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Sports · February 22, 2015

Falcon boys claim regional indoor track championship

Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Fauquier's Sam Oravec, the Falcons' lead-off runner in the 4x400-meter relay, literally flies past his competition at the 4A North regional indoor track meet at Liberty University, Friday night.
Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Tyler Benson running his National Elite 300-meter dash.
Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Liberty's T.J. Spagnoletti scored a National Elite in the 55-meter dash, placing third in the event.
Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Falcon girl Shayne Halligan in the girls 1,000-meter run. She finished seventh in the race.
Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Liberty's distance runner Taylor Brown paces herself in the girls 1,600-meter run.
Photo/Leanne Fernandez
Raul Chavez placed second Friday night in the boys 1,000-meter run.
It was a total team effort. I am really proud how the boys reacted.
— Fauquier head indoor track Coach Quentin Jones
Scoring a National Elite in track and field requires hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck.

Fauquier boys recorded three such fetes Friday night at the 4A North regional indoor track meet.

They propelled the Falcons to a 16.5 point win over E.C. Glass for the team competition.

Liberty’s all-state track and field sensation T.J. Spagnoletti also picked up one in the boys 55-meter dash.

Spagnoletti, who signed a full-ride football scholarship earlier this month, plans on running track at East Tennessee State University next spring as a secondary sport.

The Falcons scored theirs with Tyler Benson’s 300-dash performance (36.02 seconds) and Donavin Thompson’s 500-dash (1:08.26).

Benson won the 300 while Thompson finished third in the 500.

The third came when Fauquier’s 4 by 800 relay team easily won the event.

Sam Oravec led off the relay. The Curry twins – Madison and Brock ran the middle laps and Raul Chavez anchored.

They finished with a time of 8:19.25, some 20 seconds faster than second-place Louisa County.

“Total domination,” Fauquier head Coach Quentin Jones said.

Held at Liberty University's Tolsma Indoor Track facility, in Lynchburg, the Falcons won the meet scoring 67 points.

Glass had 50.5. points while Amherst County took third, 20 points behind.

Handley (45.5) finished fourth while King George rounded out the top 5 teams with 45 points.

Liberty scored an eighth-place finish with 31 points and the remaining 14 teams in the field quickly dropped in point value.

Fauquier had one more first-place finish.

The boys 4 x 400 relay recorded a time of 3:34.43. That was 0.39 seconds off the state 4A record more than five seconds off the meet record set last year by another Falcons team.

Oravec, Benson, Brock Curry and Chavez earned the points for Fauquier.

“It was a total team, effort,” Coach Jones said. “I am really proud how the boys reacted.”

Spagnoletti took third (6.61) in the 55, second (42-feet, 1.5-inches) in the triple jump and seventh in the 300 (37.58).

His 55-dash time broke Liberty’s previous record and his triple jump mark, a season-best.

Michael Fairfax took third in the 55, setting a personal record of 8.11 seconds.

Robert McGuin scored six team points for the Eagles with his third-place in the shot put.

McGuin topped his seed distance by almost four feet, setting a personal best 45-ft., 2.5-in.

Shot putters Dominique Johnson and Unique London scored 16 of Fauquier’s 24 points in the girls division – putting the Falcons in a tie for ninth place.

Glass won the girls meet with 101 points.

Jefferson Forest (65 points) took a distant second and Louisa County finished third with 57.25 points.

Harrisonburg (51) and Fluvanna County (45) took fourth and fifth respectively.

Fauquier’s next best performance among the girls came in the 4 x 800 relay that finished fifth.

Shayne Halligan, Madison Carter, Jordyn O’Saben and Claire Burke scored for the Falcons.

Liberty finished in 15th place with nine points. Twenty teams participated in the girls’ event.

Distance runner Taylor Brown took fourth (5:24.43) in the 1,600-run and fifth (3:12.27) in the 1,000.

The 1,600-run bettered Brown’s previous time by nearly 2.5 seconds.

Brown would have anchored her team’s 4 x 400-relay but never got the chance.

The team picked up a disqualification when leadoff runner Lauren Sams apparently misjudged when she could leave her lane and move to the inside.

“I asked the official twice and he said it was okay,” Sams said.

“Both the boys and girls did a great job,” Liberty head Coach Doron White said. “They all showed up ready to compete and their performances reflected that attitude.”

White added the impression each of the team’s 12 athletes had on him.

“I told them after the meet Friday night that in all the years we’ve been coaching the program, this was the best overall team performance we’ve seen,” Coach White added.

“Six of our athletes had season-best or personal-best records,” Coach White said. “You can’t ask for more than that.

“While we don’t have the depth of other teams, we emphasize quality over quantity.”
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