In a prelude to the outdoor track season, which begins district meets today, the Lafayette Rams and Jamestown’s Lady Eagles made strong statements to the rest of the Bay Rivers district while fighting through the cold and rainy conditions at last weekend’s 31st Conn-Madden Relays, held at Todd Stadium in Newport News.
The Rams, contending with Jamestown (2nd in AA indoor state) for district dominance, outpointed their Eagle rivals 98-59 to win the Division B (A, AA and private school) category. Brandon Jones (20’1” in the long jump) was the only individual Ram to claim gold, but the 2×300 hurdle relay, as well as the 4×200 and 4×1600 quartets won their events in impressive times. In particular, the 4×1600 time of 18:44.24 (currently ranked #4 in VA) should hold up high among state bests for most of the season as the event is rarely offered at invitationals during the season, but is run at Nationals.
The Jamestown girls also had little difficulty, scoring 82 points to best runner-up Norfolk Academy by 28 points while winning the girls Division B. Hurdler Emily Mellman was a double winner (300 hurdles in 49.86 and 400 hurdles in 1:11.33). Frankie Epps won the triple jump in 31-11, while Kieley Sutton showed no rust from basketball season while winning the shot put with a toss of 94 feet. Mellman’s performance helped her and teammate Cameron Cummings win the 2×300 hurdle relay, while the distance foursomes in the 4×800 (10:17.98) and 4×1600 (22:23.85) also coasted to easy victories, winning by 26 and 90 seconds respectively.
Other girls individual winners included Lafayette’s Christina Zimmerman (4-10 – high jump), York’s Dominique Williams (14-6 – long jump) and Bruton’s Charmaine Baker (31-5.5 – shot put). Tabb, fresh off a fourth place finish at the indoor state meet, continued to burn up the wet track in the sprints, winning the 4×100 (51.55), 4×400 (4:14.14) and sprint medley (4:33.29) relays, while Lafayette took the 4×200, distance medley and high jump relay.
Individual boys winners included Jamestown’s Chris Murdock (59.61 in 400 hurdles), Tabb’s Joseph Nelson (shot put) and Brendan Lewis (pole vault), Bruton’s Jack Gobel (triple jump), and York’s Johnny Cruz, who narrowly edged Tabb’s Johnny Walker to win the discus with a throw of 116-07. Relay winners included a strong showing from the middle and long distance teams at Jamestown, which won the 4×400 (3:35.51), 4×800 (8:47.14) and distance medley (10:59.65). The Bruton boys won the 4×100 (46.88), while York (3:47.25) took first in the sprint medley.
After today’s district matchups, several area teams will travel back down Route 60 this weekend for the Captains Classic, held at Pomoco Field on the campus of Christopher Newport University.