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First Quarter All geared up

Indoor track season to give us a glimps into the spring By Bart Isley


The Blue Devils return 3200-meter state champion Julian Yescas. (Fork Union)

{ THE BREAKDOWN } Yescas’ indoor personal records

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hen it comes to track and field, the outdoor season in the spring is the big event, with the outdoor state titles serving as the state’s Holy Grail. But, often, indoor is where a foundation is laid for that spring success.

A few years back in 2009, progress during indoor set the stage for the Albemarle men’s 4x800 team’s national record-setting spring. With the wide range of talent that’s back this winter, it clear that a number of Central Virginia athletes are set to make a major impact. Woodberry Forest’s indoor track squad won the VISAA state title last season, and while Michael Davenport headed to Virginia Tech, a number of big-time contributors are back for the Tigers. Joe Stephenson, a triple jumper and 55-meter hurdler is back after a strong football campaign. The West Pointbound athlete should be a major factor. Bebe Olaniyan and Cameron Hill should both be a factor in the 55-meter dash and as part of a formidable sprint relay (4x200) squad. Olaniyan is a triple jumper as well and Hill competes in the long jump. Pole vaulter Kyle Kauffman was the state champion last season. Fork Union will contend with the graduation of Alex Lomong and Levord Burns among others, but football wideouts Nathan Disbrow and Logan Justice made an impact in sprints last year and should continue to play a role this year. Julian Yescas is also slated to be back a year after he sprinted his way to the 3200-meter championship. On the public school side for the boys, there are a lot of potential breakout stars and book shoes to fill with the graduation of standouts like Western’s Gannon Willcutts On the girls side in the public ranks though, there are a ton of stars back in the fold, led by the reigning Scrimmage Play female track

and field athlete of the year, Kathryn Mayo. The Albemarle senior who recently pledged to join North Carolina’s track and field program is the three-time outdoor champion in the 800 meters and coming off an incredible year in field hockey where she emerged as one of the state’s best. Mayo won the indoor 1,000-meter Group 5A state title race last year. Mayo is also a part of a indoor state titlewinning 4x800 team that includes Hailey Dillenbeck, Lauren Hughlett and Ryann Helmers that all return. Helmers was also the individual runner-up in the indoor 3200-meter state championship race. For Fluvanna County, Matasha Martin returns a year after scoring in four different events at the Group 3A indoor state meet as runner-up in 55-meter hurdles, fourth in high jump, third in long jump and seventh in 55-meter dash. Western has distance runners Zoe Clay, the defending 3200-meter indoor champion in Group 3A and Averi Witt back in the fold. Witt was the runner-up in the 1600-meter indoor race as a junior. Nichole Heon also returns, she took sixth in the indoor long jump last season, as does Katrine Berg, who took 11th as just a freshman in the 300-meter dash last year. Throw in Louisa County’s Taylor Robinson, who finished third last year in the indoor 55-hurdles and it’s apparent that Central Virginia athletes have the potential to make a major impact in indoor track in 2016. ✖

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Volume 8, Issue 6  
Volume 8, Issue 6