past nine titles, while the men have placed first for the last six.